Friends with benefits rules must be followed in order to have a healthy relationship.
There are many ways in which a friends with benefits relationship can make your life happier and more convenient, but only if both parties follow a proper ruleset.
As it will help us avoid many mistakes.
Friends with Benefits also known as FWBs can be defined as two people who enjoy each other’s company and decide to become s#xual partners without expecting commitment.
This is an arrangement for casual s#x, in which two friends get together purely for physical satisfaction without creating any strings.
Here I am presenting some rules of friends with benefits relationships that should be followed so that no one gets hurt at any point in time.
The most important thing you can do before beginning a FWB relationship is establishing ground rules.
This will help prevent feelings of resentment and ensures you have an open line of communication about what you expect in terms of intimacy, frequency, and honesty.
Here are some basic rules for friends with benefits relationship and guidelines to consider:
30 Friends with benefits rules for a successful FWB relationship
Rule 1: No commitment
Neither of you should have any expectations about a future together.
Both parties should also understand that if one person wants to end things, it will be as simple as saying I think we should stop seeing each other, and not feeling obligated to explain why.
That said, you shouldn’t simply say No if your partner proposes something new—the key is finding a happy medium between changing nothing and constant experimentation.
The conversation below covers some common issues for FWB relationships, but feel free to talk about whatever is relevant for your unique situation.
Also read: Does friends with benefits actually work?
The key to a great FWB breakup is keeping things casual; it might be tempting to try and impress your ex but that could backfire.
If you seem too eager or start planning fancy dates then your ex will think you want more than FWBR.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if you do want more! The only problem is that someone might get hurt because he or she assumed FWBR meant something different.
Take it easy and keep things friendly—there’s no need for tension or extra-curricular, just let friendship happen naturally.
This isn’t like dating at all; think of it as hanging out on weekends with your mate but not necessarily getting their phone number or returning texts every time.
Rule 2: Test STD status regularly
The topic of s#xually transmitted diseases is a touchy one, but you should be able to ask your partner if they’ve been tested and disclose any information you may have.
If a past partner cheated or wasn’t honest about their s#xual history, they could potentially transmit an STI without even knowing it.
No matter how experienced you are in these matters, everyone makes mistakes sometimes—the important thing is communicating your concerns clearly so you can both make safer choices for your health.
It may also be necessary for both parties to get tested again prior to beginning FWB relations, but that decision should be made by mutual consent.
Rule 3: Open Communication
This is one of your most important rules. You may have to remind each other several times per week; you should never assume that your partner can read your mind.
As obvious as it sounds, make sure you clearly discuss what is and isn’t okay before anything happens.
And even if you’ve done it a thousand times, bring up new topics on occasion so that neither of you becomes complacent about safety or comfort issues.
Also read: 20 Benefits of friends with benefits
Rule 4: Create sense of freedom and independency
It’s completely fine for someone to say No. If they’re not comfortable or uncertain, you can wait and revisit a particular conversation in a few weeks.
Some people like to schedule FWB encounters during low-pressure times, like when they know they won’t be busy or have other priorities.
However, if you need each other on a regular basis, make sure you consider how long of an absence is too long—some people will appreciate consistency while others may prefer you come back quickly rather than risk losing contact.
You might want to set aside regular times so that one person isn’t always initiating contact or always waiting around hoping their partner will initiate something.
Rule 5: Don’t get hung up on labels
You don’t have to identify as FWB partners; it’s okay if you say fuck buddies or just plain old s#x buddies.
The point is that you shouldn’t feel like you’re confined by a label unless you want one.
It may be tempting to share your exciting news, but it can also lead to awkward conversations and hurt feelings. In fact, it’s better not to tell anyone else at all.
Your s#xual life is something private between only you and your partner. Don’t confuse intimacy with familiarity—your FWB partner should remain mysterious.
Know that these are suggestions and every person has their own boundaries, which they’re fully within their rights to set as they see fit.
Rule 6: Trust and Respect each other
You shouldn’t force yourself on anyone. If they don’t want to do something, respect their wishes.
This can be difficult if you’re not used to hearing No, but remember that it’s much better for everyone involved if you just drop it instead of forcing a choice between compliance and walking away.
After all, respect is fundamental for any type of s#xual interaction—if you’re being disrespectful then you need to reevaluate what kind of person you want to be in relationships. Everyone deserves a great s#xual life, so make sure that’s what you’re giving them.
Rule 7: Don’t forget about birth control
I’ve already covered it a bit above, but you need to make sure everyone is safe and healthy. Everyone’s body responds differently to different forms of birth control, so you should be ready for whatever happens.
The most important thing is that you discuss your options and understand what each other’s limits are.
You might want some backup protection just in case one of you forgets or messes up. It’s always a good idea for either party to have a Plan B method if they don’t use any form of birth control—that way neither person is too exposed if something goes wrong.
