Embarking down the path of having an FWB can be a very satisfying one...if executed correctly. There are a few things that can go wrong, which means you need to make some careful decisions to make sure that things go as smoothly as possibly. An FWB is not a committed relationship, so you can't treat it like one or necessarily expect that it's going to turn into one. Although stranger things have happened, of course: Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis started out as FWB in real life and now they are married and adorable so who knows. But the truth is, this kind of situation is more likely to end in heartbreak than true love. If you want a boyfriend, then go find a boyfriend. But if you really truly are in the place where you want an FWB relationship with nothing more and no strings attached, then are here are 15 majors no-no to keep in mind and live by while you do it. Stay strong sister.
15 Don't Expect Him To Be A Cute BF
The line between FWB and just straight up dating an idiot who's just scared to commit can be a very fine one. When you have an FWB you cannot, repeat cannot, stick around and think that cutesy relationship things are part of the deal. They're not, and while you might get them some of the time, if you grow to expect them you will feel some sort of negative emotion the times that you don't. It's like impossible not to. Last week you guys cuddled and joked in bed for two hours while he twirled your hair and this week he didn't even make eye contact with you post coitally as he grabbed his phone and practically shoved you out of his bed. That's not cool, but he's not your boyfriend, and from his perspective he thinks he can do whatever he feels like when he feels like... because he's not your boyfriend. Consistency is key to keeping sanity in an FWB situation, and if you want it, you have to keep in place. Get up and leave first before he can try and act cute. If he really misses you and wants to get cute he can sort that out for himself and admit that he actually wants to date you or whatever.
14 Don't Ignore Safety
Hey ladies, just because a guy is totally confident skipping the protection doesn't mean you should be. It would be a nice world if everyone was honest and straightforward and conscious of keeping other people safe and healthy. But that's not how it works. If it was, no one would have any STI's and instead, they're like running rampant. You absolutely need to protect yourself and have the safe talk (no matter how dorky or lame you think it is -- because it's not actually lame at all). If you're sleeping with someone and have an interest in staying clean and baby free, it's just simply responsible to have a quick convo about your options. If he's sleeping with anyone else, even one random person every 5 weeks just one single time, you need to use protection. STI's can be stigmatized to the point that we think we can look at a person and know whether they might have one or not. Except that's not how it works. Don't pretend like they don't exist or assume that your FWB is getting tested every day. He's not. (Even if he was, there would still be time to catch something in between getting results.
13 Don't Try To Make Him Jealous
Being in an FWB situation can get a little weird every once in awhile, and in the moments where you feel unsure or insecure, it can be tempting to try and shift the power back into your court. One of the only ways you have of doing this in an FWB situation is to try and make him jealous about other dudes. You might succeed, but what are you really accomplishing? You're just ensuring that things get weird, complicated, and dramatic where they're supposed to be chill. An FWB relationship is built out of mutual agreement, mutual convenience, and mutual attraction. But that's pretty much all you should expect it to be. If you honestly want to be in one and aren't just lying to yourself about it, there shouldn't be the desire to make things more complicated than they need to be. Just get in, get it in in, and then be on your way and handle shit and do whatever else you need to do in your life. Skip the overthinking part.
12 Don't Tell The Whole World
If you start mentioning your FWB to your coworkers and your parents you're most likely going to describe him as a guy you're seeing, not as someone you're just fooling around with. That's just polite and sometimes necessarily to save face and avoid insulting people. But the problem with this is that once you start talking about a guy that you're seeing, other people will want to keep talking about it. They think that there's a potential future with the person, no matter how casual and new you made it seem, and they will be hopeful and interested and will ask you a million questions for the rest of your life. Or if they're evil and jealous they will ask you a million questions in the hopes of ruining your fun. Either way, people are going to talk to you about it, and when other people talk to you about your relationships they will put thoughts into your head that never existed before, increasing the likelihood that you will become confused about what's really going on. These people are not in your personal life so they don't know better than you. With an FWB, it's better not to open it up for comments.
