Generally speaking, a FWB arrangement can seem like a convenient option when you want no strings attached intimacy on tap without the responsibility of a relationship. However, it’s safe to say that men view the concept of friends with benefits differently than women in quite a few ways.
- It always starts as something physical. The phrase friends with benefits can be a little misleading. Of course, the relationship is friendly in that you get along, but the arrangement is always rooted in a physical attraction, at least for guys. We don’t want to become friends with benefits with a woman because she’s fun to hang out with or because we have an emotional attachment. It’s because we’re attracted to her physically and want to sleep with her. That’s the main prerequisite of an FWB arrangement for guys.
- It’s about being free of feelings. For guys, one of the biggest benefits of an FWB arrangement is the lack of emotions. We’re not trying to have a serious relationship or develop feelings for the other person. It’s all about trying to have a little bit of fun while leaving the potential messiness of a relationship someplace else. Women need to understand that most guys just want a physical relationship and it’s not going to go any deeper.
- We’re always worried she’ll catch feelings. Of course, most guys in an FWB situation are worried that the other person will catch feelings at some point. This fear is almost always in the back of our minds. In fact, for many of us, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that at some point, she’ll want more than we do, and that’s when things will get really messy.
- We feel a bit guilty. For the record, I’m not saying this applies to all guys, but some of us do tend to feel a little guilty during long-term friends with benefits situations. This typically happens to guys who are sensitive or who are new to casual hookups. Over time, we tend to feel like we’re using the other person for sex without giving back anything emotionally. I’m not saying it’s enough to put a stop to things, but that emotion does crop up.
- They’re easy to leave. One of the biggest appeals of friends with benefits for guys is that it’s an arrangement that is usually easy to leave when we feel like things have run their course. It’s not exactly an ordinary breakup, which is nice. Keep in mind that most guys approach FWB as something that is open-ended but far from permanent. Nobody is expecting it to last forever, which makes it easier to walk away.
- Options remain open. For most guys, having an FWB arrangement with someone is no different from being single. Instead of trying to sleep with random people, you’re sleeping with the same person regularly. It doesn’t prevent a guy from exploring other options. For some guys, that even means still looking for someone who’s girlfriend material while having an FWB on the side. For other guys, it merely leaves the door open to sleep with other people as well or look for new FWB partners.
- Communication is still important. Admittedly, this isn’t a universal viewpoint for guys when it comes to FWB. However, many of us do believe that communication is essential if both people are going to get the most out of the situation. Most of the time, guys don’t want the other person to develop feelings for them any more than we want to develop feelings for the other person. Believe it or not, most guys are willing to communicate what we want and expect from the arrangement so that no one gets the wrong idea or gets hurt.
- Ghosting is always an option. Of course, on the other end of the spectrum, there are guys who know that they can ghost their way out of an FWB arrangement if necessary. If it matters, there are good guys out there who will explain why the FWB situation needs to end when the time comes. But there will always be jerks who start sleeping with someone in an FWB scenario knowing that when they want it to end, they will just ghost the other person.
- Guys can occasionally develop feelings. Ladies, I’m not saying you should expect this to happen. But if this is your wish, I can tell you that it’s not entirely impossible to turn something so casual into a real relationship. It IS possible to go from hookup to girlfriend. If the FWB situation lasts long enough or you two are hooking up frequently, it can be hard not to develop feelings for someone. However, it’s extremely rare for a guy to get into this kind of situation with this being the goal. In fact, it’s usually the opposite of the goal, so don’t expect it to happen.