I was in a major online dating slump and my dates bored me. I didn’t have the time or energy to go out of my way to find a decent guy to go out or hook up with and one of my guy roommates was starting to feel the same way. We soon realized that the answer to our swiping dilemma was each other. So, I turned my roommate into my friend with benefits. And while that may sound like a recipe for disaster, it actually worked out pretty well.
What it’s like living with your FWB
- We lived in the same house. We were roommates sharing a house with several other close friends. We saw each other on a daily basis, either just chillin’ at home or grabbing some dinner or drinks on the weekend. It was the height of convenience having my FWB’s bedroom across the house from my own. It basically eliminated the question of “your place or mine?”
- We were already really good friends. We met in college, had a few classes together, and even worked together for a while. We became really good friends even before we were roommates. Living together was chill and stress-free (other than deciding whose turn it was to take out the trash). We’d never fought or argued and always respected each other. We’d been there for each other going through breakups and stressful projects at work. Basically, there were already solid grounds for intimacy with my roommate with benefits.
- We were both sick of online dating. I didn’t want to hook up with random guys anymore, but I wasn’t exactly ready to launch into a full-blown relationship with the next decent guy I met. I figured that a friends with benefits situation would be perfect for me, although the struggle of finding a new “friend” seemed too bothersome. When my roommate expressed the same frustration with Tinder that I’d developed, we seemed to mutually resolve ourselves to drop it altogether when we could have a good thing going for us, no swiping required.
- It was fun keeping a secret from our other roommates. One of the most exciting parts was keeping it from the rest of our roommates. It was exhilarating to tiptoe across the house and slip into his bedroom in the late hours of the evening, hoping not to cross paths with anyone. Even more thrilling were the daytime romps when other roommates were home and he’d have to peek out the door to make sure no one was nearby. It was fun to walk around the house, going about my business like nothing incredibly hot and heavy just happened.
- It wasn’t that hard to meet up at 2 a.m. Whether it be boredom, needing a study break, or the inability to fall asleep, that booty call in the wee hours of the morning was much more welcome than the typical 2 a.m. texts. No need to slip on some decent clothes, put shoes on, or drive across town. Going down the hallway, already braless (cause home is where the bra comes off), and knocking on his door made the convenience of it all feel way more sexy and scandalous than any random hookup. This was one of the major highlights of having a roommate with benefits.
- We were comfortable with each other. As I said, we were really good friends. Somehow we’d gotten into the habit of calling each other “bro” like we were best buds. But in all honesty, we were! Other than my best girlfriend, he was next in line for me to spill all of my problems, worries, hopes, and dreams to.
- I didn’t care what I looked like around him. Living together, I couldn’t care less if he saw me in my sleep tee and smeared mascara on day three without a hair wash. I didn’t have to shave before we slept together. It didn’t matter if I was wearing my granny panties; those were coming off anyway!
- We had such a great time. The sex was really good. It’s amazing when you start looking at a friend differently and realize how attractive you find them. We were comfortable asking for what we wanted in bed. He gave me the attention I desired in all the right places. We could have a great sweat session then laugh and be silly right after.
- We could tell each other anything. I would be lying if I said our FWB situation was completely without complication. Being such great friends, there were definitely times I questioned whether we might be good for each other in a romantic relationship. After a few weeks of being FWB, I had to admit to him that I’d had feelings for him in the past and I still might. At first, he laughed about it jokingly, but when he saw I was serious, he was clear with me that he didn’t want to date and possibly ruin our great friendship. At first I was hurt, but I could understand it, and I didn’t want to ruin what we had either.
- We cared about each other. We were each other’s best friends and we cared about each other. Being in a romantic, committed relationship doesn’t have to be the only relationship in which you can have wonderful sex with someone you care about. We wanted the best for each other, so when he moved away to be closer to his family and start his career, I couldn’t have been happier for him. We’re still friends and catch up every now and then. Although it was short, it’s fun to think back on the time I had a best friend with benefits.
Things to keep in mind when you have a roommate with benefits
Admittedly, this situation worked out well for me, but I’m one of the lucky ones. Mixing sex with (generally) platonic living arrangements can be a messy affair and potentially destroy your ability to live together. However, if you do feel like you want to give it a try, here are some things to keep in mind that helped me.
- Keep the friendship front and center. This is good advice for any friends with benefits situation, but especially when said “friend” is a roommate. Because this isn’t an official relationship that’s going to lead to long-term commitment, you want to focus on your friendship outside of the bedroom. Maintaining that platonic connection will ensure you can keep living together even when you stop sleeping together.
- Don’t overstep your boundaries. This was hard for me sometimes, but I eventually got the hang of it. Just because you and your roommate have great sex doesn’t mean they owe you the same things an official partner would. I knew he wasn’t my boyfriend just because he was giving me incredible orgasms several times a week. I had to remember that when I would get uppity if he hung out with other people or didn’t do things that were clearly boyfriend responsibilities, not FWB ones.
- Remember they’re your roommate, not your partner. This is probably the most important rule of all. While this distinction is important in terms of boundaries, it’s also important in regard to living arrangements. You’re not living with a boyfriend, you’re living with a roommate. As such, you need to respect your common areas as such. Don’t leave dirty dishes laying around or your old laundry on the bathroom floor after you shower. Be considerate as you would with a roommate you weren’t having sex with. Otherwise, the tension that arises could ruin the FWB situation you have going on too.
- Be prepared for things to go wrong. It didn’t for me, but I realize that’s rare. The chances are, trying to have a totally casual sexual relationship with someone you’re living with is a bad idea. A lot of people don’t necessarily have the capability to compartmentalize in the ways that are needed. You’ll have to be prepared for it to all go up in flames. Hopefully it won’t, but it might, and that’s worth remembering. It shouldn’t necessarily keep you from going for it, but just be sure you know what you’re getting into.