While FWB relationships can be fulfilling and enjoyable for some people, they can also come with a range of challenges and potential risks that are often overlooked.
There are numerous psychological effects of FWB relationships that they can have a profound impact on our emotional and mental well-being.
In this blog post, I will explore 50 psychological effects of friends with benefits relationship that are rarely discussed by experts. From attachment styles and jealousy to trust issues and emotional impact.
We will examine the many ways in which FWB relationships can affect our mental and emotional health.
Whether you are currently in an FWB relationship or considering entering one, this post will provide valuable insights and practical tips for navigating the complexities of this type of relationship.
So, let’s dive in and explore the fascinating psychological effects of friends with benefits!
50 Psychological effects of friends with benefits
The following is a list of psychological effects of friends with benefits (FWB relationship)
1. Increased risk of attachment and emotional dependence:
One of the biggest risks of a friends with benefits (FWB) relationship is the potential for attachment and emotional dependence.
Despite the fact that the relationship is meant to be casual and non-committal, it’s not uncommon for one or both partners to develop feelings of attachment and longing.
This can be especially true for people who struggle with issues of abandonment or attachment in their lives.
In some cases, this attachment can lead to feelings of jealousy, possessiveness, and even emotional distress when the relationship ends.
This is because the brain releases chemicals like oxytocin and dopamine during sexual activity that can create a sense of attachment and bonding, even in a casual relationship.
For example, imagine a situation where two friends decide to become FWBs. At first, everything seems great – they have fun together and enjoy the physical connection.
However, over time, one of them starts to develop deeper feelings for the other.
They may start to feel jealous when the other person goes on dates with other people or they may start to feel emotionally distant when they’re not together.
This can create a lot of stress and anxiety, especially if the other person isn’t feeling the same way.
2. Conflicting expectations and goals can cause stress:
Another potential issue with FWB relationships is conflicting expectations and goals.
When two people enter into a casual sexual relationship, they may have different ideas about what it means and what they want out of it.
For example, one person may see it as a way to explore their sexuality and have fun without commitment, while the other may be looking for a deeper emotional connection but is afraid to commit to a full relationship.
This can create a lot of stress and tension, especially if one person starts to feel like they’re not getting what they want out of the relationship.
3. Difficulty establishing and maintaining intimacy outside of sex:
In an FWB relationship, the focus is often on the physical aspect of the relationship rather than the emotional or psychological aspects.
This can make it difficult to establish and maintain intimacy outside of sex.
For example, if two people are only seeing each other for sex, they may not know how to talk about their feelings or share their thoughts and emotions with each other.
This can create a sense of distance and isolation, even when they’re physically intimate.
4. Potential for jealousy and competition with other partners:
Another risk of an FWB relationship is the potential for jealousy and competition with other partners.
If one or both partners are seeing other people while also engaging in an FWB relationship, it can create a sense of competition and jealousy that can be difficult to manage.
For example, if one person is seeing other people while also having sex with their FWB, the other person may start to feel jealous and insecure.
They may start to wonder if the other person is more attracted to someone else or if they’re not good enough to be the only person the other person is seeing.
5. Potential for negative impact on self-esteem and self-worth:
Engaging in an FWB relationship can also have a negative impact on self-esteem and self-worth.
This is especially true if one person starts to feel like they’re not good enough to be in a real relationship or if they start to feel like they’re not meeting the other person’s needs.
For example, if someone is only engaging in sex with their FWB because they don’t feel attractive enough to be in a real relationship, it can create a sense of self-doubt and negative self-talk.
This can be damaging to their mental health and can make it more difficult to form healthy relationships in the future.
6. Difficulty ending the relationship:
Ending an FWB relationship can be difficult, especially if one or both partners have developed feelings of attachment or emotional dependence.
It can be tempting to continue the relationship even if it’s no longer healthy or fulfilling.
For example, if one person wants to end the FWB relationship but the other person doesn’t, it can create a sense of guilt and anxiety.
The person who wants to end the relationship may feel like they’re hurting the other person, while the other person may feel rejected and abandoned.
7. Potential for misunderstandings and miscommunications:
In any relationship, misunderstandings and miscommunications can be a challenge.
In an FWB relationship, where the focus is often on the physical aspect of the relationship, it can be even more difficult to communicate effectively.
For example, if one person wants to see the other person more often or if they want to establish more emotional intimacy, but they’re afraid to communicate their feelings, it can create confusion and tension in the relationship.
8. Difficulty maintaining boundaries:
Maintaining boundaries is a key aspect of any healthy relationship, but it can be particularly challenging in an FWB relationship.
It can be difficult to separate the physical aspect of the relationship from the emotional or psychological aspects, which can make it hard to establish and maintain boundaries.
For example, if one person wants to establish more boundaries around when and where they have sex or if they want to establish more emotional boundaries, it can be difficult to communicate those boundaries effectively without causing tension in the relationship.
9. Potential for sexual health risks:
Engaging in sexual activity always carries a risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancy.
In an FWB relationship, where partners may not know each other’s sexual history or may not feel comfortable discussing sexual health, the risk can be even higher.
For example, if one person assumes that the other person is using protection or has been tested for STIs, but they haven’t, it can lead to the spread of infection or unwanted pregnancy.
10. Difficulty maintaining other relationships:
Maintaining an FWB relationship can be time-consuming and emotionally draining, which can make it difficult to maintain other relationships.
