Relationship 101: Avoiding Heartbreak in a Friends With Benefits Arrangement

It is woman crush Wednesday and what better way to celebrate our sisters than to prevent them from getting hurt in a friends with benefits arrangement.

The latter is a relationship where a man and woman come to a mutual agreement to have physical relations whenever the need arises but will not have a committed relationship.

There are rules that govern these relationships but despite the best intentions, someone ends up getting hurt and it is normally the woman.

“He told me to stop nagging him and mind my own business.”

“Well, why can’t you leave him alone?”

“Because I love him!”

“Well, he doesn’t love you back…”

“I know. We are just friends with benefits. I shouldn’t be feeling this way. I am only hurting myself. But I want more than being just FWBs.”

Ladies get into Friends With Benefits (FWB) arrangements for various reasons. To some, mostly young women in their prime, they are going through sexual awakening and are simply looking for exploration.

For others, it is also a way of rebounding and healing from a broken relationship. Women have admitted to having FWBs to take care of their sexual needs till someone better comes along. Some may just be having a high sex drive that can’t be sustained by a monogamous relationship.

FWB relationships are meant to have the benefits of a sexual relationship with as little drawbacks of a committed relationship as possible. Unlike in a committed relationship, you are not accountable to your partner like in the FWB arrangement. You get the sex whenever you want without any ‘drama’ tagging along. It sounds perfect and you wish it could go on forever.

Women, however, will always want to have more of everything whenever they get into a relationship. More comfort. Security. Passion. Involvement. Adventure. Name it. FWBs are as stable, with minimal passion and unchanging as they come. They are everything the opposite of a romantic relationship. The physical needs are met while the emotional needs are ignored and suppressed as much as possible.

Soon the tide changes and waters that once seemed calm suddenly become turbulent. What are we? Where is this leading to? Is he in a similar arrangement with other girls or am I the only one? If he is seeing other girls, what risks am I exposed to?

For those who have been there before, they are not troubled much. For ladies who saw the arrangement as a means of landing their dream man, this stage makes them restless. She starts hinting at wanting a more serious relationship. Others directly say that they are looking for much more than casual sex. If a committed serious relationship doesn’t happen, they become withdrawn and less accommodative.

How you handle your feelings in an FWB relationship determines whether you get hurt or not. Whether you stay or leave, your happiness and future relationships could be affected. Quitting a casual sex relationship is also not as easy as it seems. The sex may be great, and you will need time to talk yourself out of it.

Sometimes, it is the sex that has fizzled out or you have found someone else and don’t want to continue with the casual sex. In other instances, a woman may realize that she is better on her own because she deserves better than just sex. Whatever the case, here are ways to protect yourself from a heartbreak in an FWB relationship

Be clear on your intentions beforehand

All relationships, whichever kind it is, depend hugely on communication. You should make sure that both of you are clear that the relationship is only physical. Be open with each other that it should not be exclusive.

Don’t expect the man to cuddle you all night listening to you talk about your deepest fears. Let the man not expect you to warm his bath and iron his work clothes the morning after. And if your intention is to get a leeway into a committed relationship, don’t wait later into the arrangement to start dropping hints. But if you choose to stay on, don’t get mad at them for not falling for you as you had expected them.

Restrict the relationship to sex

Even though an occasional drink together or a ‘happy birthday’ text won’t hurt, always remember the boundaries. Constant texting or hanging out can open up an emotional dam that will end with you wanting more. Calls should be restricted to booty calls. If you are in an emergency, they should be the last person you should think about contacting.

Enjoy the sex

It is the only thing you are there for in the first place. So you better make the best of it. Feel free to experiment and explore. Talk to your partner on your sexual dos and don’ts. Good sex is also great for mental health, so why not kill two birds with one stone? If you are not feeling it, run. And don’t look back, even if you are Lot’s wife.

Don’t feel guilty about your arrangement

You thought about it before you got yourself into an FWB arrangement. You know why you got into it. Let no one make yourself feel guilty about your decisions. Your family may see you as being promiscuous.

When you are in it for rebound sex after a breakup, others might blame the breakup on you. Don’t expect everyone to understand. Again, go forth and enjoy yourself.

Break it off when feelings start creeping in

Sometimes, you unintentionally start developing feelings later in the relationship. Good sex can sometimes make you feel closer to someone than you intended. Don’t beat yourself why you are always catching feelings for people you shouldn’t catch feelings for. Let them know about your feelings and find a way forward together. Don’t just ghost on them.

Communication is key, remember? There are even chances of them liking you back. Do not, however, take it personally if they don’t. If you deserve more than they are willing to deliver, let go of them calmly.

If your partner is the one catching feelings, let them off politely. Again, don’t ghost on them. They could come back to haunt you in future relationships. Never lead them on if a committed relationship is not your intention.

Always remember that you are not exclusive to each other, you partner may be having multiple sex partners. Practice safe sex.

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