What Boundaries Should You Set With Your Friend With Benefits? 20 Women Give Their Best Tips
Achieving a successful friend with benefits situation is no easy feat. In order to really make it mutually satisfying and conflict-free, you need to set some ground rules. But what boundaries should you set with your friend with benefits if you're really hoping to make the no-strings-attached setup work? In a recent Reddit AskWomen thread, ladies shared the boundaries that have worked for them and, honestly, they're pretty genius.
Read along and take note.
They don't engage in PDA.
We had some unspoken rules: 1 no bragging, 2 no PDA, 3 it was expected that if we develop any feelings we have to be honest and walk away.Well, it didn't take long before rule number 3 went out the window. It's been ten years and we're married now. I guess we didn't do FWB very well!
They usually don't introduce each other to friends.
For me, a FWB situation is just casual dating, but with the knowledge that it is not exclusive and isn’t going to become serious. We kiss and hold hands if we want to, we go out on “dates” (I’ve had some FWBs I’d only do drinks with, and others would do dinner too), etc. Usually we don’t introduce each other to friends, but that’s not set in stone.There’s also no expectation of emotional support. We can talk about things while we’re together, of course, but I’m not going to be the person you can count on to call after a bad day just to vent.
They keep texting to a minimum.
I kept texting throughout the day pretty minimal. Literally only contacted him for sex or a casual hangout that would probably lead to sex lol. We'd snapchat sometimes too, but I refused to let myself get to close or learn tooo much about him because I fall for people pretty easily.
They prioritize sexual health.
My fwb is my ex. We weren't a good fit to date but the sex is amazing. Sometimes we won't kiss on the lips, sometimes we're holding hands in the grocery store acting like a couple. It's all about communicating the boundaries and understanding it can be fluid or set in stone. My only solid boundary is don't f*ck another girl then f*ck me. Tell me or don't, but don't risk my health.
They respect the fact that neither of them want to be in a relationship.
We have what I think is one of the most healthy relationships I’ve ever been in lol. We talk all the time via texts or Snapchat. We share music back and forth or just talk about what’s bothering us. We have the best sex I’ve ever had and after we cuddle and I guess act very sweet towards one another. This could possibly make for a great relationship if it weren’t for two things:He doesn’t want a relationship.I don’t want a relationship.We are adults that understand this and respect that, and most importantly we respect one another. We’ve been doing this on and off for a little over two years and I honestly haven’t had a problem yet.
They let each other know if they start sleeping with other people.
Dating other people while I try to find the person I want to be in a relationship with. Notifying FWB if I become active with someone else. No emotional support. Booty calls allowed. We also make dinner and hang out/do activities together that you’d normally want a partner for. Axe throwing and rock climbing? Yep, we’ve done it. He’s so far across the political spectrum from me I have no actual desire for a relationship.
They keep sex their main focus.
We talk on the phone and text most days but it’s mostly just sex. Really really really good sex!
They don't go on dates.
I have 2. They are strictly no “dating” types of situations. We stay in touch and every few weeks one of us reaches out to the other and we meet up and one of our homes. We are looking for something more, but acknowledge that we are not a good fit for that, but the sex is great. So we have an agreement that if one of us gets serious with another person we will let the other know. No sleep overs. No going out on dates. It blurs the lines too much. We have known each other for over a year, and are open and honest with ourselves so there is trust there. Keep it simple.
They agree that, if anyone catches feelings, it's over.
If anyone catches feelings, we're up front about it and stop hooking up. Always using condoms.
They're both on the same page about what this is.
We just made it clear that it wasn't a relationship, we were friends but everything sexual was fair game. With last fwb, we also used to kiss in public and hold hands, he paid for everything when we hang out.
They don't kiss.
We don't kiss or make out, which is fine with me because I kinda hate making out anyway. But we text, hang out, have lunch pretty regularly. I mean, we're friends who just happen to bang.
We know it is what it is, and it won't be more than that.
They keep it a secret.
He’s my best friend’s brother so our major rule is we don’t talk about it outside of us. We don’t want to have to explain ourselves or make it awkward with my friend even though we are adults.
