A FWB refers to a no commitment, no strings attached, purely physical relationship. But does having a Friend with Benefits arrangement work?
I have a friend; weâ??ll call her Liz, a successful businesswoman in her own right, late 30â??s, beautiful and single.
She has a hectic professional life, often working late into the evenings, which leaves her little time for socializing or creating opportunities to meet new people, and for obvious reasons hooking up within a work environment would not work for her.
Liz recently announced to a group of us girls that she would love to just have a FWB, a no commitment, no strings attached, purely physical relationship.
But does having a Friend with Benefits arrangement work?
Not a one night stand
One night stands are not as in as they used to be! But meeting a â??significant otherâ? for a long term relationship is just not that easy.
Most FWBs start out by accident, usually with someone you know, a case of â??youâ??re single, Iâ??m on my own, letâ??s do it, no strings attachedâ? kind of thing, and if you are both extremely clear about your expectations and establish rules beforehand it is possible to have sex with a friend and remain friends.
The more successful FWB arrangements arise from having an understanding with someone you may have been physically involved with in the past. Especially if you broke up for reasons other than sexual compatibility.
Yes, it is possible for FWBs to work, but the truth is, there are often serious consequences.
Sex creates a bond
The fact is that sex creates a bond, no matter how much you discuss it beforehand. When two people share that kind of closeness, no matter how casual they each believe it to be, barriers are crossed.
One or both of you may know that you donâ??t want a commitment which is why the â??No Strings Attachedâ? agreement was conceived, but when youâ??re spending intimate time with somebody on a regular basis, how can you not start to feel some sort of emotional attachment? Roll out the heartbreak red carpet!
There are those that have successfully navigated FWB arrangements and survived, friendship intact, to tell the tale. Likeminded people may create rules and so long as both parties are in agreement with those rules, it can be a physically liberating and stress-free arrangement.
But it would also depend on how and why the agreement was reached in the first place. What if one of you may be secretly attracted to a friend and know the other didnâ??t want a relationship, so they figure a FWB arrangement is better than nothing. A recipe for disaster.
Women, in particular, have difficulty in separating physical gratification from emotional attachment; they almost always become attached even though the rules beforehand may be made clear.
There is actually a biological reason for this, during orgasm women generate a hormone called Oxytocin, similar to that generated when breastfeeding and bonding with your baby.
If your pre-arranged rules include no cuddling, no spending the night, no quality time together, no dating or displays of public affection (standard FWB rules, and it is worth noting if you are doing any of the aforementioned, you are not in a FWB arrangement, you are getting perilously close to a proper relationship, however flawed), unless youâ??re totally turned off emotionally, you are quickly going to wonder if that awesome orgasm was worth it.
You could after all receive the same gratification (without having to worry if youâ??ve shaved your legs) from Danny the Dolphin?
Will a FWB arrangement make you complacent?
If your rules include being able to see other people your risk of STDs increase, despite sensible precautions. Yet if those rules say you are to see each other exclusively, yet you are not dating, how healthy a relationship is that?
Then there is the school of thought that if you are getting your sexual boost from a â??friendâ?, what would motivate you to try when looking for a true relationship?
In this age of increasing sexual liberation from the myths that have enslaved and confined women in their own minds as well as in the minds of others, it is tempting to repress your natural instincts in the belief that you are as entitled to purely physical gratification in the same way that men believe they are.
And without a doubt, you are. But enter into a FWB arrangement with your eyes wide open. Be aware that there could be consequences,
Not least of which may be losing a friend.