A real relationship is more than 'friends with benefits'
- Make absolutely sure you’re in complete agreement about what you’re doing.
- Be kind and supportive as you make the transition.
- It’s a good idea to agree to try your new relationship for three months and then review how you both feel.
These days, young urban men and women are getting married later and later. They’re also hugely focused on their education and careers, and wary of traditional family values. And that’s created a fashion for casual, no-strings-attached sex.
“Friends with benefits” relationships do work for some. Especially those who understand the rules.
They’re not dating, they’re just having fun. There’s no pressure to see each other every day. Or to keep in touch. And they don’t do the things real couples do, like leaving clothes in each other’s houses, or double-dating with their friends. Or kissing “hello” in public. So no one else knows about their relationship.
But staying FWB for any length of time is quite hard. Because sooner or later your emotions get in the way, even if only for a few minutes at a time. You’re friends, so there’s a degree of trust between you.
And sex releases hormones which make you feel bonded to each other. So it’s natural to want more.
The first sign that you’re developing feelings for your buddy is usually a hint of jealousy when you see them flirting.
If that happens you’re beginning to want more from your relationship, and should speak up.
But is it even possible to go from a FWB relationship into one that’s committed and monogamous? Yes it is. Though it’s not always easy.
So sit down and talk. It’s easy to miscommunicate, so agree that you’re both going to be 100 per cent honest with one another. And spell out anything that’s not completely straightforward. Say what you want, and get your friend to state clearly whether they’re in or out.
Because unless you discover you’re on the same page, it really is best to move on. Otherwise things will inevitably end in tears.
Once you’ve established that you both want a committed relationship, be clear about exactly what that means.
Don’t assume that you both want the same things! Does it mean seeing each other more often? Does it mean meeting each other’s families? What will you call each other?
Will you really delete all your dating apps? You don’t need to squeeze all this into one conversation, but you should clarify as much as possible before you get in too deep. Because the more openly you discuss what your proposed relationship will look like, the more likely it is to work out.
And don’t fudge the issue of monogamy. Make absolutely sure you’re in complete agreement about what you’re doing.
It’s a good idea to agree to try your new relationship for three months and then review how you both feel. That way you won’t be second guessing each other every day. Also agree that if it’s not working for either of you, you’ll let the other one know before going off with someone else.
Be kind and supportive as you make the transition. And you could end up living happily ever after.