Sex and physical intimacy are near essential parts of life and relationships. Making love to your partner or spouse is said to make the bond much deeper and bring you emotionally closer to each other. While that is true, not everyone is ready for a relationship or to get married. Those people still have sexual urges and needs. So, just in case you are someone who does not have the time or energy to put into a romantic relationship, does that mean they have to stop having sex? Of course not.
Gone are the days when we adhered to conservative beliefs that restricted people’s sexuality in the garb of marriage and religion. Science and society have advanced enough for us to understand that sex – unless you are an asexual person – is a basic biological need. So, even people who do not want to have anything to do with a committed romantic relationship will feel the craving for touch and physical intimacy now and then.
But, while random hookups and one-night stands are definitely an option, sleeping with a different stranger every night comes with its own set of problems – be it safety issues, the sheer lack of comfort, and the increased chances of contracting weird diseases. The solution? A friend you can bang whenever you both feel the urge i.e., a friend with benefits or an FWB.
This takes care of all the problems that stem from sleeping with strangers but what happens if you start falling in love with your friend with benefits? When you find yourself saying, “I caught feelings for my FWB”, what do you do then? After all, the lines between love and lust are often too blurry to navigate. And, once you have truly bared your all to your FWB, you may find yourself toppling headfirst into them. So, how do you know for sure that you are a goner? And what do you even do when you know? Well, read on to find out.
Who Is A Friend With Benefits?
“It’s safer to have a friend with benefits, rather than a boyfriend or husband,” admits 28-year-old corporate trainer Anushka Panth. A friend with benefits is someone you are very good friends with and enjoy having sex with. But people are usually not in love with their friends-with-benefits partner or emotionally attached or committed to them as they would be with someone they are in a romantic relationship with.
Unless the rules they set for the relationship allow for them, friends with benefits generally do not go on romantic dates. But they do hang out as friends and may just hit the bar as a gang or check out a movie together. Since they are technically friends, they may know each other’s secrets and even tease each other about crushes and stuff now and then. But there is usually no stable romantic relationship or commitment involved. Love may exist but it is not the romantic but the friendly, caring kind.
The kind of relationship you share with your FWB depends on the rules you set at the beginning of the relationship. Some FWB couples avoid doing anything relationshippy altogether. They won’t tell each other details about their other romantic adventures, their deeper feelings, etc. Others bare it all, body and feelings. They are open about the people they are pursuing or sleeping with. They may go on dates and even cuddle and hold hands. Again, the rules completely depend on the people in the relationship and, as long as they are both okay with it, anything goes really.
Related Reading: It Was Supposed To Be Only Sex But I Ruined It By Falling Love
What Do Friends With Benefits Do Together?
They usually do all the normal things that friends do. They hang out in a gang, watch movies, and hit nightclubs together. They may hang out with just each other or as part of a mutual friends group. Basically, an FWB is just a friendship with hot sex thrown into the mix.
Every FWB relationship comes with its own unique set of rules. Usually, a couple that is in a friends-with-benefits relationship will set some ground rules and boundaries at the beginning. These rules can be anything from “no hand-holding” and “no telling other people” to “no sharing of feelings” and “no discussion of romantic adventures outside of this relationship”. Basically, the couples set the rules according to their own comfort. But that doesn’t always keep the feelings at bay.
Related Reading: We Were Friends With Benefits But I Wanted More
Usually, for a friends-with-benefits situation to develop, two friends talk about their need to be physically intimate with each other. Since they are not emotionally bound or committed to each other, each half of the couple can also be into physical relationships with other friends too.
Sometimes, it so happens that friends within a group are all in friends-with-benefits relationships with each other. This does make it a tad difficult to manage, especially when they are traveling together on a holiday or are attending the same events. It is important to stick to the rules extremely stringently in such situations unless you want tensions to build and conflicts to arise, which can happen if someone develops feelings for someone else in a group FWB scenario.
In a group, you could be friends with benefits with one person one day and then have a similar relationship with another person on another day. If you meet each other on separate, designated days, it may become easier to manage expectations, especially if you don’t want to go all out like this couple that had group sex.