Rule 8: Create boundaries
Part of healthy FWB relationships is respecting one another’s comfort levels and being receptive to your partner(s). You may want to draw a few lines in advance so that you can talk about why you’re making those requests.
If it’s something simple like an only kiss, no strings attached, or only while sober then it’s not a big deal.
However, if your request goes beyond behavior (like respecting my needs) then you should explain why that level of commitment isn’t appropriate for a FWB scenario.
Discussing specific things will keep everyone on track and hopefully prevent any conflicts down the road! Of course, respect only goes so far—if someone wants more than they signed up for then they have every right to back out.
Rule 9: Be Honest and stay loyal
Don’t let things fall through the cracks. You’re responsible for setting up expectations and making sure your partner understands what you want.
This can prevent a lot of frustration and miscommunication.
Instead of leaving things unsaid, have honest communication about what you do and don’t want in terms of s#x, romance, touch, appearance, and more.
Remember that even non-romantic FWB relationships require some level of intimacy—if you aren’t an affectionate person then it’s okay to tell your partner.
There’s no pressure to be touchy-feely or anything like that; just be honest about your needs so that everyone has a good time.
Also read: Why do friends with benefits end?
Rule 10: Think clearly about why you’d want a FWB in your life
Ultimately, every FWB is unique. Are you and/or your partner(s) just wanting to explore some new kinks or are looking for a long-term committed connection?
Don’t forget that it’s possible to mix both of these things into one partnership.
You’ll also need to evaluate what level of commitment and care is best for everyone involved.
It might be easier on your mental health if you choose less intimacy—some people struggle greatly with emotions.
That’s fine too. Only do what works for you and make sure everyone understands how things work.
Don’t underestimate chemistry and don’t pressure yourself into something that doesn’t feel right; s#x should always be amazing regardless of who it’s with.
Rule 11: No personal judgements and jealousy
Whether it’s a one-night stand or a committed partnership, some people may find themselves falling for their FWB.
It’s hard to predict whether an FWB will blossom into something serious; all you can do is enjoy what you have and pay attention when love comes knocking.
Don’t get jealous if your partner tries to initiate something with someone else.
Jealousy is normal for any type of intimate relationship but lets me say that AGAIN: Do not let jealousy dictate what happens in your life.
If anything, jealousy could make things better by encouraging more communication and setting new boundaries.
Ask yourself why you’re feeling so threatened by your friend becoming friendly with others and use that information to find ways to cope until it doesn’t hurt anymore.
Rule 12: No cheating
Yes, you can have multiple FWB relationships but that doesn’t mean you can suddenly cross your boundaries.
For example, if you told your partner(s) that s#x and romantic affection were off-limits, don’t let a little offline attraction get in your way.
Of course, some situations are more complicated than others—if someone wants an exclusive commitment then it’s entirely up to them if they’ll pursue something else outside of their relationship(s).
If anything, it’s rude to ignore someone’s feelings for months or years on end; we’re only human and attraction is powerful.
Just make sure everyone knows what kind of FWB agreement exists so that there are no unwanted surprises.
Rule 13: Don’t create any unhealthy emotional attachment to your FWBR
It’s probably obvious by now but FWB relationships should always stay fun and free from expectations or obligations. No matter how much you enjoy someone’s company, it’s possible to get too attached if you let yourself.
This can cause a lot of problems—if things go south then feelings can get hurt and friendships can be damaged. Of course, relationships often run into tough spots but that doesn’t mean you have to break up with a friend.
Instead, there are ways for everyone involved to cool down before pushing forward again; try changing things up or setting new rules/boundaries that work for everyone involved.
Rule 14: Ask yourself if your intentions are clear
If your friend is confused by what you’re after when talking to them online, ask yourself why that might be. Are you being too vague? Are they unsure of where exactly things stand between you two?
It can also help to consider whether or not it would make sense for your friendship to advance from here. On some level, relationships do evolve naturally over time—but not always in every situation.
Be realistic about where you stand with each other so that when one of you makes a move towards something more serious, no one feels backed into a corner against their will…and please try to keep things friendly.
Rule 15: Have fun
FWB arrangements are fun for many different reasons, but it’s important not to lose sight of why you started in the first place.
Whether you’re seeking a romantic partner for casual hookups or an intimate friend who can share your life’s joys and sorrows, take advantage of being single and start making new memories today.
And if things don’t work out? Well that’s okay too—you can always find someone else and try again tomorrow. Friends with benefits relationships aren’t just a fun way to explore your s#xuality.
They’re also a means of discovering something new about yourself. Enjoy FWBR. Enjoy your friends with benefits while you can.
Friends with benefits relationships are great but they don’t last forever. Keep things casual and try not to complicate things; make sure that both of you are happy and make it clear when it’s time for your arrangement to end.
