The practice of a casual sexual relationship popularly known as friends with benefits (FWB) has been around for a long time.
However, it wasn’t until the release of the 2011 film, ‘Friends with Benefits’, starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis that it became popular.
Majority frown at the idea of a casual sexual relationship, believing that a committed relationship is ideal, safer and more prestigious.
Although it is hard to say that FWB doesn’t work out for anyone, it is important for individuals practising this kind of relationship (as with other kinds), to be intentional and bear caution in doing so.
Here are four things to keep in mind before going into this type of relationship:
Making your intentions clear
As with committed romantic relationships, it is important to be clear with your partner on what your expectations are.
Although you two are getting into a casual relationship, it is advisable to make clear your boundaries. Will the relationship be open? Do you want to be emotionally dependent on each other? Where do you both draw the line as regards personal discussions? etc.
Making your desires known will leave the other person with a better understanding of your needs and whether or not they want to be involved with you.
Pick a neutral place to have this conversation and by all costs, avoid discussing such matters in a comfort area like the bedroom as momentary passion might clog your minds.
It would be totally absurd to go into an FWB relationship with nothing but an open mind. Never assume the other person is interested in committing to you exclusively without asking them first. (Avoiding potentially harmful assumptions can be curbed by conversing as advised in the first point).
Be sure that you will be fine having a casual sexual relationship with this person without developing feelings, wanting more commitment or feeling cheated. There’s nothing worse than a person who lies to themselves.
Depending on whether it’s a close or open relationship, you both what to maintain the highest level of safety and precaution by using protection.
You both may choose whichever kind of protection to use. You both might be seeing other people and it helps to keep safe to avoid stories that touch like STDs or unplanned pregnancies.
Talk about how it will end
FWB is as casual as any casual sexual relationship can be. The implication of this is that unlike the ‘foreverness’ of romantic relationships, FWB’s will have to come to an end eventually.
Discussing the end is best done at the start of the relationship. How long do you both what to keep seeing each other? How do you both address a situation where the other becomes involved in a committed relationship? What happens when one person is no longer interested in the relationship?
Discussing the end will break the ice and set a timeline for both parties to work with when the relationship kicks off.