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Friends With Benefits and Several Ways to Maintain It

Friends With Benefits and Several Ways to Maintain It

Updated on May 27, 2022 | Published on Feb 08, 2022

Reviewed by Julianne Cantarella, MSW, LSW , Certified Relationship Coach

Friends with Benefit Relationship - Definition, Signs, Reasons, & More

A friends with benefits relationship with someone means that you are sharing an intimate relationship with someone without any emotional connection.

In friends with benefits relationship, there are no feelings involved and you are free to date anyone you want.

You are not answerable to each other and you can start having a love life at any time you want.

There is no responsibility involved in a friends with benefits relationship. It is an arrangement for two people with similar needs who are also free to walk out anytime they want.

Though it is a very popular practice, it has its own challenges. 

Friends with Benefits Relationship Infographic

Friends with Benefits Relationship - Definition, Signs, Reasons, & More
Friends with Benefits Relationship – Definition, Signs, Reasons, & More

What does friends with benefits relationships mean?

Summary
A friends with benefit relationship is an intimate or sexual relationship between two people without any romantic attachment and any commitment. These relationships can give you extreme pleasure without worrying about a thing. 

There are certain challenges in these relationships as well.

If you are thinking about entering a friends with benefits relationship with someone you should be very careful and maintain certain things to make it work. 

If you are in a friends with benefits relationship with someone you need to be careful about certain things in your life.

You should have an understanding of that person so that both of you do not have to face any complications or any conflicts later. 

You should be careful about your emotions and learn to control them. Do not get emotionally involved with that person you are in a relationship with, you can end up heartbroken.

You should also avoid having any expectations from your partner; it can only cause disappointment. 

It is easier for some people to enjoy sexual intimacy without any involvement and any personal attachment.

They are not good with any responsibilities. Some people do not believe in love and they often get involved in friends with benefits in their life. 


How long can a friends with benefits relationship last

There is no time limit set for friends with benefits relationships. It can last according to the wish of the people involved in it.

If you try to set some ground rules and try to maintain them it will be easier to continue this relationship for a long time.

If you get involved with someone in friends with benefits relationship and end up developing feelings for that person things can get really complicated. 

Your partner may not develop any kind of feelings for you in any situation and you can not blame them as you both agreed on that before starting the relationship. 

If you are not sexually satisfied with your partner in your relationship you can end the relationship without thinking twice.

As there is no emotional connection involved it is easy to get yourself out of it. 

If you are searching for love and you found someone whom you are really interested in, you can discontinue your friends with benefits. 

So for how long you can continue your friends with benefits relationship with your partner it is totally up to you.


What are the outcome of a friends with benefits relationship

Every relationship has some positive and negative outcomes.  Friends with benefits relationships are also not much different than others.

If you are involved in a  friends with benefits relationship with someone you may experience certain outcomes in your life.

1. Casual sex 

If you have been involved in a friends with benefits relationship you can experience casual sex as much as you want for a long period.

If you are not interested in any kind of emotional relationship with someone you can get involved in a friends with benefits relationship.

This friends with benefits relationship can give you innate pleasure and enjoyment without any responsibilities or stress.

Here you are in control and you can back off at any time you really want. 

2. Temporary pleasure

If you are involved in a friends with benefits relationship with someone you can get innate pleasure without thinking about anything. You do not have to get involved and experience any conflict in your life.

You can have as many random hookups as you want. There is no limitation if you both can manage a common time to meet. You can also share anything you want with her and help each other to grow.

There will be no fear or insecurities involved as you are spending eternity together.

You can become very good friends if you really have something in common. You can talk endlessly and learn so many things from each other.

As you do not have to commit anything to your partner you are open to going for as many dates as you want.

You can meet other people to find the one to share your life with at the same time you can enjoy sexual intimacy with your partner in a friends with benefits relationship.

3. Uncertainty and expectations 

Though friends with benefits relationship have their own sparks it also has certain complications and negative outcomes. 

As you are free to make any decisions for your own life and free to go anytime you want, the same rules apply to your partner too.

If your partner finds someone to share their life with, then he/ she can back off from the relationship at any time. 

These kinds of relationships do not have any certainty. They can start and end at any point in time.

If any of you are not satisfied enough or want to move on for some reason you can easily do so. It can be really complicated sometimes. 

You should not have any expectations from your partner as you two are not here for a long term relationship.

At any point, any of you can move on and experience something new. So if you have set some expectations for your partner you can end up getting hurt. 


