Can we just put something out there? Friends with benefits relationships can be really hard. First, you have your own expectations: Are you looking for someone to experiment with, or a casual companion, or a reliable booty call? Then, there’s your *friend’s*expectations: are they looking for someone to exchange sexy texts with, or help them build a blanket fort, or fill a gap between real relationships? (And don’t forget everyone else’s expectations, because when it comes to FWB, everyone’s got an opinion.) Friends with benefits arrangements can take a lot of forms, so it’s important to start off on the same page.
But as with any other relationship, connections can evolve over time. If your FWB is starting to feel more like your significant other, it’s time to bite the bullet and explore how you both feel. Here are a few of the signs that might indicate a change in your relationship.
1. You really can’t keep your hands off each other
A friends with benefits arrangement makes sense when you’re both in it for something casual. If there’s chemistry and attraction involved, that’s probably worth exploring — without the limitations of a FWB label.
2. You miss each other when you haven’t hung out for a while
There’s some truth to the saying, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” If you and your FWB miss each other after a few days apart, your emotions might be more complicated than you thought.
3. You travel together
If you visit a new place together and hook up, rather than act as wingmen, people are probably going to think you’re a couple. Which is fine — but it might be worth asking yourselves why you’re okay with looking like a couple and acting like a couple, but not actually being one.
4. You know everything about each other’s romantic histories
Have you confided in each other about the heartbreak you thought you’d never recover from? Do you know each other’s turn-offs and trust issues? That’s deeper info than any FWB needs to know.
5. You spend entire weekends together
Friends with benefits hook up — couples spend the weekend together. If your Netflix and chill sessions are lasting more than 24 hours, there’s a good chance you really like each other.
6. You don’t always have sex when you hang out
Do you spend time alone together doing things you both enjoy (ahem… we meant with your clothes on…)? If you and your FWB don’t always hook up when you hang out, you’re developing a pretty well-rounded relationship.
7. You’re each other’s go-to people for anything fun or important
Is your FWB is the person you’d bring to a movie, concert, wedding or awkward work party? If you’re each other’s go-to people for date-like situations, it might be time to have The Talk.
8. You have *moments*
We’re talking eye contact, butterflies, heart-skips-a-beat, undeniable moments that go unacknowledged — because what are you even supposed to say?
9. You’ve been through something major together
Whether it’s the loss of a parent, an unexpected change at work, a medical scare or the end of a friendship, there are moments in life when you really need your support system. At times like these, friends with benefits are often kept at arm’s length. So if your FWB is there for you, chances are you’ll wind up getting closer.
10. You’re there to help each other with the small stuff, too
Does your FWB know when you’re stressed? Do you help with their work woes? If you help each other get through the “daily life” stuff, you might actually be building a life together.
11. You try dating other people, but always end up wishing you were with each other
It should probably go without saying, but if you’re thinking about your FWB while you’re out with someone else — or in bed with someone else — there’s probably a reason.
12. You get to know each other’s friends
In a relationship, meeting someone’s friends is a big, symbolic step. Unless you have a lot of shared acquaintances, there’s no real reason to bring a FWB into your social group — unless you’re really invested in having them in your life.
13. You’re not sleeping with anyone else
Does all of your sexual and emotional fulfilment come from your FWB? If that’s a conscious choice, you need to tell them about it.
14. You know each other better than anyone
When friends with benefits are also best friends, the line between dating and friendship gets blurred badly. Before everyone else in your life starts asking why you’re not in a relationship, talk to each other and make sure you have an answer for yourself.
It’s not the easiest line to cross, but if you’re feeling all the feels, it’s likely your friend is, too.