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Friend With Benefits: Rule, Benefits, Disadvantages and Psychology


Rule, Benefits, Disadvantages and Psychology of Having Friend With Benefits


Humans are complicated! We form rules, costumes and society as per our convinces and to some extent that works in our favour too. To be honest, no matter how much we stress upon “leave me alone”, the truth is we are social animals and we need some set of rules to have a peaceful life (here referring to being socially acceptable, or at least understood by a certain group of the society).  Coming back to the phrase humans are complicated means our bandwidth of acceptance is different too, that totally depends on our openness and the openness of the society we belong to. Nowadays many concepts are coming that are making a segment frown upon and some of the segments are taking that sportingly and even being an active part of it. Polygamy, age gap relationships, live-in relationships and friends with benefits are to name a few.


While debating upon such sensitive topics when some of the regions of the world firmly believe in marriages or relationships, we need to understand having these lifestyle choices are mere choices and should not befall under moral policing, neither they should be advocated. These are just some way of living and some people are finding their best interest in them. Here talking explicitly about being friends with benefits we will talk about the need, benefits, and psychology behind it.


What are friends with benefits?


A friends with benefits relationship is one in which two people are physically intimate with one another, yet they’re not committed to each other in any way. People involved in friends with benefits relationships clearly enjoy spending time together, but their relationship isn’t romantic and has no strings attached.


What psychology says both real romance and friends with benefits



      What is romance

According to Aaron Ben-Zeév PhD, the complex emotional experience of romantic love involves two basic evaluative patterns: (a) praiseworthiness—positive appraisal of personal characteristics; and (b) attractiveness—an attraction to external appearance. While the first pattern underlies friendship, the second underlies sexual relationships. Romantic love combines the two types of evaluations in a profound and intimate manner. Genuine romantic love involves profound caring and a commitment to at least try seriously to maintain the relationship.


      Friends with benefits


In friendship with benefits, the friendship and the benefits are typically non-exclusive, recurring sexual (or near-sexual) activities. The bond and commitment in friendship with benefits are less deep than in romantic love but greater than in casual sex. While romantic love usually involves a similar relative weight to the friendship and the sex components, in friendship with benefits the friendship component is of greater weight, and the sex component is a kind of icing on the cake. Hence, the two partners have often been friends or lovers first, prior to achieving the position of being friends with benefits.


Sex between friends with benefits is more recurring and affectionate than that of a one-night stand, although sex is not part of romantic love. Research shows that men appear to focus more on the benefits and women more on friendship.


People sharing their FWB experience


Research suggests that over 50% of people in their 20s have had such a relationship at least once. Here are how some people sharing their experiences at recorded by a leading online platform.


      “I told him I’d never had feelings for him and that this was a “post-breakup friends who have sex thing” and then three weeks later we were dating.” Lena*, 27.


      “I did but I regret it. He's a really funny guy and it was super fun and then he was keen to date so we dated for a month and I broke with him out the front of the science building. We're still friends, I guess, I lost contact with him.” Belinda*, 24.


      “We were FWB for six months, it worked great for about the first 4 months then I fell in love... three years later we're still going strong.” Maggie*, 25.


      “I've had a few and they weren't always successful. I guess it's a trial by error if that makes sense? I didn't know how to do it properly until it had failed a few times. Most of the time they'd messed up because while in my head I thought they were a friends with benefits situation, the other person did not. In reality, I'd never addressed it." Maxine, 24.


From the mentioned testimonials you can figure out that FWB is not really as easy as it definition says. We are humans and someday or the other we are meant to fall helplessly for the person we get intimate with or maybe it will never happen.


Here are some rules and more findings of FWB relationships



      Don’t get emotionally attached


“For ‘friends with benefits to work, you need to know how to keep a lid on your emotions without coming across as totally heartless,” Diana Parkinson tells Men’s Health.


But it’s not all women catching the feels a survey by Dr Ed of 1,000 men and women found that 52 per cent of men become emotionally attached in an FWB set-up, compared to just 44 per cent of women.


On the other hand, if the oxytocin (the love hormone) has you picturing babies and a walk down the aisle be honest with them, just be wary that they potentially won’t feel the same. Before getting into FWB make sure you’re 100 per cent fine with having sex without anything deeper.


      Clear you expectations


You’ve been friends for years but now things are about to get personal. Be honest with one another about what this is and exactly what you both want out of it to avoid any confusion and hard feelings so you can both hit a home run every game.


      Don’t be envious


Clinical psychologist Seth Meyers explains to Psychology Today, “If you find yourself getting jealous, be honest and tell your FWB partner, and the two of you can talk about whether the FWB relationship is truly working for both of you. If he’s the one who starts getting jealous, for example, and you also realize that you don’t want to get involved more seriously with him, it’s time to consider detaching and letting the benefits side of the relationship go.”


      Most importantly, stay safe


Before you get it on make sure you've got it on. This is a given for all bedroom rodeo-ing but by definition, you are not obligated to be exclusive in an FWB so it is crucial to stay safe so you don’t wind up with a little bub with a guy you don’t see a future with and also stay STD-free.


      Do not have or give expectations

 Do not have expectations, have a timeframe for the relationship (e.g., no more than three months), limit your time together to no more than two hours a day, talk on the phone only once or twice a week, keep friends out of it, don't do pillow talk, no sleeping over, and do not romance the partner. These artificial rules might impede FWB from becoming lovers.


Pros of FWB


      Once you're in FWB mode, you don't need to worry about coming across as too keen or worrying about whether you ought to call them or wait for them to call you. "In theory, the friends-with-benefits situation allows you both to relax," says sex therapist Dr Ian Kerner ( "It's a straightforward deal – you're friends who have sex, nothing more."

      You don't need to meet their family and you don't even need to call them if you don't want to. There are times in your life when a relationship isn't what you want - perhaps you want to focus on your career, or you know you're moving to another city, or you just want to be single, says Kerner. At these times, being able to enjoy sex with someone you know and are comfortable with without strings can seem like an ideal solution.

      There is nothing to stop you from looking for a long-term lover while you're enjoying sex with your FWB and it’s this aspect that makes it seem an attractive option to women in-between relationships.


Cons of FWB


      Sex with a friend might be safer in some ways, but don't let that fool you into risky unprotected sex. Just because they're a friend doesn't make them any less likely to be carrying an STD, says Kerner. Similarly, it doesn't mean you're less likely to get pregnant.

      You may fall in love. That's great if they feel the same way, but what if they don't? If an FWB situation comes to an end they go off with someone else, or just don't want to do it anymore it could leave you devastated.

      An FWB situation puts your precious friendship at risk. Even when we have no intention of letting it get messy, sex has a tendency to muddle your feelings.


Being FWB isn’t always a bad idea. But as most people know from experience (and rom-coms galore), they aren’t simple. Even when you go into them with set guidelines, the boundaries can get blurred. It’s natural to catch feelings for the people you’re intimate with. If that happens, and you find yourself wishing your "friend" was more than, well, a friend, then you owe it to yourself to speak up about those feelings.