11 Don't Social Media Stalk Him
This can lead down a very dark and complicated path. Everything is going fine in your FWB situation until you start creeping on Insta and see that he's been hanging out with that hot girl Megan from the gym. WTF? How dare he. That's how this works. He's single, you're single, he can go out with or hang out with whoever he wants. Or she could be dating his friend and he's not doing anything with her at all. Is it even your business? When you put yourself in the position to take in all this other information you start making assumptions about things that you shouldn't even be thinking about. That's a great way to make yourself miserable and completely insane. Isn't the point of an FWB situation that it's not miserable and dramatic? Aren't those the same feelings that you have when you're just normal dating someone? Confusing, isn't it? If you have any hope of keeping a good thing going with this dude, stay out of things that have nothing to do with you.
10 Don't Leave Stuff At His Place
You might spend a decent amount of time with a friend with benefits, but that doesn't mean you should start leaving stuff at his place. For one thing, this can make you feel more like you're in a relationship when you're not, which can get confusing for everyone. If you want it to be more like a relationship, you might be setting yourself up for failure by trying to be sneaky about it. For another thing, it makes it more likely to make things complicated on his end which could end up messing with the whole FWB situation. When you're FWB you aren't in a relationship, so technically he can have as many other girls over as he wants. If your stuff is there, they are going to see it, perhaps have a problem with it, and who knows what happens next. He might realize that this isn't working at all. You might end up losing your FWB because you were actually trying to make more moves to keep him.
9 Don't Let Him Treat You Badly
The nice thing about an FWB situation not being a real relationship is that you can walk away whenever you feel it. Just because it's not a committed relationship, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't have standards about how you are expected to be treated. You should always have standards about how you're expected to be treated. All day every day. The people who don't respect them are the people who don't respect you, and you don't have to hang out with those people ever if you don't want to. The faster you can be straight about that, the much happier your life can be. Because when you clear out the people who don't respect you, you make room for the people who do. And the people who do are way more fun and inspiring and interesting people anyway. It doesn't matter how good the bedroom session is and how much you'd like to keep having it if the guys can't even be nice to you. If he can't be nice to you he doesn't deserve to be getting the good stuff from you.
8 Don't Lead Him On
Sure, it might make you feel powerful to have dedicated men lust after you because you don't feel anything for them so they can't hurt you. But you might be in the position to screw him over, which you should not feel cute and powerful about doing, you should know that it's wrong. Try out this treat other people like you want to be treated, it works. Don't let the guy think that you might give him a chance someday if you know in your heart of hearts that you would rather date a stop sign. Don't make him think that he can buy or earn his way into your heart by bringing you Chipotle and liking all of your Instagram photos. Don't ask him to run boyfriend errands like taking you to the airport just because he'll do it. If he's willing to do it he likes you, and you have a responsibility to be fair about it. Anything else is just being manipulative and eventually it'll blow up somewhere. You're better off being straightforward and if he walks away you can find a new guy. Or realize that you actually had feelings for that one.
7 Don't Expect Special Treatment
When you see this guy in public, don't expect special treatment. He's not going to treat you any differently just because you're sleeping together. If that concept makes you mad or disgusted, well, then an FWB situation probably isn't your cup of tea after all. Again, it's not a committed relationship, which means that both of you are single and perhaps are seeing other people. Does he want other girls to know that he's been with you? Probably not any of them that he takes seriously. So will he be smooching you at the bar? No. Unless he's bored and is taking you home. But you can't expect it because that time he's chatting with someone who he's actually interested in he might pretend like you don't even exist. And if you're not prepared for that you might accidentally take seven tequila shots and end up yelling at both of them which never in the history of life, relationships, or drinking has ended well. Never.
6 Don't Accept Bad Treatment
Having an FWB can actually be a really great way to make you think about what you don't want in a relationship...if you can keep your head straight about it and keep raising the bar in your own life. Don't forget that you can do better than this guy you're sleeping with. That's true. It doesn't matter how nice and funny and amazing in bed he is. You can do better. Because this guy doesn't want to be your boyfriend, and even if you yourself don't want to be in a relationship, just knowing that about him should be enough to know that there's better guys out there. Any guy who's really worthy of your effort and your time and anything else you're offering should be overjoyed to have it and treat you accordingly. Your FWB isn't locking it down because he isn't afraid to lose you, and the good guys for you would be. This is fine, just don't forget that when you want something different, it always exists.
