Relationship Experts Share Their Thoughts on Whether it is Possible to Be Friends With Benefits


What happens when you have a generation of young people who aren’t interested in a committed relationship, but they still want some companionship that goes beyond a regular friendship?

They are hungry for some connection but still be able to play the field. If you think about it, these young folk want to have their cake and eat it too, without the calories. This is fine and well because they have their whole lives ahead of them to settle down.

So, they start hanging out with a particular friend (or maybe an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend). They’ll meet up for dinner or drinks; they’ll make out with one another when they are out at the club, they’ll snuggle at the movies. Why they might even spend the night at each other’s place after a Netflix marathon. Sometimes they’ll engage in deep conversations about life, the past, the future, and anything else. It sounds like these are activities that would be done between a couple who are in a thriving relationship, right? If it weren’t for various components that may be going on either person’s life, like a career change or health-related concerns, commitment could be on the table; however, for whatever reason, they choose to keep the commitment card off of the table.

Now you may be expecting that relationship experts would say that this is a bad thing and by having friends with benefits type relationship is going to cause more troubles than it’s worth. Surprisingly relationship experts feel that by having friends with benefits arrangement with someone, it can be, well, beneficial!

In the perfect world, you’re going to want to be in an FWB situation with someone you’re already comfortable to be around on a one on one basis. It could be an ex with whom you’re on good terms with or it could just be a friend that you don’t have any romantic feelings toward. The person you choose isn’t going to be judging you because your makeup isn’t on point all the time or if your fantasies are a little strange. When you take that promise of commitment off the table, you can be yourselves in the bedroom and out.

With the benefits of being an FWB, there are a few caveats that you should be mindful if you want the FWB to work.

1. You should be friends with your FWB. The keyword in “friends with benefits” is friends, not benefits!

You’d be surprised by how many people aren’t that friendly with the person they are sleeping with on a regular basis. More often than not, they get into an FWB arrangement with someone they are acquainted with on a basic level and nothing more. Ideally, you want there to be a solid friendship at the core of this arrangement. You don’t want to be sleeping with someone whose company you don’t particularly enjoy when you aren’t between the sheets.

2. The person you choose to be FWB with should bring something to your life, instead of keeping you from the life you want to lead. When to say that this, we mean that for an FWB to work, it relies on being in similar points in your life. For example, perhaps you both are preparing for a big move, and you don’t want to spend time and energy looking for a new partner only to leave them in a few months.

An FWB situation is the perfect solution because you have the companionship and fun you crave without the promise of commitment. And when those circumstances change, you’re going to have sat down and had a conversation about where the arrangement stands and so forth.

3. Both of you should be completely honest with one another at all times. If you want this arrangement to work out, both of you are going to have to be completely honest with one another. This means talking about things that may be uncomfortable and even unpleasant. Like any relationship (yes, an FWB arrangement is a relationship), it requires both people be on the same page at all times. The moment someone starts feeling romantic feelings for the other, they need to speak up and let them know. It also goes beyond that, though. You’ll want to have discussions periodically that touches on a few questions like:

  •  What will happen if one of you finally meets someone they want to date?
  • Is there a chance of a real commitment between the two of you?
  • What happens if one of you moves away, will the arrangement continue?

While you don’t have to have necessarily a contract that details the terms of this FWB, it is a good idea that you let each other know your expectations going in. So, while you may not be a legitimate “couple,” you are still in a pairing that is doing what you have to continue having fun while not making the arrangement awkward.