How to make friends with benefits work? (15 Tips and rules)

Friends with benefits (FWB) is usually a short-term fling, and many of them don’t even last that long.

However, there are FWB relationships that do manage to become something more over time – depending on the definition of more in your situation.

Either way, it can be tricky navigating FWB territory: you need to decide whether or not you want something serious but don’t want to scare off your partner by moving too fast.

If it turns out things aren’t working out for whatever reason, you have extra challenges because FWB is supposed to be discreet relationships after all.

And if it does turn into a full-fledged relationship. Well, let’s just say there are still a lot of kinks to work out. ​But despite how complicated relationships can get, How to make friends with benefits work?

Also read: Your complete guide to friends with benefits relationship

If you’re in a FWB situation and things are getting complicated, then don’t be afraid to put your foot down.

If he or she is really worth your time and energy, they’ll understand that it’s best for you two to go back to being platonic.

And if he or she is not willing to do that, then it was probably never meant to be anyways.

On the other hand, if you want more out of your FWB situation but he or she isn’t into it at all, take a step back and evaluate whether or not you really should continue pursuing them.

This may sound harsh but if they don’t see what’s so great about you, why waste any more time on them

How to make friends with benefits work?

rules to make friends with benefits work How to make friends with benefits work? (15 Tips and rules)

Making a FWB situation work is all about good communication and trust. You both have needs, and you both have desires – there’s no way around it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t satisfy them together.

As long as both partners are on board with what’s going on and consent – things should be fine.

With that said, I highly recommend being honest and clear from day one: Talk about what you’re looking for from each other (don’t be vague or too optimistic);

Set boundaries (they are vital in FWBs!);

Set rules if needed/wanted and try not to bend them unless agreed upon by both parties.

Also read: What are friends with benefits?

For example, if having s#x without a cond#m is off-limits for you – let your partner know before anything happens (this applies to both men and women).

If you don’t feel comfortable sleeping over at their place because of your roommate(s), find another time to hang out instead.

It helps when you remind yourself that s#x isn’t everything; even non-s#xual activities like hiking, cooking, or just hanging out while watching movies together make great ways of spending time with someone special – so make sure everyone feels included.

One important thing to keep in mind when trying to achieve harmony between two people is mutual respect – or lack thereof.

In any type of relationship, whether it’s romantic or platonic, an absence of healthy relationships spells doom.

No matter what you do for a living or where you live (city vs country folk may relate better to different types of relationships) finding common ground with others takes effort and deliberate communication.

Also read: What does FWB mean? (Complete guide)

And just like any endeavor worth doing, establishing genuine friendships takes time – including getting used to each other’s quirks and habits.

In order to get things started in a healthy manner – take some time out before moving forward.

Think about why you want to start up such a relationship in the first place? What do you gain from that?

Is it companionship? S#x only? Can you handle possible emotional entanglements? What do you expect from a potential friend with benefits? Do you really need friendship right now or will s#xual encounters suffice?

Remember, focusing on friendships works best when there are shared interests involved: hobbies, career goals, etc. can bring people closer together and help build lasting bonds.

So next time when considering entering into s#xual relationship remember these key points that’ll save you tons of headaches down the road – which will ultimately lead to a more fulfilling experience.

Forgetting these simple pointers makes it much easier for misunderstandings to rear their ugly heads later.

Through effective communication, we learn how to forgive those who have offended us – and by forgiving we remove those who cause pain from our hearts forever.

Truly forgiving someone can be very difficult when you’ve been hurt by that person, however, it is a powerful choice that can improve your life and health. There are many benefits to making forgiveness a priority.

Let go of anger and bitterness, accept what cannot be changed, seek to understand instead of condemning – every day in every way become that person you were meant to be.

Also read: 100+ Questions to ask your friends with benefits

The problem with having a FWBs is that it can sometimes be hard to figure out whether they will last or not.

As you can see, there are many different aspects that go into successfully maintaining a FWB, but if you don’t make your expectations clear upfront, things can quickly get messy.

Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that any two people will want exactly the same thing from their friend-with-benefits so it’s important to be open and honest about your desires and intentions from day one.

There’s no way around it – planning is crucial! The more time you spend talking things through before entering into an FWB situation, the more likely you are to stay out of trouble.

This is especially true if you’re both only interested in short-term fun and are thus willing to accept that nothing serious will happen between you two.

But since things never go according to plan, what do you do when one person wants more than just an FWB while their partner doesn’t seem like they want anything else other than some quick fun?

If you find yourself in such a situation, then try talking about your different goals and expectations upfront.

Also read: Can friends with benefits turn into a relationship?

