We live in a culture filled with countless choices. This is especially true when it comes to relationships. There’s a type of romantic relationship to meet nearly any person’s needs, from the traditional monogamy to the more modern polyamory. The key to making the right choice is to find the option which best meets your own personal and emotional needs.
Friends with Benefits
Maybe the relationship that’s come to be called “Friends with Benefits” is what you’re looking for. It falls somewhere between a casual hook-up and a long-term commitment on the relationship spectrum. Some people argue that FWB can’t be considered a true relationship, but in reality, it is. It doesn’t quite work as the ideal option for everybody, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a relationship option.
There’s a considerable amount of ambiguity regarding what a FWB relationship exactly is. FWB emerged from people’s needs to connect with somebody else. But this connection is not a deep one, and most don’t consider it to be a prelude to a long-term commitment. In a FWB relationship, either party can end it for any reason, at any time, and both parties know this ahead of time.
Contact with FWB
One distinctive feature of a FWB relationship is the frequency of contact between the parties. Contact can be sporadic, semi-regular or regular. The couple may even experience significant periods of time where they remain out-of-contact. This includes sexual relations.
Generally, couples in a FWB relationship don’t live together. While it’s certainly possible, most people in a FWB relationship prefer not to have such close contact and involvement with each other. The attraction they feel for each other may be diminished if they continue in such close proximity and destroy the relationship.
Ending the Relationship
In FWB relationships, the people understand that they can end the relationship without explanation or hurt feelings. It’s even possible for the friendship to remain intact after the sexual involvement ends. After all, the F stands for friends. But this is not always the case; the friendship can come to an end when the benefits do.
The status of parties in FWB relationships isn’t necessarily exclusively single. Parties in such relationships can be single, married to someone else or involved in additional FWB relationships with other people. There are no expectations in FWB relationships, and no long-term plans involved. A FWB relationship is certainly not considered as a pathway to a long-term commitment or marriage.
In some ways, a FWB relationship combines a friendship with the non-demanding, commitment-free characteristics of a casual hook-up. Though these relationships tend not to be emotional, there is some emotion involved because there is a friendship.
Does it Work for You?
However, FWB relationships have more to do with convenience and safety than they do with love. It works for some people, but others find it unworkable. Things can become problematic when one of the parties falls in love with the other. This ends the FWB relationship, as a FWB relationship is not a loving, romantic affair.
Another significant problem can be denial. Some people believe FWB relationships will transition into a more conventional relationship. Some people try to wait it out, hoping that FWB will lead to something more. But usually, it just means nothing more than waiting for the next encounter.