We’ve all been there. All of a sudden, we are regularly seeing someone who isn’t a dedicated partner, but is someone who is a friend, a good one, and happens to also be someone you have sex with regularly. Complicated, eh? Inevitably, feelings will change. And knowing when to stop seeing your friend with benefits can be tricky. When do you know when you should stop? How do you “break up” with someone who isn’t technically your partner but is still someone very involved in your life, and your bedroom?
For most people, the “end goal” is not a friend with benefits, which is where the problems begin, questions are asked, jealousy seeps in, and the worry of “what are we” becomes complicated and blurry. And can you ever get back to the friend-zone?
As someone who ultimately fell in love with their friend with benefits and remained together for four years, I believe in the power of love and sex, but not every situation is one in the same. Once the discomfort sets in or the obvious power roles are unequal, it’s time to reevaluate your choice with your friend. But with studies proving that only 15 percent of FBW situations become successful relationships, it’s natural to your doubts.
Here are four signs of when you should stop seeing your friend with benefits.
1. Sudden jealousy
Feeling a pang of jealousy, anxiety, or stress in regards to your FWB? It’s hard to remember that this situation isn’t based on commitment. You or your friend may begin to see other people, seriously or for fun, and this may result in a change of emotions. It’s totally natural, it’s going to be happen, but once it’s an unhealthy jealous, begin to reevaluate your decision to see this person as a casual hookup.
Signs of jealousy can make you realize how invested you are and this is an obvious change in how the relationship is perceived. Before leaving your FWB, talk to them, discuss your feelings and let them take it or leave it.
2. It’s all on their terms
Interested in hitting your buddy up only to be denied, but find yourself jumping up at any chance to hang out with them? Ugh, then you may have a bit of a problem. In a situation like FWB, equality is terribly important. Hanging out should be mutual and it shouldn’t rely on one or the other. The whole point of a friend with benefits agreement is that both parties are enjoying themselves and no one gets rung through the emotional rollercoaster of patiently waiting on ellipsis’s or late night calls.
3. It’s messing up your friendship
First things first, you are friends with this person. That’s where the basis of this entire situation lies. Before you begin your FWB relationship, consider how you will both move forward if things end or if either of you find someone new. With that foundation, you can stabilize your friendship and remind one another that your friendship is at the core of all of this kissing. If being a friend to your FWB is becoming too challenging, it may be time to can the entire idea
4. You don’t feel comfortable
The most important reason to quit your entire friends with benefit relationship is if you feel uncomfortable and insecure. Hooking up with a friend should be freeing and empowering, not filled with anxiety. If hooking up at random isn’t for you, then that’s totally fine! No need to force yourself into a situation, out of fear of losing your friendship, or out of insecurity that stems from an outside source. Deeply consider how your FWB relationship is making you feel and if it is positively enhancing your sexual life.
Friends with benefits can be a fun and easy experience. You should be 100% comfortable with the situation and if you aren’t, you should be able to discuss your anxieties or concerns with your friend. At the end of the day, they are your buddy, after all.