With no clear boundaries, a friends with benefits (aka a FWB) relationship can turn sketchy, FAST. No matter how casual the arrangement may be, a FWB should always treat you with respect and never demonstrate any of the following suspect behaviors. If they do, it might be time to downgrade them back to FWNB (aka friends with no benefits).
If you’re currently in a friends with benefits relationship, take a look at our checklist of “no-nos” below. And even if you’re not in a FWB situation, it’s still helpful to read through this list!
1Not be honest about their intentions
As a general rule, you shouldn’t enter a FWB relationship with someone you already know you want an official, exclusive relationship with. Sure, some no-strings-attached relationships can eventually go from casual to official. But most often, trying to keep things chill when you are feeling deeply for someone results in somebody getting hurt. If either of you isn’t honest about your intentions up front, this will no doubt disrupt the FWB relationship you have going on.
2Forgo safe sex
You should always be practicing safe sex, and according to a recent study, friends with benefits are, in fact, more likely to use condoms and practice safe sex than couples that were in traditional romantic relationships. So if your FWB is not on board, this is, as they say, a #dealbreaker.
3Blow off plans
If a FWB is playing cat and mouse with your schedule, then it’s time to permanently erase their number. And the next time that they try to make plans with you, just give them the ole “who dis?”
Jealousy is not healthy for any relationship, of course. But the green monster that is jealousy can often make a cameo appearance in a FWB relationship. The key to avoiding this is to make sure the relationship is clearly defined and both parties are on the same page from the get-go. If jealousy is a constant issue with your FWB, then this is a sign that you might want to move on.
5Slack on their grooming
Let’s be real; you sign up for a FWB relationship for great sex with a person you find very attractive. Sometimes when a FWB starts seriously slacking in the grooming department, that can be a bit of a libido-crusher – and in some cases, a deal-breaker.
6Assume “yes” is forever and not just “yes for now”
When it comes to FWB arrangements, you have the right to change your mind at any point – whether it’s days or weeks or even just minutes later. There should be no expectation for how long a friends with benefits relationship should last, and there should definitely not be any drama when one partner decides to quit.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: ghosting sucks. We get it; rejection is hard to dole out and even harder to receive, but a FWB relationship is one that you go into knowing that it has a shelf life. Therefore, it’s inevitable that one or both parties will want to peace out, and when they do, a simple “I’m not feeling this anymore,” is all that is required to end things. Ignoring a FWB or not giving them the status change update is just rude.