Rules to become friend with benefit 

There are certain rules for friends with benefits relationships. If you want to get involved in a friends with benefits relationship with someone you should follow the rules and maintain the balance. 

1. Ask for permission

If you have met someone and you are attracted to that person sexually, then you should think twice before taking any step forward.

Think carefully if you want to go out on a date with that person or want to get to know him/ her for a long term relationship.

If you are not interested in any emotional relationship currently and you only are interested in a friendly sexual relationship with that person you can ask him/ her for a  friends with benefits relationship.

You should clear your motives and tell them that you only want friends with benefits. You should ask that person for his/ her consent. 

You should not get involved with anyone without taking their permission first, it can cause several complications in our relationship. 

Think twice before making the final choice and moving forward. If the person you are interested in is of equal interest then you should set some mutual rules and regulations just to stay out of any complications or any difficulties later in your relationship.

Make it clear from the beginning that there is no emotional connection involved in the relationship and both of you should keep low expectations from the relationship.

Any of you can back off whenever they feel uncomfortable, no one will be to blame that person for any reason. 

2. Use protection

You should always use proper protection whenever you are involved in any sexual intercourse with your partner.

As you are in a  friends with benefits relationship you do not know much about the person you are involved with.

You do not know the medical history of the person you are getting involved with. If that person has any genetic history or any sexually transmitted disease.

It will be really risky to have intercourse without protection without knowing the medical history of your partner. 

If you are engaging in sexual intimacy with your partner without using protection there is a high chance for the female to get pregnant.

Though it will not be intentional you both will face difficulties if something like that happens. 

As there is no emotional attachment or any plan of a long term relationship the other person can not be forced to accept the child or to get involved in it. He can move on from it without showing any consent. 

3. Communicate

Communication is always the key to everything. If you really want your friends with benefits to work for a long period, you must communicate with your partner.

Talk about the rules and your thoughts on this relationship. 

You should talk about all your plans for this relationship. Make sure to keep everything transparent between you two. You should not avoid anything about this relationship even if you are not sure. 

If you are having any second thoughts or any quarry about something about this relationship or you want to know anything about your partner you can share it with them and this will improve your bond and everything will be easier to manage. 

If you are feeling some emotional connection to your partner or if you want to develop a friendship with him/ her you can share your thoughts with them. 

If you think you are developing certain romantic feelings or likings about him/ her you should be completely honest about it to your partner.

It will help you to understand if you are actually feeling something or you are just attracted to that person.

These discussions will help you to think clearly and make further decisions about your life and this relationship. 

4. Explore the fun

You are engaged in this relationship with your partner to experience intimacy and have fun. You should stop complicating everything and stop overthinking about anything.

Enjoy your moments with your partner and explore different areas of sexual intimacy.

You go somewhere and have fun as friends. It is not necessary that you only can have fun by getting intimate with each other.

You can plan a trip together somewhere, explore your city together or talk the whole night.

If you think too much and worry about different things there will be no meaning to have this relationship with someone.

You will never be able to have fun and enjoy yourself with your partner. Forget about everything else and just enjoy the moment. 

Try to take everything lightly and talk to your partner whenever you are facing some complications or confusion.

Mutual communication can always help you to solve anything no matter how big the problem is. 

5. Do not get jealous

You should not get jealous if your partner is dating someone else. You are in a  friends with benefits relationship and your partner has full rights to explore other options and get intimate with anyone he/ she wants. 

They can get romantically involved with anyone at any point in time. You should not have any problems with that.

This will ruin the whole purpose of this arrangement. This can co implicate the relationship and make it difficult for both of you.

If you are experiencing any kind of jealousy or sadness when your partner is going out on a date with someone, there is a high chance that you are developing some sort of emotional dependency with him/ her.

Think carefully and try to find out the reason behind such feelings. You need to try to resolve if you are developing any dependency or any feelings for him/ her as soon as possible. 

Otherwise, you may end up getting hurt because there is no guarantee that your partner will also develop such feelings for you. 

You should talk about it with him/ her and try to sort things out as soon as possible before things can take a new turn. 


Why friends with benefits is better than a relationship

There are certain reasons that making friends with benefits is better than a casual relationship. We are going to discuss them in this section. 

1. You both do not have to commit 

None of you have to commit if you are entering into a friends with benefits relationship with someone.

You both do not have to commit something to each other. You can make any decisions regarding your love life freely and there will be no boundaries in this relationship. 

You are free to date other people, even as many people as you want. You can get involved with anyone romantically at any time.