It might be tempting to start making plans after your breakup but don’t do it. Letting FWBR run its course is best for everyone involved—don’t let a breakup ruin friendships for good or change up an agreement just because you think you need more time together.
And if someone tries to pressure you into starting a relationship, politely decline their offer and keep things as casual as possible; once FWBR ends, no one will ever know.
Rule 16: Don’t ask personal questions and don’t share personal life
One of the best friends with benefits rules is, whether you’re close or just getting started, one of your boundaries needs to be no sharing anything about yourself that you wouldn’t mind being printed on a billboard.
While it might not seem like a big deal, spilling personal details can leave you vulnerable.
What if something happens between you two and things go bad?
How much information do they have about you?
Is that information easily accessible by other people or sites?
Trust is key in FWB relationships—without it, s#x won’t feel as good.
Rule 17: Use protection
S#x is hot but unprotected s#x can be dangerous, especially if you’re not 100% sure about your partner’s s#xual history.
If you’re sleeping with someone new, cond#ms are absolutely essential—and it doesn’t matter if they’re on birth control or monogamous, protecting both of you from unwanted surprises is always smart.
Don’t forget that there are tons of s#xually transmitted infections that don’t show any symptoms for weeks or months—that’s a long time to be stuck in limbo wondering whether your best friend gave you something seriously nasty.
And please do yourself a favor and get tested regularly; in many states, it’s now possible to access testing at local clinics without even seeing a doctor and many physicians will give free tests based on age or income.
Also read: Why friends with benefits is bad?
Rule 18: Set up a safety plan together
When one or both of you have decided that FWB arrangements aren’t for you, there will come a time when you need to cut things off.
It’s important to sit down and talk about how it’ll go down because breaking up can be messy—there are always feelings involved.
To make sure that everything goes smoothly, pick a safe word and agree on some basic rules for your breakup.
For example, maybe you decide that neither of you can contact each other for two weeks after everything ends so that one person doesn’t overstep their boundaries and ruin an ex’s life.
Rule 19: Learn how to break up
There are two main options for handling a breakup and both of them have their perks and pitfalls. One way is to stay casual—once you’ve agreed that FWB arrangements aren’t for you, simply talk less often and gradually let each other go.
Asking someone out on another date or asking them if they want to hang out after class can make it seem like your relationship is going somewhere, even when it’s not.
The problem with letting things fizzle out naturally is that you run a serious risk of accidentally stepping over your boundaries and crossing into stalker territory. Fortunately, there’s a second option.
Rule 20: Stay safe while breaking up
If you’ve made a commitment not to contact each other for two weeks then it’s essential that you honor that agreement—your safety is more important than social media wars or hurt feelings. It’s crucial to keep your guard up and not accidentally slip-up.
One of you might try calling or texting to say goodnight after a night out but if you’ve already agreed on staying quiet, there’s no excuse for breaking your boundaries. Think about it—if someone tries calling or texting after agreeing not to, what does that tell you?
Also read: How to make friends with benefits work?
Rule 21: Be smart about social media
Social media can be a great tool for keeping in touch, but it’s not perfect—there are lots of ways to get your heart broken and a few ways to backtrack.
After an FWB breakup, especially if you’ve promised not to contact each other for two weeks, it’s easy to accidentally let yourself slip up. It might seem like no big deal but once either of you breaks that agreement, things will go downhill fast.
The longer you keep your guard up, the better; make sure that neither of you gets carried away on Snapchat or Facebook because there’s always a chance that someone will post something inappropriate.
One person could send a sensitive message and before long both of you have seen too much.
Rule 22: No addiction for s#x
So, you’ve agreed not to contact each other for two weeks and everything seems great—there’s a chance that one of you might try contacting other flings during that time, however. It can be hard to resist.
No matter how much you miss having intimacy, you need to hold on. Never be obsessed or get addicted to s#x.
That’s because FWB breakups are tricky; just when things are at their most delicate, it’s easy for one person to step over their boundaries by sending an accidental text or calling too late at night to meet together.
So, it’s better to be in control and make yourself firm to avoid having any unhealthy behaviors.
Also read: What do friends with benefits do together?
Rule 23: create a no contact rule after FWB break up
Let’s say that you’ve made an agreement about not contacting each other after a breakup. While it might be tempting to ask someone out or chat them up in class, remember that you’ve already decided that FWB isn’t for you.
If someone gets in touch and reminds you of how amazing they are, all it’ll take is one text or one call for your heart to get broken again.
Instead of asking someone out on another date or contacting them in any way, just stick to your guns and let them go.
For example, maybe you decide that neither of you can contact each other for two weeks after everything ends so that one person doesn’t overstep their boundaries and ruin an ex’s life.
Rule 24: Set a clear contract before you start FWBR
Friends with benefits can be really fun but there’s one big problem—if someone makes a move then things could get complicated, fast.
