Ah, the magical and much sought-after “friends with benefits” situation, or “FWB” for short. A no-strings-attached sexual relationship, popularized to a fair extent by movies much like most of the relationship dynamics we grow accustomed to.
The very creatively titled, “Friends With Benefits,” starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake, is a fitting example of a film that set the FWB term ablaze in our modern dating culture.
But in most rom-coms, the FWB relationship is often explored at a very surface level and almost always arcs the story to have the two people involved fall in love by the end.
In truth, if both people are mature, secure and responsible, being FWB can actually have a lot of perks.
The perks are especially valuable if you’re a young adult who wants to focus on career, school or finding yourself, but like most people, also wants to experience some level of affection or a sex a life (minus that whole falling in love part).
Is FWB an option you should consider? Let’s find out.
These are the seven real benefits of being friends with benefits:
1. It’s a zero-pressure situation.
Being FWB is not tied to any of the ideas we grew up with that defined success in a relationship.
You both know you’re not going to get married, and you don’t feel any threat of losing your sense of self. So, nobody is projecting any significant expectations on the relationship other than the sex needing to be fun.
This gives you the freedom of never needing to try super hard to impress each other. It’s a fun, low-maintenance way to enjoy and appreciate another person.
2. It’s much easier to remain unbiased and impersonal.
Being FWB doesn’t actually mean having an unlimited supply of booty call coupons with another person. You will definitely be talking and hanging out from time to time, but the investment in each other’s personal lives won’t be as intense.
This is great because you get to have interesting conversations and hear opinions from another person completely untainted by an I-love-everything-about-you bias.
This can often lead to some pretty great, real banter.
3. Protection isn’t lazy.
Right from the get go, it’s established that neither of you are together for the long haul. This means using protection is a must.
There are times in serious relationships where couples will let protection slide after a while, given enough comfort with each other and/or the belief that they are forever.
But when it comes to FWB… everyone is definitely putting in a conscious effort to make sure they won’t be contracting anything or putting any “mini-thems” into the world.
4. It’s great, purely for sexual exploration.
The reason FWB exists is so you can both have sex with each other while still experiencing your independence. In a relationship dynamic that is centered around sex and fun, the environment is inherently more open.
When the feelings of love and romance are instead replaced with the feelings of simple-ass human physicality, it’s easier to indulge in fantasies and kinks… and perhaps even discover something you didn’t know you were into.
5. It’s OK to be a little selfish.
In a committed relationship with someone you love, a great deal of consideration goes toward your partner. You want them to have the most amazing time ever.
The emotional connection often comes before all else. In contrast, you’re also probably worried that you don’t come before all else.
In a FWB dynamic, you don’t feel the need to finish together, finish first or finish last. It’s OK to do certain things just for you.
This is because, on a deeper level, you know you’re not stuck with this occasional selfish behavior in a long-term relationship. You can move on whenever you want, so it’s less of a big deal.
Funny enough, this casual nature often results in giving your partner enough time to learn how to blow your mind in the bedroom and continue to keep things fun.
6. You get to have more “you time”.
It’s the best of both worlds. You don’t spend unnecessary time attempting to meet people at a bar or a sweaty club, or sit around swiping your dating apps just to find someone every time you’re lonely or horny… but you’re also not spending a ton of time on the nurturing and maintenance that comes with being in a fully-committed relationship.
When you do go out, you’re no longer result-orientated and trying to find someone. You’re just enjoying the moment and going with the flow. Whatever happens, happens.
The only commitment you really have is to yourself.
7. They’re easily detachable.
If you do keep true to your initial intentions and remain responsible, a FWB dynamic can often be a bit easier to detach from because there were no emotions, promises or time-spanning commitments involved.
If ever you want to end it, you can do so without the feelings of loss associated to a lot of breakups. In fact, even if you choose to take sex off the table, it is slightly easier to transition into a regular friendship than if you were seriously dating.
There you have it. Those are the seven real benefits of being “Friends with Benefits”.
They definitely take a significant level of maturity and responsibility to get right, but if you can get it right, it’s not a bad option for anyone looking to have a fun, reliable, satisfying sex life without the commitment of a serious relationship.