If you ever feel that you want to get yourself out of this relationship you take the step without caring about anything else. 

If you want a relationship with someone but you do not want to commit anything and do not expect any comment from someone this can be really beneficial for you. 

You should be careful about your emotions and your feelings. You should have full control over them if you are getting involved in a certain relationship. 

You should not have any bigger expectations from your partner otherwise you may end up getting disappointed in this relationship and yourself as well. 

2. There is no responsibility

If you are in a friends with benefits relationship with someone there is no fear of taking any responsibility for anyone.

You can freely do whatever you want and whenever you want. You do not have to think twice about anything.

If you face difficulties in taking responsibilities and fulfilling them then this relationship is all you need. You can get a good friend and a sexual intimacy altogether without any added responsibility for commitment.

You do not have to fear something when you are involved in something like this. There are no rules or regulations and you can have all the fun you want in your life. 

You can share anything you want with your partner without the fear of being judged. 

3. You can leave whenever you want

This is the best part of a  friends with benefits relationship. If you ever feel that you are unable to continue this relationship you can leave at that moment without giving any explanation. There is no commitment involved so nothing can force you to stay o matter what. 

If you suddenly find yourself attracted to someone and you want to get to know him/ her. You feel emotionally connected to that person and you want to start dating him/ her.

You can easily move out from this friends with benefits relationship without any complications.

If you are getting engaged in your life with someone or you are marrying someone you really care about and you want to end this friends with benefits relationship. You can move out without any drama or any burden.

When you are bored of your relationship and you want to try something else or you are not satisfied with your partner and you want to move on you will not be answerable to anyone and no one will blame you for that. 

4. Fulfilling sexual need without any complication

In every relationship, there are so many rules and regulations involved which makes a relationship very much difficult and complicated.

It can be hard for some people to get involved in a long term relationship for all those burdens and responsibilities. 

If you are one of those people but you want to explore your sexual needs you can think of friends with benefits relationship.

You will be able to fulfill all your sexual desires without any commitment and without getting emotionally involved.

There are no boundaries for anything. You just have to be clear about everything you want from this to your partner at the beginning of your relationship. 


Reasons behind a friends with benefits relationship

1. Fear of commitment

If someone is afraid of commitments and they want a relationship with someone where they will not have to commit anything to anyone, they can consider this relationship to enjoy and have fun with someone. 

2. Not ready to take responsibilities

If you are not ready to take any responsibilities at this point you can think about developing a friends with benefits relationship with someone.

There will be no pressure to do anything and there will be no rules and regularities. 

You can develop an intimate relationship with someone without taking any responsibility and enjoy yourself to the fullest. 

3. Want to explore other options

If you are not ready for a committed relationship because you want to explore other options then you can search for a friend with benefits relationship with someone. 

In this relationship, you are free to date anyone you want and you can be emotionally involved with anyone you really want as well. 

This will help you to explore all the options you want and have fun at the same time.

4. Not interested in a long term relationship

If you are not interested in a long term relationship with someone at this moment but you want to develop an intimate relationship with someone, this friends with benefits relationship is just what you need. 

You do not have to continue your relationship for a long time, there is no time limit for it. You can leave whenever you really want and move on to something new in your life. 

You do not have to worry about any compilation or any drama while moving on. No one will ever blame you for anything or force you to stay. 


Can friends with benefits turn into a relationship

You are getting sexually intimate with a person on a regular basis and developing an intimate relationship with him/ her. 

Though you are certain that you do not want any emotional attachment or any emotional connection with that person, still it is very normal to develop certain feelings for someone like him/ her. 

Friends with benefits relationship do not always involve sexual intercourse, you talk about several things with your partner and it is very normal to find something you both have in common or you both enjoy doing. With time you can develop a certain connection with him/ her.

Sometimes you spend a lot of time with your partner and unknowingly you can develop a certain dependency and attachment towards him. 

The same things can happen from the opposite side too. If you both experience similar feelings and you want to take things forward it is possible to turn friends with benefits relationship into a normal relationship with mutual discussion and understanding. 


How to have a good friends with benefits relationship

1. Set ground rules

It is very important to talk about sexual hygiene and sexual awareness every time you meet with your partner. You both need to be responsible and maintain certain health measures to be safe and healthy. 

If you want to engage in something like oral sex or anal sex you both should talk about it first.

Try to avoid clicking any pictures or videos while engaging with others. You both need to have each other’s consent for every step that you are going to take. 

