Friends with benefits

Am I Ready to Have a Friends With Benefits Arrangement?

Dear Sybersue,

I haven’t been in a relationship for over 2 years due to my last breakup and all the drama that I had to deal with.  I took some time away from men to heal and figure out what the Hell happened because I never want to have go through that again.

He wasn’t very loyal towards me which I didn’t find out until the end of our relationship!

I am definitely not ready to be in a committed partnership but I really miss being intimate and having regular sex with someone. I am feeling lonely and was wondering what this friends with benefits scenario is all about?

This might be right up my alley while my heart is mending but I am wondering if I can handle the casualness of it.  I am used to being in an exclusive relationship even though my last boyfriend didn’t seem to honor that!

Can you let me know what the rules and expectations are if I decide to get involved in a “friends with benefits” liaison?

Thank you so much Sybersue!

Curious Katie

Hi CK,

First of all that is great that you know yourself well and that you are not ready to get into another relationship right now.  You’re not pretending to be healed from your past breakup and you are being honest with yourself. Many people jump back in when they are not ready, which often causes emotional confusion in this next relationship.

“Friends with benefits” is a very popular way to have a flexible and reciprocated sexual connection without all the expectations that a full time partnership requires. It can be a great set-up for some people who just don’t have time to date or who aren’t ready to be in a long term commitment at this stage of their life; like yourself.

FWB is not for everyone though and it’s certainly not a hot bed of roses all the time!

There can be complications with this type of arrangement and for that reason there are rules that need to be adhered to. These should be discussed on the first day that you both decide this is what you want from each other.


First Things First; DON’T GO into a FWB Situation If:

  • You think that by seeing them casually and having sex with them that you will eventually lure them into a long term commitment. They are telling you they don’t want anything more than occasional sexual encounters; believe them!
  • If you are way more attracted and invested in them than they are with you. You can’t stop thinking about them! You will be setting yourself up for another heartbreak.  FWB scenarios have to be in a reciprocated “sexual friend zone” with limited expectations.
  • Do not venture into this if you decide that maybe you are ready for a committed relationship. Spending time with someone you are only partially involved with, will take away time from meeting someone you could ultimately have a partnership with.
  • You are not right for this type of situation if you get jealous easily or are insecure about friendship sex. (Many women need the intense emotional love connection before they feel comfortable is a sexual partnership.)

What Should The “Friends With Benefits” Rules Include?

  1. You have to have “the talk” immediately, when you decide you are both on board with this type of arrangement. Make sure you both know it is casual with no expectations to have a deeper romantic/love connection.
  2. You also need to talk about how often you will be meeting up. Will it be once a week or once a month?
  3. What are the birth control expectations?
  4. Will you keep it strictly as a bedroom sexual encounter, or will there be an outside date night involved as well?
  5. Will it just be the two of you or will other people be involved? (Yes, you need to ask those questions!)
  6. There needs to be a conversation and a time set up in advance for your next encounter together. (The same way you would organize something with a close friend.) Unless you are OK with a last minute booty call?
  7. Are you are going to be sexually exclusive with them? This should be a reciprocated rule that you are both on the same page with!
  8. You need to respect each other’s time. No last minute bail outs because something or someone else came up. You are not using each other when there is nothing else going on. You generally really like each other and you must treat them as you would want to be treated.
  9. Another important question: Is it OK to date others at the same time you are in this FWB scenario? Do they need to tell you if they are dating someone or are you both OK not knowing what each other is doing when you are not together?
  10. Is this going to be a secretive situation or is it alright that others know you are friends with benefits?

This type of arrangement isn’t a good fit for everyone and I am not sure it will be for you Katie. You said yourself that you’re not sure you can handle the casualness of it all. You are also still dealing with the insecurities of being cheated on and open relationships such as this type can play on your self esteem.

There is no time limit or pressure to be in a FWB situation so as long as you are honest with your concerns & upfront with him in the beginning, there is no harm in trying it out to see if you can handle this type of arrangement.

If you decide at any time that “friends with benefits” doesn’t fit your lifestyle anymore you need to be courteous and open with your feelings and end things in a respectful manner. Don’t do the ghosting thing and just disappear!

Remember you are friends’ not just lovers.

Please watch the video above for more information on your question. Thanks for writing Katie!

Sybersue <3

Susan McCord @ The Dear Sybersue Talk Show  

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