Why You Need to Ditch Your Friend with Benefits

In theory, having a friend with whom you can have a casual NSA thing seems like a good idea. If you’re single, it makes for a great way to kill time, procure that physical attention we all desire, and, of course, it gets you laid. On paper it’s a perfect plan, but in the real world, not so much. While having a friend with benefits is something everyone should experience once, it’s also something that shouldn’t be allowed to last too long. An FWB is the intermission you take between relationships, and nothing more, so you should always be aware that the time will come to end it.

  1. You’re getting attached. Even if you’re not emotionally attached, being physically attached isn’t a good thing. Once your body starts craving him, you need to split.
  2. You’re preventing yourself from meeting other people. A friend that you just sleep with shouldn’t be consuming your time. Once he does, then it’s time to realize it’s gone too far.
  3. You don’t want the same thing. If either one of you is hoping to make this situation into something real and the other one isn’t, then yikes. Not ending it immediately is just asking for a disaster.
  4. It’s getting complicated. Something that’s built on NSA shouldn’t be complicated. It’s supposed to be easy, fun, and devoid of drama.
  5. You argue like a couple. If you’re going to argue like a couple, you might as well just been in a serious relationship.
  6. Jealousy is part of the equation. There shouldn’t be any levels of jealousy over other people when you’re having sex with someone who is just your friend, like, ever. Jealousy defeats the purpose of it being casual.
  7. There’s no mutual respect. It’s important that you respect each other’s feelings, boundaries, and expectations. You can’t swing a friends with benefits things without it.
  8. You don’t feel like you can trust him. When you’re having a sexual relationship with someone, no matter who he is, trust is paramount. You need to be able to trust that he’ll be just as safe in the sexual practices he has with others as he is with you.
  9. You’re feeling obligated. It’s one thing to feel obligated as a friend, as that’s just what friendships entail. When that obligation feels like a burden, then what you had has run its course.
  10. You feel bad about yourself. Some people can have sex without feeling any sort of guilt or regret. If you get to a point where you can no longer do that, something has got to give.
  11. You realize you’re being used. Of course being a FWB is about a level of using, but it’s also an agreed upon, mutual using. Once there starts to be an imbalance of power in using, you can’t get that back.
  12. You can’t do this forever. Very few people marry their friend with benefits, and if they do, it usually doesn’t last. Every person in your life serves a purpose, and you can’t force people to serve a purpose they weren’t meant for.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.