The weather is getting cooler, leaves are falling, and it’s officially “cuffing season”. For those unfamiliar with “cuffing season” it’s the time of year that the single people of the world like to find someone to enjoy these cozy nights at home with. If you’re lucky, your “cuff-ee” could progress into a relationship. But what if you’re one of those people who isn’t looking for a relationship, but still wants a seasonal boo? Three words – Friends With Benefits.
Now, first there aren’t really a lot of healthy representations of non-traditional relationships and a lot of the “FWB” type of relationships also usually end with someone catching feelings or someone getting hurt. So you have to ask…Is it possible to have an open and causal relationship with someone without catching feelings or getting hurt in the process?
Of course it is, but like all relationships you should still apply basic respect and discernment. The longevity and success of a FWB, or open relationship, is all dependent on how mature and open both parties are willing to be. There must be a mutual understanding between both people on exactly what’s going on. If you’re curious about pursuing a healthy friends with benefits relationship, here are some tips on how to make sure you both get what you need and want, without all the drama.
#1 – Don’t force it.
Establishing an FWB should happen organically. If you’re interested in pursuing this type of relationship with someone ease into it, casually ask them how they feel about FWB relationship and if they’ve haver every had one. Everyone involved should feel comfortable. If you try to force a FWB more than likely someone will feel uncomfortable and no one wants that.
#2 – Never assume and communicate often.
This is the main problem when it comes to these types of relationships. Don’t just assume you’re the only person they are sleeping with or seeing. Don’t assume they caught feelings. Don’t assume they are being dishonest. Ask questions and communicate as often as possible. The more transparency you have the better.
#3 – Ensure satisfaction on both sides.
Don’t be afraid to be selfish, but also remember to be selfless as well. The whole point of FWB is receiving the “benefits”, whether they be in the bedroom or if you need a simple favor. If you and the other person both aren’t enjoying yourselves, giving and receiving, then what’s the point? Once again don’t force it. It either works or it doesn’t.
#4 – Don’t spread your business.
This is a very important tip. DO NOT tell the world, or the internet, all about your FWB relationship. It’s not their business. Just because it’s casual and carefree does not mean your partner will be okay with you sharing. Also keeping it secret is kind of part of the fun.
#5 – Know when to end it or progress.
If you, or the other person, do “catch feelings” then what do you? That’s ultimately up for you two to decide. It doesn’t have to be a big scary thing to share how you feel in this situation. One time I had to tell a FWB that I liked him, he didn’t feel like same way and we decided to end our relationship there. However, there was no drama or animosity at all, it was a clean cut. If both of you develop feelings for each other and want to move forward that’s great. If you just get bored and want to move on that’s also fine. There’s no wrong answer.
#6 – Stay safe & get tested regularly!
This is the most important tip of all. Unfortunately, many young people don’t get tested or know if their partner got tested either. It’s always a wise idea to find your local health care centers and get information and testing done as soon as possible. Whether it be a friends with benefits or bf/gf relationship, it’s always better when you’re safe.
Don’t be afraid of exploring open relationships if you never have before. We are now in a time where people can be open with their sexuality and relationship identity so take full advantage of it. But of course don’t take advantage of the other person and don’t let them take advantage of you. In the end, friends with benefits is all about being respectful of one another and having fun.
Photo via Lifestyle Mirror