They were not exclusive.
Not talking very much outside of hooking up. No trying to get to know each other. We would hangout and not have sex sometimes but those were rare. No PDA and of course, non-exclusive. A mutual agreement that it is a fwb as well.For me, it also had to be someone I didn't see a future with. The last fwb guy was moving away and while i really liked him as a person, there were key differences that made us incompatible with each other. Core values that just didn't match.My last fwb met his current gf while we were hooking up and promptly ended things with me. Very happy for him.However, I then tried FWB again. It started off as someone who on the surface, I doubted I would want a relationship with. He was also in the plans of moving. But just goes to show there is more than meets the eye as we would up having very compatible values and are currently trying long distance.
They were always open and honest with each other.
We would go out on dates - comedy shows, movies, out for drinks, etc. Then we always went back to someone's house. We texted to arrange dates and occasionally to chat if we saw something or thought of something that the other person would enjoy. He used to drunk text me every time he went out I remember lol. The rules were basically to be open and honest with your feelings and to say if you were starting to want more than FWB. Also, we could see other people (I know I definitely did, but not sure about him - I never asked beyond making sure we were both using protection in *all* of our endeavours). I do remember the sex was just average, but what I enjoyed most really was having someone with whom I could go out, try new bars and activities and have fun. He was basically a good friend who made me laugh and who I had sex with.He was a nice guy, but I never had any feelings for him. We basically did the FWB thing before I moved abroad for half a year for school and it ended well enough. Then when I got back we tried to actually seriously date (not just FWB) and we realized we were not compatible long term or as more than friends who boink.
They're coworkers so they kept their professional lives out of it.
Because we knew each other from work, the main rules were just don't mention it at work, flirt at work, organise time to meet at work etc. Second was a personal rule for me which was if I catch feelings (and you will KNOW if you have) then to cut it off immediately. No matter how much they beg and say they dont mind, you'll just get hurt and it's not worth it for the sex. Trust me.Other than that, have fun! and you start to feel weird about it or shitty then stop, no point torturing yourself over sex.
They only contact each other to make plans.
I keep pretty low contact with them unless it’s to make plans. We’ve made it very clear that it’s not a long term thing and although we can be friends, we shouldn’t be best friends. I’m happy to listen if you’re having a bad day, but not every day all the time. I went on a date yesterday that ended up not going back to his room due to time constraints, but that was the exception rather than the norm.
They keep conversations surface level.
We chat pretty much every day but I make sure to keep everything surface level and fun. I'm not interested in anything deeper to avoid any concern about catching feelings. We hit each other up for phone sex or a hookup. We never made a decision about it but once we had the "what are you looking for" talk we have stopped going out in public together, and now we just hang out at his place with the expectation it'll lead to sex. I pay for myself and I don't stay the night. I'm still talking to and going out with other people. He's probably doing the same but I don't ask. If I meet someone I want to see seriously then I'll end things.
They never had sleepovers.
No sleeping over because personally I find it too intimate and a lot easier to develop feelingsNot much chat afterwards (I usually am the one leaving so leave pretty promptly but not too prompt to be rude!)Not too much communication between hookups
They kept everything off social media.
It's been a couple years now, but mine was very simple. We kept anything and everything about our situation off social media and far, far away from our friends. There was no schedule and we saw each other when the itch would arise. Never made a bigger deal about it, and we always respected if one of us was in a relationship. We very rarely would go out together, and if we did it was only to my favorite little bar if we didn't want to watch the game at home.Probably one of the best relationships of my life
They never acknowledge the fact that they hook up.
In my case we didn’t really set any boundaries, although they are implicit.We are friends who talk daily, text often, have lunch regularly and occasionally hook up.We never talk about it and none of our mutual friends even dream about it.If/when we hang out during the weekend - never alone - we normally agree whether we’ll “hang out alone” afterwards.
I told you they were genius. Now, obviously, every friends with benefits situation is going to be different. If these boundaries don't work for your particular situation, that's fine! Do you.