2. Ensure that you both are here for the right reasons

Everyone has their own reasons to enter into a friends with benefits relationship with someone.

You need to find out what your partner is thinking about you or expecting from you at this moment. 

Try to find out if you both are on the same page and expecting the same thing from each other before jumping to any conclusion. 

3. Set some outside the bedroom rules

It is very important for you two to understand what you want to do afterward.

You should come up with a way to communicate with your partner after a hookup and how you want to spend your time other than that.

4. Do not make it your priority

This relationship can give you a lot of fun and so much excitement in your life but you are suggested not to get too addicted to these types of relationships.

If you are looking for a long term relationship and you want to develop an emotional connection with someone you should try to find someone who can give you both of those.

You should not get involved in a friends with benefits relationship with such expectations. 

5. Agree when to stop

You need to have a discussion about what you two are expecting from each other and in what situation you want to stop.

You need to come to an agreement about the duration of this relationship so that you can enjoy your time together without any confusion. 

6. Make sure you are emotionally mature

You should be mature enough to have an intimate relationship with someone but not get involved emotionally or not get any commitment from them. 

You should be prepared to handle any type of situation which is possible in this relationship so that you can avoid having any disappointment. 

It is very important for you to know how much you can understand your own needs and desires from the relationship. You should think about what your future expectations are from your partner. 

Before involving in a sexual relationship with someone think carefully about what kind of relationship you want from them. 

Think about how well you can handle casual sex with someone. You should pay attention to all these factors before involving in such a relationship with your friend if you really want to save your friendship. 

7. Choose partner wisely

You need to choose your partner very wisely. Friends with benefits relationship with someone is for someone whom you are sexually attracted to, not emotionally attracted to. 

If you start a friends with benefits relationship with someone who is very emotionally close to you then it can ruin your relationship with that person. 

You need to be prepared about what you will do if your friends with benefits relationship do not work well. It will help you to clear your visions about your future and choose the right partner for you.

Sometimes it is better for some people to have some friends with whom they can share an emotional connection rather than a sexual relationship with someone.

For some people sleeping with their friends can really work out well. If you can control your emotions and develop a sexual relationship with someone without any attachment that can help you to enjoy your time with your partner.

Think carefully before choosing someone as your partner so that things do not get complicated in your future.

8. Do not get involved with your crush

A friends with benefits relationship will end when any one of you or both of you will not get any benefits from it.

When any of you start dating someone seriously in your life that can be the end of your friends with benefits relationship. 

If you already like someone does not ever get involved with that person in a friends with benefits relationship.

This can make everything between you two more complicated. You can even lose your personal relationship with that person

When you are getting sexually intimate with the person you really like then your feelings for that person can really increase with time and you can get attached to him/ her.

Though for some people it can be really easy to keep your sexual and emotional people separate. 

If you are sleeping with someone hoping that they will develop emotional feelings for you too someday can be really foolish.

Only gettings sexually intimate can not be enough for some people to develop any romantic feeling for you.

9. Be transparent 

You should be transparent about each and everything in your relationship from the beginning.

You should have a discussion about your expectations and your needs from each other and make things very clear before getting involved with each other. 

10. Control your emotions

When you are in a friend with benefits relationship with someone try not to act like a couple when you two are together. Try to separate your emotions from your sexual desires as much as possible. 

Do not show affection to each other in a public place. This can ruin your friends with benefits relationship with your partner and create some conflicts.

If you are engaging in PDA with your partner then you may develop some emotional feelings for your partner which can hurt you really bad.

It is natural for everyone to develop some strong feelings for the person you are spending most of your time with.

Try to avoid spending too much time with your partner and do not get involved with them personally. 

Try to spend some intimate time with each other when you are not in a public place.

If you are feeling some emotional connection with him/ her you can talk to that person to make things clear and try to have control over your emotions. 

11. Avoid sleepover

If you are involved in a friends with benefits relationship with someone then try to avoid any sleepovers with that person and keep things limited between each other.

Spending the whole night with others can develop your feelings for that person which can affect your relationship. 

It is nice to wake up next to someone but it can make thighs romantic for some people and create some emotional attraction towards the other person. 

It is not certain that the other person will also have the same feelings for you and that’s what makes things more complicated. 

12. Clear your expectations

You need to think about your expectations from that person and this relationship. Sometimes people are unable to understand their own needs and desires in life which makes everything very complicated and hard to decide. 

You should talk with your partner about both of your needs from this relationship and find out if you are on the same page. 