Confessions Of People Who Fell For Their Friends With Benefits
Sex does foster emotional intimacy and you may start to feel a surge of emotion that you might not have felt for a person before. But falling in love with your friend with benefits can complicate the situation. You could be telling yourself, “I have feelings for my friend with benefits”, but have absolutely no idea how to deal with it. If you find yourself in such a conundrum, perhaps it would help to know that you are not alone.
Plenty of people out there – old and young – have dealt with this problem before. We bring you some real instances to help you understand if you are in love with your friend with benefits. And what others in the same situation as you did when they knew their hearts were captured by none other than the person they were in an FWB relationship with:
“I became a sex addict” – Jiya Roy, 32
“I have always enjoyed a good tumble between the sheets but with him but I suddenly became a sex fiend. Yes, I became a sex fiend. I later realized that sex is the only thing that connects us. And I didn’t understand how else to keep him close to me. It was when I tried having sex with someone else to satisfy my lust but could not that I understood I had developed feelings for my friend with benefits. It was ‘him’ that made me a sex addict. I became a sex addict for him but I wanted it only with him.
Related Reading: I Am In Love But Want To Hook-up With Others.
“I stopped sleeping around. I started having sex with only her” – Sumit Tiwari, 31
“I love sex like every other woman. I never understood the concept of having sex with only one single person. However, slowly I stopped having sex with other girls and slowly started being monogamous with one of my friends (with benefits). I started catching feeling signs for my FWB.
“I have feelings for my FWB wasn’t an easy realization to come to terms with. It was harder to believe but I stopped sleeping around. I was madly in love with her and enjoyed it with her only.”
“Saturday nights were no longer about raunchy sex only” – Soham Sinha, 28
“I knew I was in the proverbial trouble of love when Saturday nights were no longer about raunchy sex only. I planned movie nights and dates with her. Sometimes we didn’t even have sex. Lucky for me, we both were on the same page and had developed feelings for each other.”
“It started with syncing my schedule with his” – Jheelum Pal, 30
“I have always been an independent, living-on-my-own-terms and own-schedule kind of a girl. Even when I was in relationships, never did I compromise my schedule for my partner, let alone for a friend with benefits. But I made an exception to the rule when I fell in love with him. I made efforts to accommodate him into my life. It started with syncing my schedule with his. I fell in love with my friend with benefits.”
Related Reading: Does A Friends With Benefits Relationship Work?
“I became jealous and demanding” – Aryan
“I have three friends with benefits. All of us know the score. I would hang out with them occasionally. With time, I started having less sex with the other two. Then, I completely stopped as I started having feelings for the one. I became jealous and demanding. I picked fights with her even when she innocently spoke about other men. I wanted her completely to myself. And I told her that.”
10 Ways To Tell That You’re Catching Feelings For Your Friend With Benefits
The rules of a friends-with-benefits relationship are pretty simple. It is not a relationship. You are not committed to each other. You are only friends who enjoy spending time with each other and exploring each others’ bodies while at it. So, catching feelings in such a situation could easily ruin the relationship. Or it could be the start of something new, something deeper than just another good shag beneath the sheets.
Usually, when people get into a friends-with-benefits relationship, they will establish ground rules and boundaries all designed to stop them from falling for each other and the situation turning into just another committed monogamous relationship. But humans are rule-breakers by nature, especially when it comes to feelings and emotions. We usually fall for things and people we absolutely cannot have. It just adds to the charm and excitement of the situation. So, if you find yourself catching feelings for your friend with benefits, know that you are not alone in this. Others like you have felt and suffered through the same situation.
But before you go and break off the relationship or do something equally drastic, first confirm whether you actually are in love with your friend with benefits. If you cannot tell for sure and keep wondering “What would happen if I told my FWB I have feelings for him/her?”, here are some ways to tell that you are catching feelings for FWB:
1. You cannot keep your hands off them
Sex with them has always been great. But suddenly it has become so much more intense. You suddenly cannot keep your hands off them. Every session turns hotter, messier, and rougher. You find yourself almost turning into a sex fiend – exploring fantasies and kinks with them and finding more and more ways to enjoy their bodies.