This can include friendships, family relationships, or even romantic relationships with other people.
For example, if one person is spending all their free time with their FWB, they may not have as much time or energy to devote to other relationships. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
11. Potential for power imbalances:
In any relationship, there is a potential for power imbalances to develop.
In an FWB relationship, where the focus is often on the physical aspect of the relationship, these imbalances can be even more pronounced.
For example, if one person has more sexual experience or is more assertive in their sexual desires, they may be more likely to control the sexual dynamic in the relationship.
This can create a sense of powerlessness and vulnerability in the other person.
12. Difficulty establishing emotional connection:
While physical intimacy is a key aspect of any FWB relationship, establishing emotional connection can be more challenging.
This is because the relationship is often focused on the physical aspect of the relationship rather than the emotional or psychological aspects.
For example, if one person wants to establish more emotional connection with their FWB but the other person is resistant, it can create a sense of distance and frustration.
13. Difficulty balancing physical and emotional needs:
Balancing physical and emotional needs can be a challenge in any relationship, but it can be particularly challenging in an FWB relationship.
This is because the focus is often on the physical aspect of the relationship rather than the emotional or psychological aspects.
For example, if one person wants more emotional intimacy but the other person is more interested in the physical aspect of the relationship, it can create a sense of tension and imbalance.
It’s important to communicate openly about each person’s needs and desires in the relationship in order to find a balance that works for both partners.
14. Difficulty transitioning to a romantic relationship:
While some FWB relationships may transition to a romantic relationship, this can be a difficult and delicate process.
It can be hard to transition from a relationship that is primarily focused on physical intimacy to one that involves emotional intimacy as well.
For example, if one person develops romantic feelings for the other but the other person doesn’t feel the same way, it can create a sense of rejection and disappointment.
It’s important to communicate openly and honestly about each person’s feelings and desires in order to navigate this transition as smoothly as possible.
15. Potential for long-term emotional impact:
Engaging in an FWB relationship can have long-term emotional impacts, especially if one or both partners develop strong feelings of attachment or emotional dependence.
It can be difficult to let go of a relationship that has been meaningful and fulfilling, even if it’s no longer healthy or sustainable.
For example, if one person develops strong feelings for their FWB but the other person is unable or unwilling to reciprocate, it can create a sense of heartbreak and loss.
It’s important to be mindful of the potential emotional impact of an FWB relationship and to prioritize self-care and emotional well-being throughout the relationship and beyond.
Here are some more psychological effects of friends with benefits relationship:
Effects of friends with benefits
The following are a few Negative effects of friends with benefits:
16. May cause confusion and uncertainty about the nature of the relationship.
17. Can trigger unresolved emotional issues from past relationships.
18. Can lead to a sense of ambivalence towards commitment and monogamy.
19. May create a sense of emotional disconnection during sex.
20. Can cause difficulty in distinguishing between genuine care and sexual desire.
21. May lead to the use of sex as a coping mechanism for stress and anxiety.
22. Can result in a lack of clarity about the boundaries of the relationship.
23. May create a sense of pressure to perform sexually.
24. Can create feelings of guilt and shame for engaging in casual sex with a friend.
25. Can create a sense of obligation to continue the relationship even when not desired.
26. Can cause emotional pain and hurt when the relationship ends.
27. May result in the loss of a valued friendship.
28. Can lead to a sense of regret and disappointment in the relationship.
29. Can interfere with personal growth and self-discovery.
30. Can lead to a sense of addiction and dependence on the physical pleasure.
Disadvantages of friends with benefits
Here is a list of cons and disadvantages of friends with benefits that affect psychologically:
31. May create a power imbalance and lead to one partner feeling used.
32. May perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes and societal expectations regarding sex and relationships..
33. Can reinforce the idea that women are objects for male sexual gratification.
34. May lead to the objectification and devaluation of the partner.
35. May lead to the neglect of emotional and mental health in favor of physical pleasure.
36. Can result in a lack of commitment and accountability in the relationship.
37. May create a sense of emotional numbness and detachment from the partner.
38. Can result in a lack of respect for boundaries and consent.
39. May lead to emotional burnout and exhaustion from maintaining the relationship.
40. May cause confusion and uncertainty about the intentions and expectations of the partner.
Dangers of friends with benefits that affect psychologically
These are some more dangers of friends with benefits relationship that affect psychologically:
41. Can perpetuate harmful stereotypes about casual sex and non-monogamous relationships.
42. May lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation from friends and family.
43. Can create a sense of guilt and shame for not conforming to societal norms and expectations.
44. May result in a lack of emotional intimacy and support during difficult times.
45. Can create a sense of pressure to hide the relationship from others.
46. May lead to a sense of resentment and frustration towards the partner.
47. Can result in a lack of communication and understanding about each other’s needs and desires.
48. May lead to a sense of dissatisfaction and boredom in the relationship.
49. Can create a sense of fear and anxiety about the future of the relationship.
50. May create a sense of emotional instability and volatility in the relationship.
Also read: 50 Signs your fwb doesn’t like you
In conclusion, while FWB relationships can be fulfilling and enjoyable for some people, they can also come with a range of challenges and potential risks
It’s important to be mindful of these challenges and to communicate openly and honestly with your partner throughout the relationship.
By establishing clear boundaries, prioritizing emotional well-being, and communicating openly and honestly, you can create a fulfilling and sustainable FWB relationship that works for both partners.