Good day to all the twenty- and thirty-somethings going through something complicated; we’re sure that’s what brought you here! Today, we’ll dive into the perplexing world of Friends with Benefits (FWB). It’s one of those relationship dynamics that’s equal parts fascinating and eyebrow-raising.
Picture this: you’ve got a friend, someone you enjoy hanging out with, cracking jokes, and sharing secrets. But there’s this added twist – you’re also getting, well, intimate. No strings attached, no promises of forever, just two people enjoying each other’s company in a very, ahem, specific way. Sounds intriguing, right?
If you feel confused, don’t worry; we’ll chat about what these relationships typically involve, how they can work (or not), and the pros and cons. It’s like a roadmap to understanding a slice of modern love that’s not quite traditional but captivating.
So, whether you’re contemplating dipping your toes into the FWB waters or just plain nosy, we’re here to spill the beans on the meaning of friends with benefits. Stay tuned to learn all about it!
What is “friends with benefits”?
Alright, folks, gather ’round for the definition of Friends with Benefits – the not-quite-relationship, not-quite-friends, but definitely-fun arrangement. Imagine it as the rollercoaster of the dating world, where you get all the thrills without the commitment!
So, go back to the friend we discussed: someone you can talk to about anything and everything, and the chemistry is off the charts. But in the FWB universe, you’re not just discussing your favorite Netflix shows; you’re also engaging in some, well, adult extracurricular activities.
The key is to remember that FWB is all about the “benefits” of a romantic relationship without the strings that usually come attached. No pressure to define what you are, where you’re heading, or even if you’re seeing other people. No labels, no commitment phobias, just two consenting adults in a mutual agreement to keep things lighthearted.
What if you catch feelings?
Like everything in life, FWB isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There are some pitfalls to watch out for. Feelings might sneak in when you least expect them, and navigating that emotional minefield can be tricky.
FWB can get quite complicated when feelings are involved. As a rule of thumb, people generally do not speak their feelings, and there’s a good reason behind it.
If you’re in a friends-with-benefits situation in the first place, it’s quite obvious that feelings and commitment are not your cup of tea. The same goes for the other person as well. So, bringing emotions into this will most probably lead to the end of your little arrangement.
However, that being said, it also depends heavily on the intensity of your feelings and whether you think they like you back. If you like them enough to give your real relationship a chance, you should be honest. Honesty is the best way to ensure the least pain for both of you in the long run.
Maybe they like you back, which would be a dream come true for you. But, even if they don’t, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you gave it your all, won’t you agree?
Friends with Benefits vs. Situationships
FWB and situationships are less traditional than conventional romantic relationships. Even though they’re mistaken to be the same, they’re not due to some key differences. So, following are the rules of friends with benefits vs. the rules of situationships.
Nature of the relationship
FWBs: FWBs mostly revolve around physical intimacy and friendship in varying degrees. It’s essentially a friendship with added benefits. The focus is on the casual, physical aspect of the relationship, and there’s no emotional connection or romantic involvement.
The emphasis is on maintaining a low-key, no-strings-attached setup. While there could be some emotional connection, it’s not the primary focus.
Situationships: Situationships, on the other hand, are characterized by emotional involvement without a clear commitment to a defined relationship. They involve dating, hanging out, and a deeper emotional connection but lack the label of an official relationship.
People in situationships may share feelings, personal experiences, and support one another emotionally. Emotions always become more entangled in situationships than in FWBs.
Label and expectations
FWBs: Friends with benefits come with a spoken, discussed understanding that it’s a casual arrangement with minimal expectations for a long-term commitment. The label and boundaries are usually clear – friends who occasionally engage in physical intimacy.
Situationships: Situationships, by their nature, are less clearly defined. The lack of a label and/or commitment leads to ambiguity and confusion. People in situationships may not be certain about the nature and direction of the relationship.
FWBs: FWBs can be short-term or long-term arrangements, but they often endure as long as both parties are content with the setup. They may come to a natural end if someone develops stronger feelings or circumstances change.
Situationships: Situationships are often characterized by their lack of a defined future. They might continue for an extended period without progressing into a committed relationship, leaving participants in a state of limbo, confused, and hurt.
FWBs: Communication in FWBs is about logistics, boundaries, and the maintenance of the physical aspect of the relationship. Emotional discussions are very limited.
Situationships: Communication in situationships is comprehensive, involving discussions about emotions, expectations, and the direction of the relationship. It’s a space for addressing the “where are we headed?” question.
In summary, friends with benefits focus more on the physical aspect with clear boundaries, while situationships are often emotionally deeper but characterized by uncertainty and a lack of commitment.
What does “friends with benefits” mean to men? 3 Possibilities
As always, men’s perspective varies from that of women in terms of a friends-with-benefits relationship. They often have a different perception and mindset when dealing with FWB. Although it isn’t necessarily bad, it’s best to be aware of all possibilities and learn what you’re getting yourself into.
Casual and non-committal
For most men, FWBs represent a casual and non-committal arrangement. It’s a means to enjoy physical intimacy and companionship without the pressure of a committed relationship. They appreciate the simplicity and lack of emotional complications in such a setup.
This is more likely in men who’ve gotten out of a long relationship or who’ve been hurt by their last partner. It’s also possible they’ve seen too many instances of less-than-amicable breakups.
