16 Unspoken Rules Of A Friends With Benefits Arrangement

When you’ve got no romantic prospects in sight and you’re not particularly looking for them, sometimes having a friends with benefits situation can come in handy. Sex on call with none of the baggage of being in an actual relationship? What’s not to love? Nothing, really — unless you forget to follow these 9 unspoken rules when it comes to hanging out with, texting, and sleeping with your FWB.

Rules to follow in a friends with benefits arrangement

  1. Never choose a friend you couldn’t stand to lose. Remember the saying, “Don’t eat where you poop”? Never choose someone you have a deep emotional connection with, because you may just lose them after your FWP arrangement ends. You can save yourself from the awkwardness and drama by simply picking the ideal candidate: someone you don’t know all that well but like well enough.
  2. Practice safe sex. This rule is one of the most obvious but one of the most forgotten and overlooked. Being on the pill isn’t an excuse, either. When you’re in a FWB setup, that also means your FWB is free to hook up with anyone else. You don’t want to wake up one day with an STD or unwanted pregnancy, so tell him to use condoms all the time.
  3. Set clear expectations. While people who get into an FWB setup should know the rules around hanging out, texting, and the actual sex, it’s always best to assume they don’t. Make sure you’re clear that all you have going on is a FWB setup, nothing more. This way, no one keeps their hopes up that it’ll turn into a relationship.
  4. Skip the cuddling. Cuddling, even after sex, is for people who are together. It’s not meant for FWB. For this reason, make it a point to leave or make him leave once you’re done doing the dirty. Lingering around or staying the night after the hook-up session may lead to pillow talk. And you know how pillow talk can lead you to develop feelings, which is one thing that should never be involved in a FWB.
  5. No casual texting. Your text messages about each other should only consist of making plans for future hook-up sessions — no asking of how he is and what he’s doing, or vice versa. Good night or good morning text messages are absolutely forbidden.
  6. Never introduce your FWB to people you love. Your friends and family need not know about your casual intercourse with Dan. If ever they come across him in public, then a simple, “This is Chuck!” is enough. If possible, make your setup a secret. If he ever wants to introduce you to his family and friends, it’s time to say goodbye.
  7. No public outings. And that includes meeting each other for coffee, brunch, or movies. Dinner dates are a big no-no, too. The only time you should meet is to hook up. Period.
  8. Avoid getting to know each other. No, you don’t need to know about his favorite food or the sports he’s into. All you need to know is how you can satisfy his sexual needs and that’s all he needs to know about you, too.
  9. Never allow your emotions to take over. You’ll know you’re catching feelings the moment you see yourself thinking about him and missing him. When this happens, remember that FWB and feelings don’t mix well. You don’t want a meltdown. More importantly, you don’t your heart to get shattered to pieces. Leave before it’s too late.

FWB texting rules you should always follow

woman texting on couch with tea

provided by iStock

You’ve read the general rules for having a friend with benefits, but chances are you’ll do a lot of your talking (read: making plans to meet up and have sex) via text. However, before you press “send,” make sure you’re following these FWB texting rules.

  1. Don’t text excessively. This is probably the most important of all the FWB texting rules out there. You’re not in a relationship. They’re not your romantic partner and they don’t owe you anything. Messaging nonstop or expecting to be in touch 24/7 isn’t just unrealistic, it’s also kinda inappropriate. While you might just want to say hi, this isn’t that kind of relationship.
  2. Respect your FWB’s boundaries. Of course, both of your boundaries matter and they should respect yours too. That being said, make sure you’re not overstepping the mark or making them uncomfortable in any way. While you might feel comfortable with them, that doesn’t mean you can do or say whatever you want.
  3. Keep things light and flirty. That’s the joy of a FWB situation, after all. It’s supposed to be light and fun, but making things heavy will ruin it all. Instead of getting all deep or trying to ~*cOnNeCt*~ with them, beef up the sexual tension. Make it so that they can’t wait to see you (and f**k you) again. That’s kinda the whole point.
  4. Be honest and upfront. Don’t ever lie and say you feel a way you don’t. Oh, and don’t pretend you’re cool with something you’re not. You have to do you 100%, so be straight with them. If they don’t like it, they can kick rocks. There are plenty of other friends with benefits where they came from.
  5. Don’t send mixed signals. Another of the all-important FWB texting rules you must follow. Don’t say one thing or do another, and don’t lay them hot and cold. It should be clear from day dot that this is a casual situation. You’re friends, and the “benefits” part refers to someone to have sex with. Don’t get it twisted.
  6. Choose your timing wisely. Don’t text them when you know they’re stressed at work. Likewise, don’t reach out when they’re on another date or you know they’re hanging out with their bros. Inserting yourself at the wrong times will bring the relationship to a grinding halt.
  7. Kill the jealousy. You’re not together, so you have no right to get jealous. That’s a tough pill to swallow, we know. However, it’s true. Rein in your jealousy and remember where you stand. You’re a free woman and they’re a free person. Since you’re both single, you can do whatever you want. You’ll do well to remember that. If you find yourself getting too jealous and feel unable to control it, it might be time to end the relationship.
Maine Belonio is a twenty-something mom and writer who has a penchant for coffee, long distance running, Tolkien, Switchfoot, and Jesus. Find her broken, honest, and brave musings at mainebelonio.com.