What you need to know:
- There are instances where the friend with benefits becomes something more. People have relationships that start out as nothing more than a few casual flings, so the fact that your friends with benefits may end up becoming something more serious is never a bad thing.
Nowadays, young urban men and women are getting married later and later. They are also hugely focused on their education and careers, and wary of traditional family values. And that has created a fashion for casual, no-strings-attached sex.
“Friends with benefits” relationships work for some, especially those who understand the rules. They are not dating, they are just having fun. There is no pressure to see each other every day. Or to keep in touch. And they do not the things real couples do, such as leaving clothes in each other’s houses, or double-dating with their friends. Or kissing “hello” in public. So no one else knows about their relationship.
But staying FWB for any length of time is quite hard. Because sooner or later, your emotions get in the way, even if only for a few minutes at a time. You are friends, so there is a degree of trust between you.
And sex releases hormones which make you feel bonded to each other. So it is natural to want more.
The first sign that you are developing feelings for your buddy is usually a hint of jealousy when you see them flirting. If that happens, you are beginning to want more from your relationship, and should speak up.
But is it even possible to go from a FWB relationship into one that’s committed and monogamous? Yes it is, although it is not always easy.
So, sit down and talk. It is easy to miscommunicate, so agree that you are both going to be 100 per cent honest with one another. And spell out anything that is not completely straightforward. Say what you want, and get your friend to state clearly whether they are in or out.
Because unless you discover you are on the same page, it really is best to move on. Otherwise things will inevitably end in tears.
Once you have established that you both want a committed relationship, be clear about exactly what that means. Do not assume that you both want the same things. Does it mean seeing each other more often? Does it mean meeting each other’s families? What will you call each other?
Will you really delete all your dating apps? You do not need to squeeze all this into one conversation, but you should clarify as much as possible before you get in too deep. Because the more openly you discuss what your proposed relationship will look like, the more likely it is to work out. And do not fudge the issue of monogamy. Make absolutely sure you are in complete agreement about what you are doing.
It is a good idea to agree to try your new relationship for three months and then review how you both feel. That way you will not be second guessing each other every day. Also, agree that if it is not working for either of you, you will let the other one know before going off with someone else.
Be kind and supportive as you make the transition. And you could end up living happily ever after.