Some men see FWBs as a convenient way to satisfy their physical and emotional needs without the demands of traditional dating or a committed relationship. They value the flexibility and ease; they can maintain their independence while enjoying the benefits of a close connection.
However, in these cases, it’s highly common for the women or partner to feel detached after some time. So, in terms of longevity, it’s best to avoid such men because the friendship will likely fade after a while and it’ll seem more like an extended hookup.
Exploration and experimentation
For others, FWBs is a way to explore and experiment in relationships and intimacy. It offers a chance to learn more about their requirements in a partner, their boundaries, and the dynamics of relationships, all without the pressure of long-term commitment.
It’s also a convenient way to understand what a potential partner might want and their general thought pattern.
It’s important to note that individuals’ views on FWBs can differ widely, and not all men will see it the same way. Communication and clarity are essential to ensure that both parties are on the same page and understand what it means to them.
What does “friends with benefits” mean to women? 3 Possibilities
Although it might not look like it, women and men have highly different perceptions and mindsets about almost everything, and friends with benefits is no exception to that. Read on to learn the most common perceptions of women towards FWB.
For some women, FWB often represents a choice to prioritize their independence over romantic commitments. They appreciate the flexibility and simplicity of such relationships, as they can fulfill their emotional and physical needs without the time and energy demands of a committed partnership.
The emphasis is on pursuing their ambitions and aspirations while enjoying companionship and intimacy when desired.
Another perspective involves women who have recently gone through a breakup or a difficult romantic experience. For them, FWBs can serve as a means of emotional healing and rediscovery. In Gen Z lingo, this is what one would call the “revenge era.”
They aren’t ready to dive into a committed relationship but crave human connection and intimacy. FWBs are a safe space to explore their desires, regain confidence, and re-establish their sense of self after a challenging breakup.
Casual fun and adventure
Some women may see FWBs as an opportunity for pure fun and adventure. They value the excitement and spontaneity of engaging in a casual, physical relationship.
They’re all about enjoying the present moment, trying new things, and embracing the thrill of a carefree connection. It is a source of excitement and a way to explore their desires without the constraints of a relationship.
Apps & websites to find “Friends with Benefits”
Now that you know the meaning of friends with benefits and how it works, let’s move on to how you can find an FWB if you wish to do so.
To begin with, the best place to find an FWB is your friend group, duh. However, if you don’t find a match in your friend group or if you’d rather not jeopardize your friendship, that’s quite understandable.
For some people, it might seem way more secure and uncomplicated to have a FWB arrangement with someone they aren’t that close with. So, we’ll discuss some friends-with-benefits dating apps and sites where you can look for the most convenient match!
However, it’s important to remember that these sites and apps aren’t perfect; they all have pros and cons. One must be patient in their pursuit, or it can get difficult to find a match anywhere, be it online or offline.
With that in mind, let’s move on to our list of dating apps and websites:
Tinder, extremely well-known for its straightforward approach to dating, can also be used to find FWB. By communicating your intentions on your profile and engaging in open conversations, you’ll most likely find those seeking a casual, consensual relationship. Remember, honesty is key, and setting boundaries upfront ensures a mutually respectful FWB dynamic.
Like most things, it works better if you pay for it! There are many subscription tiers on Tinder; namely, Tinder Plus™, Tinder Gold™, and Tinder Platinum™. These provide you with more access, control, and opportunities that will help you find your perfect match!
Bumble is yet another app that will let you find the partner you’re looking for, be it a romantic partner, BFF, or even a business acquaintance!
Yep, you heard us right. Bumble has three options: Bumble Date, Bumble Bizz, and Bumble BFF. Here, you’ll need to go with Bumble Date. However, once you get into your profile development, you’ll have more than a few opportunities to clearly state your mission, so to speak.
Remember to maintain the utmost clarity, because that is naturally what will confirm that you get the most suited matches. You can also subscribe to Bumble Premium, which will improve your accessibility and speed up the matching process!
Ashley Madison is a one-of-its-kind friends-with-benefits dating site where married people can, well, explore their options, so to speak. While not everyone agrees with its cause, it’s undeniable that Ashley Madison is onto something here.
The website has airtight security and privacy features, meaning there’s a very small chance of your identity being revealed. If you want to date someone outside your marriage or don’t mind dating someone married, it is the safest, most convenient option.
The most important part is, there’s no risk of emotional attachment. Almost every user there is simply looking for a brief reprieve from their marriage. So, if feelings get in the way of your endeavors, Ashley Madison is perfect for you.
Is “Friends with Benefits” for You?
Now that we’ve reached the end of our blog for today, there’s only one question you must ask yourself: Is friends with benefits for me? It’s a valid question you should answer honestly if you don’t wish to have a miserable next few months.
This is because if that’s not something you’re eventually capable of, it’ll only be a source of pain and heartbreak for you. If you’re not one of those who thrive on avoidance and emotional attachment, that’s not bad!
If you decide to go ahead with this, it’s best to lay down boundaries and ground rules right at the start. Be honest and clarify exactly what you’re looking for to avoid misunderstandings on both sides.
Lastly, if you run into any problems or have any questions regarding FWBs, do let us know in the comments below!