If both of you have different expectations from each other you should not get involved in any intimate relationship with each other and move away otherwise both of you will be disappointed later in this relationship. 

Making everything clear from the beginning will help you to understand each other’s needs and will teach you how to work everything out so that you can have a great time together and enjoy your relationship. 

13. Do not expect much

You should not have many expectations from your partner in a friends with benefits relationship. 

These kinds of relationships do not involve any emotional attachments, people get involved in such relationships to avoid commitment and to fulfill their needs.

For that reason, your partner may not try to pay much effort to meet your expectations. 

If you put too many expectations from this relationship and from your partner hoping that they may give value to your thoughts can be really disappointing and heartbreaking for you. 

If you are looking for a relationship with someone who will give you the importance and will try to meet your expectations in a relationship you should try to find someone who will be emotionally and romantically interested in you. 


How can you understand if friends with benefits relationship is right for you

If you want to get involved in a friends with benefits relationship there are certain questions you should ask yourself just to make things clear and to become confident enough about your decision. 

1. Are you ready to proceed without commitment?

In friends with benefits relationships people do not look for any kind of commitment from each other. You can experience that relationship if you are not looking for any commitment in your life at this point. 

If you are entering into such a relationship it is important for you and the person you are getting involved with to have a clear idea about each other’s expectations and needs from this relationship and to agree on that.

 You should understand all the advantages and disadvantages of this relationship. Remember that person is not going to stay with you forever and will not provide you any emotional support even if you ask for them. 

he/ she will not be able to take care of you like in a normal relationship and you should not expect such a thing from that person. 

You will not be able to cry on their shoulder,  share your feelings about certain things or spend hours together talking or inviting them to some family event.

Do not have any such expectations from them. You both can have a mutual understanding and enjoy your relationship together. 

2. Are you both on the same page?

You should try to find out if you are on the same page with your partner about your friends with benefits relationship.

When you enter into such a relationship it is important to discuss everything with transparency and full honesty.

You should have an open discussion with him/ her and talk about everything you need. You should also talk about the nature of the connection you are looking for. 

To avoid any further confusion in your relationship you should talk about each and everything before getting into it. 

If you both have different needs and different opinions it is better not to get involved with each other. You should take a step back and think twice before making any final choices. 

3. Do not agree without understanding 

Ask yourself what kind of relationship do you actually want in your life. Do not agree with anyone just to experience something different without understanding your needs and your expectations.

You are the only person who will get hurt because of it. 

If you want to avoid any heartbreak in the future, think twice before making any final choice in this case.

3. Understand that person may get involved in other relationships

Friends with benefits relationships do not have any boundaries about having any other relationships. If you are getting involved with someone in your life you must be certain that he/ she is free to explore other options too. 

He/ she can date other people or can be involved in any romantic relationship with anybody he/ she actually wants.

You should be certain that you will not be jealous in this situation. You should be strong enough to handle this. 


Signs of friends with benefits relationship 

If you are sexually involved with someone and spend a lot of time with them on a regular basis without being emotionally attached that can be a sign of a friends with benefits relationship. 

In this kind of relationship you will not get romantically involved with your partner.

Both of you are in this relationship with a mutual understanding just to fulfill each other’s sexual desires without any commitment and you can get out of it whenever you really want. 


Casual relationship vs friends with benefits relationship 

A casual relationship will always involve commitment and emotional connection. If you want to develop a casual relationship with someone you both need to feel an emotional connection with each other.

A friends with benefits relationship does not need any commitment or attachment with each other. 

If you are sexually attracted to someone and you both want to develop a sexual relationship without any commitment to each other it will be a friends with benefits relationship. 

In a casual relationship, you may have a romantic connection with each other and you will try to make each other happy and satisfied emotionally and you will think of a future together.

Whereas in a friends with benefits relationship none of this will actually matter, you both are actually free to do whatever you want in your personal life and you will not have any intention to spend the lifetime in each other’s arms. 


How to avoid friends with benefits relationship 

If someone is approaching you for a friends with benefits relationship and you do not want to get involved in it for some reason the only way to make things right is communication.

You need to talk to that person and express your thoughts and expectations in your life and the reasons that are behind your decision. 

To start a friends with benefits relationship with someone it always needs both of your consent, if one of you is not comfortable with that arrangement no one can force them to have one.  

Wrap up 

Friends with benefits relationships are something that you can get involved in without thinking about responsibilities or commitments.

You are free to get involved as well as free to get out of that relationship at any time you want. 

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