If, after weeks and months of sleeping together, you still find yourself admiring their body and thinking how beautiful they are, if blood still rushes to every part of your body, driving you insane with need every time you see them, then you, my friend, are a goner and are catching feelings for FWB.
2. You plan purely platonic dates
You love sex with them. But you suddenly find yourself wanting to spend time with them outside the bedroom. You want to go to movies, catch up on your favorite shows, and go watch the Christmas lights with them. In fact, you want to spend every waking moment with them. When you are with them, you are giddy with happiness.
Basically, when it stops being just about the sex and your time together starts looking more and more like dates, know that you are officially in the romantic territory and almost definitely are whipped. You are catching feelings for FWB.
3. They are the first person you think of when something happens
You think of them when you see a good meme. When you get a promotion at work, you find yourself dialing their number first. And you want to cry on their shoulder when something goes wrong. Be it the good, bad, or the ugly, you want to share it all with them. This is the point when you start telling yourself, “I think I have feelings for my friend with benefits.”
When they are suddenly your go-to person for everything great and bad, know that you have probably long stopped considering them as someone you just sleep with. So, maybe it is time to open up to them about your feelings and discuss the prospect of being in an exclusive relationship.
4. You find yourself looking forward to seeing them
You find yourself looking forward to your dates with way more intensity than before. Even if you are just going to see them while out with other friends, you still find yourself getting especially anxious and enthusiastic about it. If you start planning your week around your dates and feel like you light up on the inside every time you see them, you are definitely officially in the danger zone.
5. You get jealous when they talk about other people
Jealousy can ruin any relationship. But this is especially true for a friends-with-benefits situation. If you are in love with your friend with benefit, you may start getting jealous every time they mention a different romantic interest or stories about their recent sexcapades. Maybe the relationship you shared has already been about openness and transparency. But you are suddenly annoyed about them spending time romantically or sexually with other people.
6. You get sad when your “dates” end
Technically, if it was just about the sex, you wouldn’t feel really sad when your dates with your friend with benefits end. But, if, even when the sex is great and pretty satisfying, you feel yourself wanting to pout whenever it is time to go your separate ways, know that your feelings may just have gotten involved.
One of the classic signs of being in love with someone is wanting to spend more time with each other. When it comes to your friend with benefit, your sex sessions may just be the only time you spend with just each other. Also, if you have feelings for an FWB partner, it will make it so much harder to let go of them at the end of each session since your feelings would make you want to latch on to them.
7. You find yourself smiling at your phone
Even if they just text you to tell you that they want to see you for another FWB date, you still find yourself grinning at your phone like someone just told you Christmas came early. If you wait for their texts all day and gasp a little in happiness if they do a little bit more than just schedule a date – like share a meme or a joke or text you something about their life – know that this is almost a surefire sign that you, my friend, are in love with your friend with benefits.
8. People keep teasing you
Even if people don’t know that you have been sleeping with each other, and you have kept them fooled for many months, they suddenly start detecting this vibe between you. It may just be time to stop denying that you are in love. Maybe a mutual friend passes a quick remark about how much you stare at them. Or people point out how you share so many inside jokes and seem so weirdly physically comfortable with each other. Or that you tend to focus on them and them only from the moment they walk in.
9. You share all your secrets with them
From your weird allergies to that time you embarrassed yourself in front of your crush, you have shared it all with them. No secret is too big to share with them. And every story becomes something you need to tell them. Even if you had decided to keep your personal details and romantic stories to yourselves, you find yourself wanting to lay your heart bare to them. This need to open up about everything to someone is a classic sign that you are in love with them and aren’t treating it as casual sex anymore.
10. You find no interest in having sex with others
This is the most tell-tale sign of all when it comes to catching feelings in a friends-with-benefits situation. If you are slowly losing interest in sex with anyone other than them, it is definitely not just about the sex anymore. After all, you got into the relationship because you wanted to take care of your biological needs, rights? So, it should work the same no matter who you are getting into bed with. But, if sex only feels good with one partner and not the others, it is time to realize that you may just be in love with them.
Do these instances mirror your situation and feelings? When did you realize you have feelings for FWB? Tell us in the comments section.
*Names changed on request.