Are Friends with Benefits Relationships Worth It?
Friends with benefits have been around since homo sapiens figured out how to have sex.
Of course, they didn’t know what to call this new relationship and group dynamics were different back then, but semantics aside people have been having sex without any expectation of a long-term relationship for millennia.
But much has changed since we lived in free-wheeling fierce egalitarian communities that shared everything from berries and shelter to tools and sexual partners.
Regardless of societal changes, the urge to hit someone up late at night to Netflix hasn’t changed.
But ya see, there lies the conflict.
How do we manage the urges to have friends with benefits relationships in a society that encourages — nay, demands — monogamy.
To help you navigate these prehistoric urges in our modern society let’s examine the benefits of FWB as well as when you should and should not engage in one of these relationships.
When Friends With Benefits Relationships Are Worth It
Before you learn when a FWB relationship is worth it, let’s first take a look at the benefits.
Benefits Of FWB
FWBs Are Great For People Who Get One-itis
Your doctor won’t ever diagnose you with one-itis, rather it’s just one of those romantic afflictions that you just kinda know you have.
One-itis is when you simp on a single female and put all your eggs in one basket.
After one kiss, one vacation, one date, one match you can only see this female.
Chances are you do this because you don’t think you’ll be lucky enough to find another woman that will give you the same attention she will.
Having a sexual friend to call over when your pants shrink will prevent you from fantasizing without end about this one woman.
Sex And Connection Are Natural Human Needs
I don’t think the following pyramid needs much introduction.
According to psychologist Abraham Maslow, in order to achieve the ultimate goal of self-actualization, each prior tier must be satisfied.
If Maslow wasn’t a 1940s prude I’m sure he’d advocate for free love and the use of a FWB to achieve self-actualization.
The prevailing belief is that sex’s primary purpose is to have children.
In my opinion, this is a Victorian belief that needs to be ghosted ASAP.
I’m of the mind that the purpose of sex is to bond with another individual. As humans we crave connecting with another. The most transcendent way to do this is by stripping down, slipping on a condom, and performing some R-rated bedroom aerobics.
Sex is about so much more than just conceiving a child.
Here are just a few of the benefits that friends with benefits relationships would give you.
FWBs Help to Keep Your Confidence High
Is there any other ego-booster as powerful as knowing that someone else is spending their free time fantasizing about shagging you?
That’s a serious question.
I literally can’t think of much else that would boost my confidence as much as knowing that there’s someone out there (whom I’m attracted to) that will spend all day fantasizing about the things he’ll do to me when he comes over later.
Now of course such a thing as bad sex exists. But if you have a steady FWB dynamic I’m sure the two of you have worked out (or are still working out) how to have mind-blowing sex and ensure that both parties are satisfied.
FWBs Are Damn Good Fun
This one’s pretty cut and dry (or hot and sticky).
A relationship that revolves around sex is just downright fun.
And it kinda makes sense doesn’t it?
We already categorize certain friends and only interact with them in certain contexts.
You have your work friends, your high school friends, college buddies, gym friends, climbing friends, etc.
Doesn’t it just make sense that you should have your sex friends as well?
Look a romantic partner doesn’t need to be everything to you. This pressure to be everything for someone (a listener, friend, lover, tennis partner, etc.) jeopardizes more relationships than it helps.
Don’t believe me, just ask psychotherapist, author, and sex-guru Esther Perel.
FWBs Are Trustworthy Sexual Partners
To be clear, a friend with benefits is someone that you have sex with repeatedly. You two have a clearly defined relationship that involves having sex without the promise of seeing each other outside of the bedroom or developing feelings for each other.
Of course, each relationship is different but most abide by these two rules.
If this is the definition we’re using, we can assume that a FWB is someone that you can trust.
If you two keep coming back to each other (and for each other) it means that you enjoy what’s taking place in the bedroom, and that you trust that they will continue to satisfy you and adhere to your agreement.
Reliable friends with benefits relationships are difficult to find.
A FWB Will Help You Realize What You’re Look For In A Long-Term Partner
If you spend time introspectively reviewing your FWB situation, it can tell you a lot about what’s really important to you.
Let’s take Gina for instance.
You’re attracted to Gina physically (obviously) but she doesn’t really understand your sense of humor, wouldn’t be well-received by your friends, and can’t carry on a meaningful conversation about anything other than what the Kardashians are currently up to.
