Although there’s nothing new about having a friends with benefits relationship, more people than ever are turning to casual FWBR from their committed relationships.
However, moving from a relationship to friends with benefits is quite a unique scenario and most people could use some advice on how to initiate that transition smoothly.
In fact, by initiating carefully and honestly – you can avoid many of the common pitfalls associated with FWBR.
No matter what kind of relationship you are in, for whatever reasons, it is likely that at some point you have thought about turning it into FWB arrangement.
After all, by taking an ex out of your life you can eliminate unnecessary drama and protect yourself from falling in love again and again.
Also read: 20 Benefits of friends with benefits
Additionally, FWBR enables both parties to enjoy their fun without any commitment and without playing games.
Although FWBR might be great alternative for many couples still there are few things you need to remember if you want your transition from relationship to friends with benefits go smoothly.
Here’s your complete guide on turning a relationship to friends with benefits.
How to turn a relationship to friends with benefits?
If you feel that your committed relationship is stagnating and you are tempted by having a friends with benefits, consider these tips on how to bring up that topic. Make sure to talk about it when both of you aren’t stressed out about some major problem.
Communicate openly; avoid trying to push him into FWBR or blaming him/her for pushing yourself into it without his/her consent.
Also, be clear about what exactly friends with benefits means: make sure there’s no confusion between casual s#x and romance-friendship kind of deal.
Think through expectations: ask yourself why do you want to get into FWBR in first place? If it’s because things aren’t working well with your committed partner then make sure both of you truly believe he/she isn’t right for each other anymore before considering FWBR as option.
This transition should happen very gradually if at all – don’t expect him (or her) agree instantly.
Also read: How long can you be fwb with someone?
10 Tips to turn a relationship to friends with benefits:
1. Be honest with your intentions and relationship goals:
First make it clear why you want to turn your relationship to friends with benefits. By expressing you’re unhappy and have decided to cool off period from your commitment.
Tell him/her plainly, but not harshly: saying something like I’ve thought about us being more than just partners, I know we both love each other deeply but I’m not feeling s#xually satisfied lately so would like explore FWBR.
Avoid sounding desperate and insecure – after all that’s not just decision but also statement of fact since you wouldn’t pursue FWBR otherwise.
It could work very well even if one person had interest in FWB while other doesn’t – perhaps as way to relieve boredom (for example). Obviously people who seek out others solely for s#xual relationships can potentially be considered narcissists.
2. Remember feelings aren’t logical:
When you are thinking of transition from a relationship to FWBR remember that your love, passion and s#xual attraction for your partner aren’t dependent on his/her looks or what you do for them but rather how you feel about him/her.
So even if he/she isn’t in best shape ever, having perfectly adorable face or looks, he’s still appealing enough for FWB as long as there is some connection between two of you.
And getting together doesn’t involve any expectations like cheating (but it could also just mean re-assessing definition of cheating which differs in every relationship).
Feelings and emotions might be chemical but there is a lot more behind our decision making than scientists could study right now.
3. It’s your choice if you’re mature enough:
Transitioning from a committed relationship to FWBR is serious decision that should be discussed and agreed on by both partners, especially if you plan to stay in long term. Friends with benefits are emotionally closer than being just friends.
So only mature and healthy people can comfortably get along as FWB, though sometimes one person might be more into it than other – but that doesn’t necessarily mean lack of trust or some other problem between partners.
Take time to think if FWBR would work for you; if you do decide in favor of FWBR after careful consideration remember that there’s always the possibility of hurting each other since s#x can have a strong emotional component.
4. It’s your responsibility to talk about protection:
If you intend getting s#xually active remember that unprotected s#x is one of most common ways of transmitting diseases and preventing conception.
Even if he/she’s been tested, you might not know their status, so don’t be shy or scared asking him/her whether they can get or wants kids and what’s his/her STD/STI status (don’t forget testing yourself – both of you!).
If it turns out he/she has some treatable thing or want kids in future and you don’t then there’s even more reason for FWBR arrangement since you could still enjoy each other company without any complications like breakups etc.
