Can Friends with benefits be a healthy relationship?
“Casual” sex has become increasingly common and many of us have, at some time or other, been involved in a “friends with benefits” (FWB) relationship. The most common FWB relationships happen between friends who have known each other for an extended period of time (most usually over 6 months) and between friends who used to date or were in a long term relationship. FWB relationships are supposedly very common with over 60% of adults claiming to have been involved in some form of FWB relationship. Given that FWB is common we thought it would be worth investigating by looking at the pros, cons and pitfalls of this potentially exciting yet often frightful arrangement.
Now some of you might have noticed our title – specifically the words “healthy relationship” – and this is one of the biggest concerns of FWB. FWB lies in one of the many dating grey areas because it’s not technically a relationship in the way normal dating relationships are. However, your relationships with your friends are still relationships and adding “benefits” makes the friendship much more complex. Technically there is no commitment in the sense of a long term commitment of love but there is a commitment of friendship. You may also have noticed that we’re using the word technically quite a lot and you’ll soon see why as we take a journey into the pros and cons of FWB.
To point out the elephant in the room the biggest pro to FWB is of course the sex (In whatever form it might take). FWB relationships allow people to enjoy the pleasures of sex, without the strings of commitment, with someone they know and trust. Given the times and the myriad of risks, dangers and pitfalls of casual sex with strangers it is easy to see the added appeal of sleeping with a friend rather than someone you met on a Friday night in some grotty pub or club in your local city/town centre. Your friends are of course the people whose company you enjoy, the people who you unload all your woes onto and of course the people who do the same in return. This can and often does make the transition from friends to FWB a lot easier as a huge amount of comfort and trust is already available.
Well, its not all plain sailing for friends with benefits, find out what could go wrong with Friends with benefits in the second part of the article.