It’s essential that everyone is on the same page and that there are set boundaries. If someone breaks those rules then they could ruin your relationship and it could take months for you both to rebuild trust.
The best way to prevent problems is by creating an agreement—that way no one will break their word and hurt your chances of friendship in the future.
Make sure you decide how often you’ll see each other, what days work best, what happens if either of you wants more or less, who pays for dates etc.
Rule 25: Don’t make plans for a FWB breakup
You might be tempted to make plans for after your breakup but don’t! If you have an arrangement that says you’ll only see each other on weekends then just leave it at that; don’t try and suggest more time.
Just because FWBR has come to an end doesn’t mean that you need to stop hanging out or return every text instantly—take it slow and if things change, they’ll change naturally.
The worst thing that could happen is that someone accidentally pushes for more than FWBR and ruins a friendship for no reason. That’s why your best option is keeping things as they are; accept your agreement, respect it and move on.
Rule 26: Keep your FWBR secretive
Keep FWBR private. As much as you might want to talk about your FWB, keep it a secret! Your close friends and family might think it’s pretty awesome that you’re having casual s#x but they don’t need details and they definitely don’t need pictures.
This is between you and your FWB partner; no one else needs to know what goes on behind closed doors. Keeping it under wraps means that nobody can ruin things for you or accidentally put their foot in their mouth, if things go wrong.
It also means that nobody has expectations about who did what when; FWBR should be simple and uncomplicated so making out with each other doesn’t have consequences.
Treat FWBR like a secret and don’t talk about it in public! This is especially important if you’re currently in an exclusive or serious relationship.
Nothing could spell a death sentence for a monogamous relationship faster than one of your exes knowing about your ongoing FWBR.
Even if you think it’s completely unconnected, that doesn’t mean that other people won’t judge; try not to let things slip. Your FWBR is personal so keep it between you and your FWB partner.
Also read: What to do when friends with benefits ends?
Rule 27: No Forced Intimacy
FWBR is a personal choice that is only right for certain people.
You might think that FWBR could lead to something more meaningful but don’t pressure yourself or your FWB partner; if you’re not ready then you’re not ready and forcing it won’t work.
Just because FWBR sounds like a good idea doesn’t mean it will be; keep in mind that you have other options and try not to put unrealistic expectations on your FWB partnership.
If there’s no spark then there’s no spark, accept it and move on—you’ll find someone who shares your FWBR views.
Make sure you enjoy yourselves but don’t try and force intimacy; if things aren’t going well then stop seeing each other before things get messy.
Rule 28: No Exclusivity
FWBR should be uncomplicated, casual, and free of expectations. It’s your time for a bit of fun; don’t make it any more complicated than that.
Don’t make plans for another date or see each other on particular days—if you want to hang out then just do it.
The point of FWBR is spontaneity and enjoying casual fun without unnecessary restrictions so just relax and go with it.
If things go wrong you can always start a new arrangement but if things are going well, don’t ruin a good thing by putting too much pressure on it.
Also read: Types of friends with benefits
Rule 29: Prepare for emotional damage or heart breaks
FWBR can feel pretty intense at times but it shouldn’t make you question yourself! If someone says no then they’re not right for FWBR and that’s okay.
This isn’t a lifelong commitment so if you don’t want to continue seeing each other, just move on. Don’t sit there and start making excuses; if they don’t want FWBR, then there’s no point in dragging things out.
Treat it like any other friendship—sometimes people drift apart, just let your FWB partner go and try again somewhere else.
Rule 30: End your FWBR before it gets too serious
No matter how good things are going, don’t let them get serious! If things are going well, try and end things on a positive note.
Just because you’re FWBR partners doesn’t mean that there’s anything more meaningful than s#x; if you want to keep things casual then don’t introduce any strings.
Keep in mind that relationships aren’t always as clear-cut as they seem; just because you’ve shared a few laughs together doesn’t mean that there’s a relationship going on.
Unless explicitly stated otherwise, there’s no reason why two people shouldn’t enjoy FWBR—don’t let feelings of guilt or obligation ruin what could be something special.
In conclusion, Friends with benefits rules can help you navigate a successful and fulfilling FWB experience.
Now that you’ve got an idea of what’s involved, start putting together your own list of FWBR rules and stop waiting around.
Most importantly: Be clear on what your intentions are before you get involved—there’s no point in FWBR if one partner wants something more than just s#x. If you’re honest about it then there’s no reason why FWBR can’t be fun and rewarding.
Just remember that while some do find their true love via FWBR, others struggle to find someone willing or suitable for casual fun so don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
The rules of Friends with benefits relationship are quite simple. You can extend those rules however you like but they’re good enough to start with. Finally, relax and enjoy yourself! Follow these rules and you won’t regret it.