A lot of women ask me whether I think “friends with benefits” arrangements are possible.
And the short answer is yes – they’re definitely possible for both men and women.
The longer answer is that if that arrangement is what both parties are looking for – great. There’s no problem there.
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But if you’re going to do it, you have to go into it with the right mindset – or you’re going to get burned.
And before I begin, I want to say that I’m not encouraging you to seek out a fwb arrangement, nor am I discouraging it. It’s all about what you’re looking for in your life, and as long as you’re not in a situation that’s hurting you or anyone else, you’ll find no judgment here.
But like I said before, in order to be in a healthy and stable fwb (friends with benefits) arrangement, you need the right mindset. Your mindset is going to be what guards you from having a light, fun, carefree fwb arrangement turn into a messy, awful, drama filled toxic relationship disaster.
It’s the most important piece – so it’s crucial that you get it right.
So with that in mind, I’ve come up with 7 “must follow” friends with benefits rules. These rules are specifically targeted towards keeping your mindset right – and keeping your fwb arrangement positive and happy.
If you follow these rules, you’ll have the right mindset and you won’t accidentally wander off course and into the realm of drama, messiness, and disaster.
The fwb Rules
1. Pick A Guy You Can Cut Things Off With And Comfortably Never See Again
I put this rule first – because this is where most women screw up.
A fwb arrangement is purely sexual – there’s no other parts of it, emotional or otherwise. When you’re friends with that person, or know them in a context outside of your sexual relationship, it complicates things.
That’s why it’s crucial to pick someone who’s outside your social circle entirely – and that means no friends, no coworkers, and definitely no exes.
The goal is that if you had to end the fwb arrangement tomorrow – you could comfortably never have to see this person again. (Or run into them somewhere that you go often.)
Another positive to keeping your fwb purely sexual and outside your social circle is that you never have to worry about them talking to someone you know – which means you can be more uninhibited and judgement free with them. It lets you sexually explore with him without fear of judgment or gossip from friends – which is exactly what a fwb is for.
Now, if you’ve already broken this rule – the rest of this article will definitely help you, so keep reading.
2. You’re Both Allowed To Do Whatever You Want
fwb arrangements are completely open. You don’t owe each other anything – period.
That means when you’re not together, he gets to do whatever he wants – just like you get to do whatever you want.
This comes with the territory, it’s what being fwb is all about. No jealousy, no judgement, and no obligations to each other. If you’re not ok with that – don’t get into a fwb arrangement.
And remember – this is exactly why safe sex is so important in fwb relationships. When you’re explicitly not being exclusive to each other – it’s of paramount importance to be safe with each other. Every time.
3. He’s Not Your Friend – And definitely Not Your Boyfriend
A fwb arrangement is supposed to fill one very specific role in your life – sex. That’s it. Nothing beyond that.
The second you try to fit him into some other role in your life is when things get messy between you – fast. This is how the majority of fwb arrangements crash and burn.
That’s because the second you bring other emotions besides “I’m horny right now” into your arrangement, you open the door for one of you to develop feelings – and a million things to go wrong.
So if you’re feeling lonely and looking for a connection with someone, call a friend. Or your parents. Or anyone besides your fwb. He’s not there to connect with you or be your emotional outlet – he’s there for sex. That’s it.
4. If Things Start To Get Heavy Or Feel Like Drama – End It
The only point of a fwb arrangement is so that you can satisfy your sex drive easily without complications or problems.
The absolute best way to avoid drama and problems is by defining what your arrangement will look like and sticking to it – which means following rule number 3 to the letter. He’s not your friend, and he’s definitely not your boyfriend. He’s someone you have no strings attached sex with – and that’s it.
If hanging out with him starts to feel awkward, or problems start to crop up, or he starts directing negative emotions and anger at you – it’s time to cut ties. This is supposed to be an easy, stress free thing in your life, so if it’s not easy it’s time to end it.
If you want to learn how to avoid drama in the first place, read the next two rules very carefully.
5. Start Off In A Good Place In Your Life Before Finding A fwb
A lot of people get into fwb arrangements looking to fill some kind of hole in their life.
This is how fwb arrangements crash and burn – because when it starts as a way to make you feel better about yourself, it becomes very easy to develop feelings and turn it into something it was never meant to be.
That’s because if you’re seeking validation through a fwb arrangement, then the validation is going to feel really good to you – and you’re going to want more of it. That’s going to make you more and more dependent on the fwb in order to feel happy, which leads to feelings of attachment, jealousy, and resentment – exactly the opposite of how things are supposed to go.
Before getting into a fwb arrangement, make sure that your mind is in the right place. You should be happy, fulfilled, and stable outside of the fwb arrangement – so that it can be just sex without the temptation to make it something more.
A good fwb arrangement is like dessert – it’s nice to have but not essential. If you can treat it like a sweetener in your life, rather than a main course that gives you the fuel to keep going, then things will turn out fine.
6. Make Sure He’s A Stable Guy Too
It takes two to tango – and just like you have to be in the right mental place or risk messing up your FWB arrangement – so does he.
If he’s an unstable guy – meaning he gets really angry and explodes, or he gets jealous, or tends to have lots of drama in his life – don’t get into a fwb arrangement with him.
His drama will eventually leak into your arrangement and mess things up. This is supposed to reduce stress, not pile it on. So pick someone stable, who treats your arrangement as “dessert”, just like you do.
7. Leave All Your Options Open
The first step towards ruining a fwb arrangement is when you stop looking for romance and validation outside of it. As soon as it becomes the sole source of male attention in your life and you stop looking elsewhere – it becomes very easy to slip up and start seeing it as something more.
I’m not telling you that you have to be sleeping with multiple guys – what I’m telling you is to keep your options open and keep yourself on the market.
That will protect you from accidentally sliding into seeing the fwb arrangement as something more than it is.
Follow These Rules And You’re Good To Go
Remember, fwb arrangements are for sexual exploration. They’re a no-judgement zone where you can explore what turns you on and makes you feel good with someone you trust.
fwb arrangements aren’t for validation, they’re not for connection, and they’re not a replacement for going on dates. If you use it for any of the above – that’s the quickest way to bring things to a crashing halt.
But when you follow these rules, you’ll find yourself having fun in the context of the arrangement – without the danger of things falling apart or blowing up.
So use these rules to create a space for yourself to really experiment and find what you like – while still looking for Mr. Right and a real relationship that can satisfy all your needs.
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The Friends With Benefits Rules
- Pick a guy you can cut things off with and comfortably never see again
- You’re both allowed to do whatever you want
- He’s not your friend – and definitely not your boyfriend
- If things start to get heavy or feel like drama – end it
- Start off in a good place in your life before finding a fwb
- Make sure he’s a stable guy too
- Leave all your options open