5. Make sure to discuss about emotional attachments and hurt:
When someone is falling in love, they tend to put their whole heart on a line and put their partner into pedestal, so falling out of that state can be very painful indeed.
Some people might not have experienced much when it comes to relationships so they might lack common sense and ability for healthy communication, but it’s your job (both of you!) to express your needs and how that affects you so remember you should tell if something doesn’t feel right or hurts.
You can also communicate by text, e-mail etc. just make sure you’re okay with that way of communication – sometimes spoken word is best when things are heated up.
6. Create strict boundaries:
One of most important things in FWBR is maintaining clear boundaries! No falling in love, no commitment, no expectations (neither from yourself nor from your partner) – that’s what FWBR is about.
If you say something along these lines it’s much less likely for one or both of you to get hurt later on since nothing was promised and as long as you don’t get attached, there’s nothing for either of you lose when FWBR is over.
It also makes breakups way easier if there weren’t any expectations involved from beginning; simply remember that it didn’t work out (it rarely does), move on and start looking for someone who fits perfectly into what you want.
7. Set Exclusive FWBR Rules:
Another way of making it easier for you to move from relationship to friends with benefits is by being really clear about what is and isn’t allowed, set rules and follow them.
This will make you feel less guilty and allow a clean break in case there are any problems – no gray areas left.
You can find many ideas on how to have successful FWB arrangements here; try some or all of them until you find ones that suit you best.
As long as they work, there’s no reason why you should be single when so many singles are looking for the same kind of arrangement.
Also read: How to make friends with benefits work?
8. It’s your decision who breaks up first:
If you’re feeling hurt or whatever, it’s always your right to break up first – as long as you do it in an appropriate manner and make sure not to hurt him/her more than needed (if at all).
Remember that sometimes words aren’t enough so don’t hesitate to make face-to-face talk (over coffee, drink or meal), even if he/she didn’t mean to hurt you.
Again, sometimes one partner might be less into FWBR than the other but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything’s wrong.
FWBR arrangement is mostly a lot of fun and casual s#x, but sometimes it can get too involved or lead you into feeling something more than just s#xual attraction or physical desire. Which could be really painful if your partner just wants fun and doesn’t want any emotional connection.
Also read: What do friends with benefits do together?
Remember that he/she isn’t your boyfriend/girlfriend but only a friend, so there are no guarantees that they won’t change their mind or find someone better in the future (again – healthy communication is key!).
It’s okay to feel something for your FWB, but remember it can hurt you badly when it ends! That’s why despite numerous advantages of FWBR, it might not work for everyone – sometimes keeping s#x casual makes more sense.
9. Keep your expectations at check:
Don’t let your fantasy get in way of FWBR – it might be that you’re expecting more than your partner can give or vice versa, but remember: FWBR is casual s#x, not a serious and/or long-term relationship.
Think of it as an adventure where you both explore different possibilities of s#x and learn how fun casual s#x can be without feelings getting involved.
If you happen to feel something more than just physical attraction, it’s really important to address those issues first – don’t try push them aside and expect everything else to fall into place when they probably won’t.
10. Have fun:
That’s after all what FWBR is about – having a lot of fun, feeling free and doing exactly what you want without any strings attached.
Don’t worry about looking for a relationship or even if you like him/her as person, enjoy it for what it is – casual s#x.
The more you focus on all those reasons why not to start a FWBR, more likely that you’re actually going to do it later on; just remember why not (no commitment and no expectations from each other) and try push negative thoughts away.
In conclusion, turning a relationship to friends with benefits can be beneficial for both of you, even if you’re not single or looking. If it’s going to happen naturally as part of your normal development as adults, then great.
If it just happens on occasion because neither of you is in an exclusive relationship and both are fine with that then that’s also great.
Finally, if one person wants something more and encourages their partner towards more commitment but doesn’t get it because they aren’t interested in commitment then most likely they’ll go looking elsewhere – all good too.
What’s important is that everyone knows what they want and goes after it wholeheartedly; FWBR can be an amazing way to spend your time when executed properly so have fun.