In every single woman’s life, there almost certainly will come a time when you have to call the game with a friend with benefits. But since you’re not technically dating, it can be hard to know where to start. Sometimes it can be tempting to just ghost a f*ck buddy, especially if they’re not part of your inner social circle. But don’t do that. There are other ways to end your friends with benefits relationship that show you respect them and the little fling you had. Plus, why burn bridges if you don’t have to?
If you’re breaking up with your FWB because you met someone else, and you need to start streamlining your operations, breaking up properly leaves the door open to hanging out with them again one day. (If, of course, you don’t end up living happily ever after with your new boo, which we’re totally sure you will.)
But there are other reasons to end your friends with benefits relationship, too.
Maybe you’re catching feelings and need some time to evaluate whether it’s real or just your post-sex oxytocin. You wouldn’t be the first one to succumb to the “the cuddle hormone” effect with a f*ck buddy. Or maybe you’re moving to another part of the city and just don’t think the sex is worth the commute (extremely fair).
We’ve all been there. Here are some ways to break up with your FWB.
This is the best route to go when your friend with benefits isn’t someone who hangs out with your crew, and you likely won’t see them again ever once you break it off. Next time they reach out to make an appointment, so to speak, don’t just say that you’re “busy” or that you can’t make it this time, fill them in on your new relationship status or that you think you should stop having sex with each other for the time being. Being vague will only lead to them contacting you again, so cut it off cleanly.
2Keep it light.
Everything about this relationship is light and easy (or at least it was, or was supposed to be), so don’t get caught up in a discussion about “why” you’re calling it off. Some people don’t take rejection well at all, even when it’s coming from a person they aren’t really dating. Don’t get fooled if they start bargaining with you.
3Stick to it.
If you have a relationship with your f*ck buddy that involves a lot of late-night, possibly booze-fueled hookups, the first few weekends are the most dangerous after calling it off. Same if your friend with benefits is someone who hangs out with you and your friends often. Old patterns are hard to break, but if you’ve officially called it off, don’t hook up with them afterwards. It’s confusing for you and the other person.
4Sit them down and have “The Talk.”
If your f*ck buddy relationship was on the verge of an actual relationship, then you might need to set aside some time to talk. When you start seeing someone new and need to cut out your flings for your new partner, your FWB might be a little bummed, so treat it like an actual breakup. Pass them a tissue and then get the hell out of there, though.
5It’s alright to start crushing on them.
Just because your relationship is more about sex doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. You know your relationship best, but if you are starting to want more from your f*ck buddy, you should tell them. Yes, this is scary AF and could likely end in disaster. But you should ask them if they’re feeling all the feels, too. At least you put yourself out there.
6OK, fine you can ghost them.
Ghosting is not the nicest thing in the world, but some solely sexual relationships deserve it. Is FWB more out of convenience than actual pleasure or fun? Are they disrespectful in any way? Do you see them so rarely that it’s not even worth telling your new SO, or telling them that you have a new exclusive person in your life? Meh — at that point it’s not really ghosting as much as it is falling out of touch. Just don’t make it a habit.
Breaking up with anyone is not easy, no matter what the nature of the relationship. But when you do it in a way that respects your needs and the other person’s emotions, it’s so much better. And you can move on to the next phase of your life knowing you did the right thing.