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CuriousLoner's avatar

What does it mean exactly when you have a friend with benefits?

Asked by CuriousLoner (1808 points ) September 3rd, 2012

I am in somewhat of a situation, this woman and I have been texting for about 2 weeks now. I’ve never had a friend with benefits.

So….To what extent does it go?
I mean how much of friend am I suppose to be? How important is sex?

Guess if we ever find another person or something, no big deal right?

Since it is pretty straight forward with that part anyways she made it clear she wanted to be friends first, then friends with benefits later. I’m not exactly against this, but sometimes I feel like she had might as well be my girlfriend…...

Any advice here?

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15 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

Ask yourself what you want and what you are comfortable with. Do you want to only be a friend to this woman but to have sex with her with no commitment? While it can sound easy, not everyone can detach themselves from the emotions that can accompany sex.

You need to make sure you both agree on what FWB means. How will you deal with one or the other finding a romantic partner and not wanting to have sex with the ‘friend’ anymore? Will you feel awkward after you have sex with each other? What if it’s truly awful for you and you never want to go there again but she thinks you are a sex god? Will it spoil your friendship? What if one of you wants to take things further and become a couple and the other doesn’t?

The parameters are up to you and her to decide. The idea is you are good, caring friends who on occasions fulfill each other’s sexual needs. The reality is it could spoil a perfectly good friendship.

zensky's avatar

Friends… who also have sex.

YARNLADY's avatar

Two people who are good friends, and they also have sex together. (benefits = sex).

nebule's avatar

In my experience FWB benefits means friends that have sex but are not committed exclusively to one another. Therefore, if you feel like you want that commitment, I’d talk about with her. I can’t personally see this type of relationship working for me, but I’m sure that there are others that it is perfect for.

hearkat's avatar

It is up to you and your ‘friend’ to be mature enough to discuss it and to set boundaries. The terms of any relationship are set by the people in that relationship; and in cases like this, it is especially important to not have assumptions or expectations.

In the FWB relationship I had more than a decade ago, he made it clear from the outset that he did not want a serious relationship, and I insisted on exclusivity. It served its purpose for nearly a year, until it began to feel empty, boring and routine, since there was no emotional passion or intimacy to balance the physical. So I ended it amicably, and found myself a real boyfriend.

zenvelo's avatar

A typical FWB situation is discussing potential boyfriends or girlfriends with each other, and then having sex later the same evening. You have to be good friends that can support each other throughout.

It can get difficult when one finds a new person, not only for the friend, but the new lover may balk at having you involved in even a minor way with the old FWB.

noraasnave's avatar

If you would have asked me ten years ago i would have said that being friends with benefits did neither party justice and that it might actually keep both people from finding their soul mate.

Life can really teach us if we are willing to be taught: Between my first and second divorce I was dating women I found through an online personals site, after all how is a single parent of two toddlers supposed to date. Upon dating each of these ladies I quickly recognized most of them weren’t my type.

I somehow found a friend with benefits situation without even looking; even against self-recrimination and doubt. It was actually a positive situation that helped me through a lonely,difficult time.

The movie The Notebook gives a good view of what a friend with benefits relationship could look like.

—the part where the main male character has been waiting for his soul mate (main female character) to return to him for years; he waits in the arms of a grieving war widow. When his soul mate comes to her senses and returns to him both he and the widow know that their lesser relationship is done.

Yes it can work, but boundaries are going to make it or break it.

dabbler's avatar

It’s up to the parties involved to discuss what they want from each other and the limitations and freedoms they allow each other.
If you ask me, a commitment to that kind of relationship could be as challenging as any.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m sorry, but from the tone of your question, I don’t think you are comfortable with the idea of FWB. It sounds like you want more.

In my experience if one partner wants more, and the other limits it to FWB, there is going to be hurt. When she sees other guys, it will hurt you. You will not be able to keep the emotional distance for FWB.

You have two options, it seems to me. You can hold back, and just be friends with no benefits. Or you can move forward into FWB, hoping that her emotional attachment to you will rise before she gets interested in anyone else. The latter is the greater risk, greater reward path, and is the path I would take, but might not be a good one for you.

I have always felt that the potential for love was worth the potential for pain, no matter how great the pain. I would be very passionate and speak my truth about love and let the chips fall where they might. I have had my share of hurts, but it never stopped me from loving again.

Other people get hurt, and then pull back from everyone. If this is you, then don’t move forward. But if you are willing to accept the pain of loss should this not work out, and you are willing to feel severe emotional pain for perhaps months or years, then go for it. It might work (doubtful) and if it does, you’ll have won something very important.

tedd's avatar

Friends who have sex with no expectation of a relationship or the requirements of one.

Be warned though, they never work out that simply. Someone always gets attached if it is more than a one night stand (and quite frequently even if that’s all it is).

Shippy's avatar

I’d rather masturbate, than waste all that effort on a friend, just for sex.

hearkat's avatar

@tedd: While it does happen more often than not, it is an untrue overgeneralization to say that “someone always gets attached”. That was not an issue in my FWB relationship. I ended it because I wanted more, but not with him. He understood that I was moving on, and we remained friends for a while; but my next boyfriend was very jealous, so I lost contact with him. But no one got hurt as a result of our year-long fling.

deni's avatar

It doesn’t mean anything exactly. It means whatever you want it to mean, usually along the general lines of this person is someone you enjoy being around, but do not want a relationship with, but you have sex with them. I think of FWB situations as more than just hook-ups. It is what it says: friends with benefits. You should care about each other at least on that level. That’s how I define it anyhow. I would never ONLY want to have sex with someone, and not even care about them as a friend outside of that. So, make your own boundaries but just make sure you’re both on the same page about them, otherwise, yeah, someone will get hurt.

tedd's avatar

@hearkat It sounds like your bf ended up hurt… and how do you know that the guy you were FWB with wasn’t hurt and just didn’t tell you?

Trust me, I’ve never seen it work out that nicely, and I’ve got several dozen examples to pull from. Maybe, just maybe you and your FWB were the exception. But the odds are incredibly stacked against that outcome, to the point where I wouldn’t recommend messing around with it. Make it a one and done thing, or make it a relationship.

hearkat's avatar

@tedd: I assure you that he was not hurt. He was the one who stated that it would be a “no strings attached” arrangement, and I agreed to it on the condition that it be exclusive. At that time, we were in our 30s and divorced with young kids. We stayed friends for a while, and I even met the woman he was dating after me. There are exceptions, which was why I cautioned that it is best not to use absolute terms like always or never. In the case of FWB (or similarly, with polyamorous relationships), it is more often than not that issues of an emotional nature arise. But there are people who are capable of managing their emotions and communicating with others involved so that such problems don’t arise.

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