Reyna Biddy once wrote: “It’s okay to enjoy someone’s presence without having a ‘label’ on what you two ‘are’. Let everything fall in place how it’s supposed to.”
Why are most people so quick to judge this kind of relationship?
Its unlabeled, liberating ways make those in bad relationship jealous, like you’re cheating the system.
Others would say you’re chickening out, and taking the easy route because you’re not committing.
Why do we always have to observe relationships in black and white? You’re either single or you’re not. You like someone or you don’t.
Friends with benefits (FWB) is a wonderful gray area where you can enjoy and have fun without the relationship stress.
But, that doesn’t mean it’s an easy relationship to maintain.
For this to work, you’ll need to know these 13 FWB rules, so both you and your special friend can come out of it unscathed, and richer through this beautiful, rare experience.
What you SHOULD do
Definitely have a connection
You need to find someone you can connect with, someone you can trust and rely on.
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Best friends are off the table, unless you had a flirty thing going on for a while. Sometimes, friends with benefits tend to lose both aspects when things go south.
So find someone you trust and like to be around with, but know you wouldn’t work as a couple.
Absorb every moment
This is one heck of a learning experience.
Many women (myself included) will vouch for how eye-opening this experience is. And it teaches you how to connect romantically, as ironic as it sounds.
It helps you learn what builds a solid relationship, and you’ll be a much more experienced woman after it.
Be prepared for the sad ending
Not all FWB stay friends by the time the arrangement is over.
Always know that this has an expiration date, when one of you decides to move on.
But if you talked and know what you want from each other, then you’ll be happy for him.
Ground rules are important to save both of you from unnecessary pain.
But be prepared for the happy ending
To counter the Debbie-downer in me, maybe the two of you find that there’s something you’ve been missing, that the other provides.
And just like Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake, somehow you fall in love with the best friend you made along the way.
Check on your friend
I can’t stress this enough:
Always, always, always check on how he’s doing.
Emotional attachment can hit us when we least expect it. So every once in a while, check how this is working out for him.
He might be too afraid to admit he’s started having feelings for you.
This isn’t Hollywood, where casual relationships are funny and zany, and sexual mishaps work out for the best.
In real life, one wrong move can have grave consequences. STDs and other risks are no joke.
Keep yourself and your partner safe.
What you SHOULDN’T do
Don’t start anything unplanned
Waltzing blindly into a FWB relationship can end up in complication.
Talk through what you both want, need and expect.
Men love straightforward women, so don’t be afraid to be honest and direct.
It will be warmly welcomed and you can agree on the boundaries of your relationship.
It takes two to tango, as they say.
This arrangement is for you as much as it is for him. Again, the only thing the relationship rests upon is your mutual agreement.
Don’t let him turn you into something you don’t want to be, or always do things his way.
Anything that doesn’t feel right usually isn’t
Whether it’s about your choice of guy, or how your relationship is going, the moment you start to feel something is wrong, walk away.
Friends with benefits are supposed to have a light, casual atmosphere in their relationship.
If it starts to feel like you’re giving more than you’re receiving, something has gone terribly wrong.
Disappointment comes from expectation
This is a very spur of the moment kind of relationship.
What keeps it functioning is not imposing any rules or expectations on the other person.
Jealousy, sadness when he moves on, and aggravation that he doesn’t behave like a boyfriend shouldn’t feature in a FWB arrangement.
Dates can be one big “no-no”
A romantic connection in bed is fine, but outside of this, it’s fertile ground for sending mixed messages.
If you don’t want to start a traditional relationship, then don’t go on dates and spend more time together than you usually need to.
See what kind of talk constitutes as boyfriend-girlfriend talk to know which topics to avoid when you’re together.
This especially goes if you’re the type to easily fall in love.
Others may find it easy to spill their deepest secrets without things getting too emotional.
No introductions to friends or family
Your friend with benefits is someone you keep to yourself.
You don’t take your friend with benefits to family gatherings, parties, or anything outside of a sexual context.
The moment he becomes real to friends and family, he becomes real to you too.
Don’t drag it out
If you see he’s starting to get too attached, talk to him first to confirm your suspicions, and then end the arrangement.
As ruthless as it sounds, neither of you should feel like your feelings are one-sided.
Don’t be that girl. It’s much healthier to end the relationship early on, than to wait for it to turn into a train wreck.
And they all lived happily ever after…
For this to work, the plain truth is that you have to stay alert and vigilant.
Communicate with him, know what you both want and need, and agree to stay within these boundaries.
Keep in mind that emotions are not meant to be part of the game, but if they do happen, they’re okay and not something to panic about.
Just stay cool, and talk.
Talk, talk, talk.
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