5 Don't Change Your Schedule
Don't change your schedule around for this guy. Just don't do it. Don't be flexible for your FWB. The benefits are just a fun perk, they work when they work. They aren't penciled into the books months in advance, you don't skip the gym for them, and you certainly don't skip dates or other social plans for them. You also don't let him come over when what you really need is just a night to yourself doing nothing. Your work does not suffer because you spent less time preparing for a project than you should have because of him. If you ever have the feeling in your body like "eh I want to see him but I also don't," then don't. You don't have any obligation to meet his needs when they don't meet yours. People in your life should help you flourish or at least stay out the way while you flourish on your own. Anyone who gets in the way and makes you feel like you owe them something when you really don't should not be given any special treatment. And all of you is some pretty special treatment.
4 Don't Think He's All You Can Get
Don't ever start to think that you don't deserve better. Sometimes when an FWB wants to keep you, they'll figure out ways to make you think that this is as good as it gets. If they're really mean, well, they might even tell you that. If they're more subtle they might explain how much they need you, and hint about a future that doesn't exist. But don't forget that you can do whatever you want, and if you want something different you're free to find it. There's a really weird stage that can occur in an FWB situation where you start to feel like you'd want something different but feel totally attached to this person and can't imagine how you would ever move on and not have them in your life. Those are okay feelings to have, that's called a transition. As long as you pay attention to what feels good to you, you will find your way through it. There always comes a time when those disjointed beliefs come together and out of nowhere you're a new person all over again. And as hard as it is to imagine moving on, it always happens anyway.
3 Don't Think You're Taken
If you're avoiding other guys while you have an FWB because you feel like on some level that you're already taken, you are in big trouble. You are not taken. You have a casual person in your life who's willing to sleep with you, there is nothing taken or special about that. Do you know how many would casually sleep with you if you let them? Probably like all of them. Don't make the mistake of thinking that it means something. In certain situations it does, it means everything. It's the most intimate way to connect and love someone that you love. But that does not mean for one second that this is what you're experiencing with an FWB. If he's the one that's trying to get you to be monogamous to him, you can tell him to shove it or commit and start taking you out on normal dates. Too often women make this mistake of giving in to the guy's confusion and trying to be patient and understand where he's coming from. You're single no matter how much fun you're having with an FWB, don't get it twisted.
2 Don't Ignore Your Feelings
An FWB situation generally involves the unspoken (or sometimes spoken) rule that no one falls in love. That's just sort of how they run, you're friends that get physical, not people who are in love who do this, because that makes you a couple. However, you are a human with all kinds of emotions inside of you that change and grow all the time. If for some reason you start to develop feelings for your FWB, you can't pretend like it isn't happening for either of your sakes. If you keep your mouth shut about it, you will become miserable, hurt, resentful, and feel rejected to an extent even though a conversation was never had. It isn't pretty. There are one of two ways it can go. One is that he doesn't feel the same and then you make a clean break and walk away before you get your heart even more invested in a person who has zero interest in ever dating you. The other way it can go, is that he too has developed some feelings and you guys decide to reevaluate. Both options require talking about feelings.
1 Don't Expect Him To Change
If you willingly got into an FWB situation, you can't expect him to change his mind about the relationship or suddenly turn into the guy you know that he can be. Of course, he might change, but that shouldn't be the main thing on your mind. If it is, then you're only kidding yourself about being cool with the FWB things and you'd actually prefer a real boyfriend. He'll probably be able to feel the part of you that wants him to change, and he won't like it. Would you like it if he wanted you to change in some way? Probably not. The gift (and the challenge) of an FWB situation is that you enter it from exactly where, with no intentions to be anything more than you are or offer more than you care to. Where committed relationships require communication, self-awareness, compromises, and growth, being FWB with someone just doesn't. That's the reason why people get in them to begin with, less responsibility. Don't waste your time hoping that he'll change his tune. If he does he does, but hoping for it won't affect the outcome either way.