Before starting a FWB, it’s important that you two talk things through and make sure that everyone understands what they can expect from one another.

If you’re just looking for an occasional hookup or you don’t know exactly how often you want to meet up, it’s important that your expectations are laid out clearly.

Be sure to discuss who is in charge of calling and setting up dates. You don’t want either of you feeling awkward when someone makes a move and nobody else knows where they stand.

Also, never set yourself up for rejection by expecting something from your friend-with-benefits if he/she hasn’t already expressed interest in that activity.

This type of relationship is all about respecting boundaries so be sure to stay within your comfort zone at all times!

15 Ultimate Tips and rules to make friends with benefits work:

tips to make friends with benefits work How to make friends with benefits work? (15 Tips and rules)

Here are some tips to keep things simple when going for a friends-with-benefits scenario and make things work.

1. Expectations.

It all starts with having realistic expectations.

If the expectation of your date always exceeds what he/she has to offer, then don’t be surprised if he/she turns out to be an awful dater or even worse, there is no second date.

Try as much as possible to lower your expectations and look at each person on a case-by-case basis because each one comes with its own set of idiosyncrasies.

And if you do find yourself having higher expectations than what most can deliver upon, make sure that you tone it down before it becomes a problem for everyone else around you.

Also read: 20+ signs your fwb is over

2. Goals

So what is your ultimate goal? Do you have anything specific in mind when looking for love? Is it marriage?

Or do you simply want a life partner or someone to live with as your significant other? Or are you just going out and trying to hook up every now and then? 

If you know where exactly you’re headed, then things will certainly be easier for you because there won’t be any confusion about what kind of date would suit your needs best.

But if that’s not true, then don’t worry.

All you need to do is make sure that you have some idea of what you are looking for so that in case you miss out on something important, it doesn’t feel like such a huge disappointment or heartbreak.

For example: if getting married soon is your top priority, then never ever get involved with anyone who has no intention of settling down anytime soon; regardless of how hot he/she may be.

That person might end up being a good companion…but they definitely aren’t going to add ‘Mr./Mrs. Right!’ to your list of potential partners. 

Having said that, once you have settled upon your own list of expectations, go ahead and check whether they match those of your prospective dates so that there isn’t much room for misunderstandings later.

Misunderstandings can really harm relationships in their early stages.

Also read: What to do when friends with benefits ends?

3. Don’t rush into it!

Let us face it; finding love is hard work. It can also take quite a bit of time too. Don’t expect yourself to find someone special instantly because chances are high that you might run into more than one dead-end along your way.

I agree wholeheartedly with people who say that patience is everything when searching for your one true soul mate.

Perhaps that is why most singles these days prefer online dating sites because it gives them an outlet from real-world dating pressures and allows them to focus on themselves not the opposite s#x all day long.

You don’t even have to try hard anymore – whenever you are ready for a little distraction, log onto your favorite dating site and start messaging away until your heart’s content. Isn’t that easy? Just be patient enough, while waiting for responses and eventually, one will come through. 

4. Take precautions.

There’s nothing worse than falling head over heels in love with someone only to find out weeks later that they are already attached.

In fact, falling victim to someone’s lies might hurt you almost as much as losing your loved ones at a young age.

Therefore, please remember to use protection each and every time you have s#x and above all else, keep both parties aware of any status changes before you hop into bed.

5. Remain loyal

Whether you’ve been together for a few months or years, loyalty is one of those key traits that women are looking for in a man.

Of course, you should be loyal to your girlfriend and boyfriend as well! However, do note that no matter what happens between you two.

It is NEVER okay to cheat on someone! For example, if you see your better half talking to someone and sparks seem to be flying everywhere.

This might be a sign that they are interested in them. Don’t jump to conclusions immediately though.

As long as they are acting respectfully towards one another and haven’t made any moves yet, then there is no reason for alarm.

Also read: What do friends with benefits do together?

6. Be open, be honest and communicate your expectations

Let potential partners know what you’re looking for, who you are, and what you can offer (or not). 

Being straight up is crucial in FWBs relationships: trust and honesty are two essential elements in any meaningful friendship or romantic partnership.

Where these two values aren’t present, a lot of confusion can ensue which then leads to pain and disappointment.

Don’t let things go sour from misinterpretations or confusion that could have been easily avoided had communication lines been clear from day one.

If a partner wants more than just s#x – for example – a good friend who enjoys engaging in various activities together such as hiking, rock climbing etc. Great.

7. Bring up boundaries and be clear about your needs

Talk about your feelings, desires, and expectations without being coy or cagey. If you’re not interested in a committed relationship, but rather just a casual s#xual encounter from time to time, that’s ok.