So if we flip the script on this data you’ve collected from your FWB we can see that you’re clearly looking for a woman with a similar physical appearance as Gina, but your forever person needs to be someone who shares your love for Kevin Hart’s comedic style, who is social and charismatic, who your friends would love her, and who’s an excellent conversationalist.
When FWBs Are Not Worth It
Now that we’ve had a look at the benefits, I’m sure you’re ready to rush into a FWB relationship.
The thing is, FWB aren’t objectively good for you.
Let’s take a look at some situations where having a FWB might backfire.
When It’s A Coworker
Doing anything sexual with a co-worker is dangerous.
Like, you might lose your job if something goes wrong dangerous.
Or worse, you might dread coming in to work every day if things go wrong.
It’s best to keep your romantic and professional relationships separate. Not everyone can manage as well as Jim and Pam.
When The Person Lives In Your Building
You can write up a contract, sign it in ink, run it by a string and still get screwed (not in that way).
Despite having “an understanding” you’re still dealing with humans.
There’s always a possibility that you or the other party will change how they feel. You never know how the other will react when this happens. It doesn’t matter how strong-willed or mature the pair of you are, the situation is bound to change at some point. Should one party not be able to manage bad things will happen.
When The Person Is A Classmate
You see the theme we’re hitting on with these?
Keep your sex life separate from your other lives.
What happens when you accidentally develop feelings and now have to face this girl everyday for the next 7 months?
Don’t always think of the positives when weighing whether or not to have a FWB.
When The Person Is A Friend-of-a-Friend
Friend of a friend friends with benefits relationships are super risky.
Social circles last longer than semesters, leases, and sometimes even jobs.
I’d argue finding a job is easier than finding a social circle as satisfying as the one you already run with.
When It’s A Vendor Or Customer (business setting)
Losing a fuck-buddy rarely impacts more than you and her.
But when that bedroom companion is a customer or vendor, ruining your relationship could affect other people as well as the wellbeing of your business.
Think before you pursue.
Consider the consequences and ask yourself if it’s really worth it.
That being said, if you are going to pursue her, follow this advice.
When You Already Know The Other Person Wants More
This is a real moral test.
You can of course outline what you want and ask her how she feels.
But if you know for a fact (because she’s said so before in no uncertain terms) that she wants a serious relationship, relegating her to just a FWB could crush her confidence and have her following you down dead-end streets.
Don’t do it man.
When Friends With Benefits Relationships ARE Worth It
Now that we’ve detailed the kinds of relationships you want to stay away from let’s look into when a FWB relationship might work for all involved.
When You Recently Got Out Of A Serious Relationship
If you’re newly divorced or single you may not be ready for another serious relationship.
Quickly getting into another serious relationship so soon after a breakup can be like packing for a transatlantic voyage in two hours.
You’re bound to forget something and be ill-prepared.
Before embarking on another romantic venture, make sure you take the time to recuperate.
A fling that revolves around sex is like a summer sail with no worries. It’ll help you get your sea legs back and prepare you for that voyage you’ll take later.
When You Travel A Lot
It’s difficult to give your partner everything they want when you’re always away from your home base.
Knowing it’ll be difficult to enter into an exclusive relationship, be upfront with the women you’re dating about your desires. Tell them about your itinerant situation and leverage this to transition into a FWB relationship.
When Your Work Is Crushing You
How can you be expected to have a relationship when you work 60+ hours a week.
When you get home from work all you want to do watch Ozark on Netflix.
Wouldn’t it be great to turn your binging into a Netflix and Chill kind of respite?
Again, be upfront and let her know about your work situation and that you don’t have the time for a serious relationship.
When You’re Working On Yourself
Sometimes time constraints won’t allow you to invest in a relationship and sometimes emotional ones get in the way.
A FWB is like getting your toes wet. You’re still interacting with a woman on an intimate basis but you’re still allowed to protect yourself from falling for her.
When You Have Kids
If you don’t have much free time and aren’t interested in a relationship, FWBs are great to manage expectations while still getting your needs met.
How To Transition From an FWB to a Real Relationship
Weighing up whether to have an FWB relationship is much easier than actually getting one.
To do so you’ll need to be able to not only read the signs but have the tact of a psychologist.
Although there’s nothing wrong with an FWB, here at emlovz we help single men reach dating goals like finding love and their next girlfriend. So when you’re ready to shut the door closed on FWB’s, don’t hesitate to book a coaching call with us to learn more about our Get a Girlfriend group coaching program!