Friday, April 6, 2012

6 Rules To Follow For A Successful “Friends With Benefits” Relationship

By Amelia McDonell-Parry

Friends with benefits. F**k buddies. It’s a concept I’ve never really been able to get behind, something I thought never really worked. Someone always develops feelings for the other, right? Someone always ends up getting hurt. But! I think I was wrong. Having the perfect f**k buddy relationship may be difficult, but it is not impossible — I should know!

See, off and on for the last year-plus, I’ve had a f**k buddy. And last night, when we were hanging out, I found myself thinking, This is pretty solid. This is easy. I don’t want anything more from this situation. So why has it worked? Well, I think we’ve stuck to six basic rules that have kept the boundaries clear and the situation mutually beneficial and fun. Check ‘em out, after the jump!

RULE #1: Be clear about what your relationship is from the start.

My FB and I actually met through an online dating site. We went out and hit it off, but he basically told me point blank that he “wasn’t really into dating.” I’m not entirely sure what he is into, but I suspect he thinks that when he meets “The One,” it’ll hit him over the head like a ton of bricks and he won’t have to do this whole courting process. Whatever. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t, it’s not really my concern. I tend to be more openminded and believe it takes at least a little while to know whether someone is a match for you or not. The point is, the two of us clearly were not going to be BF/GF. And that was okay! The movie fantasy is that FB/FWB eventually fall in love; I am pretty sure that in real life, that is so rare, it’s not even worth discussing. If you find yourself seriously entertaining the hope that will happen, save yourself from heartbreak and end it.

RULE #2: Find each other interesting.

Some may disagree with me on this, but I think it’s kind of necessary to be able to, like, converse with your FB. After all, you’re not having sex the entire time you’re together and awkward silences are total bonerkillers. And, I don’t know, but I find sex — even casual sex — to be hotter if I find the person I’m sexing to be smart, funny and interesting. MY FB and I actually have a decent amount in common — we like the same movies and we’re both writers. I read his screenplay and gave him feedback. In exchange, he’s going to direct the rom-com I haven’t yet started writing. The last few times we’ve hung out, we’ve talked about more personal stuff too — prior relationships, family issues, etc. I’ve even needled him about what I think are his commitment issues. I’m intrigued by him. If I wasn’t, I would probably be bored by now. And I like him as a person. That’s kind of important for this to be a regular type of thing.

RULE #3: All that being said, don’t care that much.

You can’t. Really starting to care about the other person is what leads to a FB relationship becoming unbalanced and a lack of balance ruins it. Yesterday evening, when my FB texted me about hanging out, I was somewhat inclined to take a raincheck. I had some work I could do, a few shows on my DVR that I wanted to watch, and I desperately needed a wax. But then I was like, “Eh, I haven’t gotten laid in a while, the work can wait, I can watch TV some other night, and who gives a crap that I’m hairy?” The point is, if you really, really want to see the person and will reschedule everything even if it’s terribly inconvenient, you’re probably starting to develop feelings and that is a red flag. So keep an eye on that. 

RULE #4: Don’t see each other too often.

One way I think you can kind of keep the caring at bay is by seeing each other regularly but not so regularly that you might as well be dating. My FB and I see each other in spurts. Sometimes we’ll see each other every couple weeks; sometimes, we’ll go a few months without contact. I was in a relationship for a few months last year, so when he booty called, I said as much and that was that. Then when I was single again, we picked things back up. The good thing about hooking up every couple weeks to a month is that you naturally have plenty to talk about when you do see each other. My FB just got back from a trip to North Africa — fascinating!

RULE #5: Know your relationship has a shelf-life.

And be okay with that. Right now, having a FB really works for me because I’m actually totally in love with someone else with whom the timing is very wrong. It’s complicated. I can’t get into it. Basically, I’m sorting shit out in my head and heart. But my sex drive revs on! My FB satiates my libido but is not an emotional distraction. Likewise, I know that at some point he may meet someone and want to end things. Hell, I may never hear from him again. That would be fine with me. I’d wish him well. It’s gotta end sometime!

RULE #6: Be really, really sexually attracted.

At the end of the day, I have a lot of fun f**king this dude. Sex is ultimately brings us together every single time. If you’re not having fun in bed there really isn’t any point to this kind of arrangement.

6 Rules To Follow For A Successful “Friends With Benefits” Relationship


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