You don’t have to pretend otherwise or even lie – it’s not good to lead someone on. Be open and honest.

Explain what you want and make sure they know what they’re getting into before you start seeing each other in an intimate way.

Give them ample opportunity to decline if they feel uncomfortable with either your expectations or what you are looking for/offering within the friendship.

There’s no shame in exploring things casually if that’s all either of you is looking for.

Also read: What happens after friends with benefits ends?

8. Be in touch

Don’t make plans at the last minute. Inform your potential partner if you’re going to be late or change plans at least 24 hours in advance; no one likes being stood up or put off.

If a date/meetup is going well, let your friend know and make it clear that you’re interested in seeing them again soon.

Suggest getting together for another outing/event/etc.; ask about their availability, interests, and schedule: do they have time to meet up next week? Would they like to go on an overnight trip sometime? A vacation? Great!

9. Safety First

Even if it seems obvious, make sure both parties agree to use protection – there’s no need for additional risk; be upfront about your own s#xual history and ask about theirs as well: don’t assume or jump into things without knowing what you’re dealing with first.

If you’ve been previously diagnosed with a s#xually transmitted infection (STI) or disease, disclose that information prior to any s#xual contact/intercourse.

Let them know what steps you’ve taken already (if applicable) as well as when your last STI test was – they’ll want to know. It’s always better to tell than not.

Also read: 15 Pros and cons of friends with benefits

10. Be cautious

Make sure to meet up in a public place or at least somewhere you feel comfortable/safe/comfortable – even if both of you are on common and friendly terms, it never hurts to be safe.

Also, know your surroundings – make sure that there are people around who can potentially help if anything goes wrong; go out in groups: don’t walk home alone together after midnight if that’s not something either of you usually does (etc.).

Don’t take risks, no matter how small they might seem: stay alert, stay sober and don’t do anything unless you’re positive and confident it’s what you really want.

11. A clean break can be painful, but also necessary

If you’ve had a great time together, but your feelings don’t seem to be on par with theirs, let them know.

Don’t prolong things if you’re really not interested or something is off: don’t ignore their texts or avoid them at all costs – just politely tell them it was fun and that you’d like some space.

If they want something more serious and you don’t reciprocate their feelings, respect their boundaries and wishes by ending things; it’s not fair or honest to keep someone waiting while you figure out what exactly it is that you want.

12. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If something does go wrong, you’re unsure about what’s going on or you think your friendship is in trouble – talk it out.

Set aside time and space for a meeting of minds and discuss how you each feel: are both of you having fun? If not, why? Are they getting frustrated? Do they need more time?

Don’t be afraid to get in touch. There’s no shame in communicating openly with your friend, so don’t hold back – just remember that good communication starts with YOU: don’t assume anything, say it as it is and set boundaries (if necessary) – whatever works best for both of you.

Also read: Types of friends with benefits

13. Stay true to yourself

Remember that you are not obligated to anything and that both of you are free agents: if you meet someone else, don’t feel bad about moving on.

Be honest in your actions, keep communicating your feelings and stay open-minded – don’t be afraid of change or putting yourself out there.

If it doesn’t work out, there’s no reason for things to get messy! You’re adults – try and act like it and again.

Don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there! Just because someone isn’t looking for something serious right now doesn’t mean they won’t later down the road: great friendships often blossom into wonderful relationships.

14. Take care of yourself

If things don’t work out, no matter what, try and keep a good perspective: you are in control of your life and all your emotions; it’s important that you realize it’s alright to be sad or upset but it’s also okay to move on and feel happy again.

Do something nice for yourself as well: treat yourself, pamper yourself or hang out with some close friends for some quality time – sometimes we just need someone else who cares about us (in a different way) for a change.

Don’t stay down too long, there is always something fun waiting just around the corner.

15. Have fun

Don’t take things too seriously: even if you’re in a serious situation, be sure to keep your sense of humor. No matter what happens, laughter is always good medicine

With these tips and a little bit of luck, your friends with benefits experience will be something you can laugh about later down the road.

If you ever have any questions or doubts: don’t hesitate to ask them below and I’ll do my best to answer as soon as possible.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, do your research, think about what you want in advance and be true to yourself: if it feels wrong – even if it hurts – then perhaps it’s not for you?

Try not to take things too seriously and just enjoy yourself (at least for a little while). Have fun.

Also read: Stages of friends with benefits

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Naveen Bommakanti

Naveen is Experienced Psychology and philosophy Writer, self-help and relationship Coach and thought influencer. He has 7 years of experience in Personal development industry.

Naveen’s expertise as a self-help and relationship Coach has been highlighted through his articles in medium and substack to name a few.

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