Are you stuck in more than friends with benefits but not a relationship situation? Or you’re not in a relationship but more than friends with the person? A friends-with-benefits relationship is a great idea if you’re looking for something casual with no strings attached. Plus, it’s super convenient because you aren’t answerable to anyone.
If you want to be friends with benefits with someone, you just need to ensure you don’t start falling for them because that will defeat the whole purpose of your relationship. If you can handle your emotions well and keep them under check, this type of arrangement will work wonders for your sex life.
However, such an arrangement can also bring in its wake a lot of doubts and dilemmas. “Are we friends with benefits or more?” “We are not in a relationship but we love each other, what does it mean for us?” “We’re more than friends but not dating. What are we?” We spoke to psychotherapist Jui Pimple (MA in Psychology), a trained Rational Emotive Behavior therapist and A Bach Remedy practitioner who specializes in online counseling, to find answers to these questions and help you figure out how best to navigate this situation.
What Is More Than Friends With Benefits But Not A Relationship?
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“Are we more than friends with benefits?” “How do you know if you’re more than friends with benefits?” “What’s the difference between friends with benefits and a relationship?” – Is your mind plagued with such questions? If it is, allow us to clear the air and relieve you of your misery.
Jui says, “A ‘friends with benefits but not a relationship’ equation comes into play when friends get physical with each other based on a mutual understanding that, other than sex, they won’t oblige or pay heed to any form of commitment that is similar to a relationship. Basically, people get into this kind of an arrangement to satisfy their physical needs without having to take full responsibility for a committed relationship.”
To cut the long story short, you’re in it only for the sex. You might share a great camaraderie or friendship with this person. But there’s no jealousy or any kind of expectation. You keep feelings out of the equation. You’re not answerable to each other nor do you have to discuss with each other before taking major life decisions. You’re free of the hassles of a committed relationship.
It’s More Than Friends With Benefits But Not A Relationship
Is friends with benefits a good idea? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for as well as your general behavior pattern in relationships. If you know you’re someone who enjoys the security and the commitment of a long-term relationship, a friends-with-benefits relationship may not work out for you. There are certain friends with benefits rules to swear by if you wish to go ahead with such an arrangement.
Jui says, “Whether friends with benefits is a good idea or bad depends on factors like, age, maturity of the people involved, and the kind of consent or understanding they have with each other.” The more than friends but not dating stage is the trickiest to navigate because both parties may perceive the situation differently. Your partner may not necessarily think you’re more than friends with benefits whereas you start to feel like there’s something more than just sex to your relationship.
“There is a high possibility that one might get emotionally attached while the other does not. In that case, the equation will get complicated. There are high chances of either party getting hurt and the friendship getting spoiled. It’s also possible that both of them develop romantic feelings for each other and get into a relationship as shown in films like Friends with Benefits and No Strings Attached,” Jui explains.
Related Reading: What Are The Most Common Reasons For Breakups?
A True Account Of More Than Friends But Not A Relationship
Max broke up with her boyfriend, Sam, after he accused her of cheating on him with her best friend, Roland. She was broken and wanted a shoulder to lean on. Therefore, she called Roland and narrated the whole incident to him. He comforted her and reminded her of how amazing she was and told her that it wasn’t hers but Sam’s fault that he failed to see how wonderful she was.
But, just then, the unthinkable happened. Max kissed Roland! One thing led to another and they ended up having sex. They felt a sense of warmth and security with each other and eventually got into a friends-with-benefits arrangement. They were more than friends but not dating each other. They share a great understanding, hang out, have the best sex without guilt or shame or the unnecessary drama that comes with being in a committed relationship. Max shares her story with us:
He charmed me
The hall was adorned with red scented candles as I stepped into my boyfriend’s house. The shimmer of candles fell on his cheeks and those adorable dimples became prominent as he smiled at me. Looking dapper in his black tuxedo, he came forward, and holding my hand, whispered in my ear, “Happy second anniversary, baby.”
I was astounded. He remembered our anniversary, and on top of that, he planned a surprise dinner for me. His habit of surprising me wasn’t new. He would constantly pamper me with surprise visits and gifts. My dream of a romantic boyfriend was coming true and maybe he would soon be my life partner. I was so excited.
He asked how the dinner was and as I began to talk, he cut me short to tell me how each dish was prepared. He jumped to his love for chicken and then to how he had a skirmish with his boss and on and on. While I appreciated him sharing his day, I felt like an audience watching a movie, without a feedback button. I wanted to share my excitement about my sister’s upcoming wedding and rant about how much my new job sucks but I couldn’t because I was no longer in the mood.
The accusations began
Having finished our dinner, we collapsed onto the couch and I rested my head on his shoulder. He picked up my phone and went through my chats and questioned me about this guy who messages me a lot. “He is my colleague,” I responded, “And we chat generally. He is a nice guy though, very helpful.”
“I can see that he is a nice guy, that’s why you keep chatting with him. Your last conversation was at 1 am yesterday,” he replied.
“What? I can’t ignore him, I work with him. Besides, we’re becoming good friends,” I said.
“Yeah, of course. Now that you are getting along so well, why don’t you make him your boyfriend?” he taunted.
“What the hell! Now I’m barred from making friends?” I responded in irritation and anger.
“Oh, just don’t say anything, OK!” he answered aggressively. He continued, “How many friends do you need? You already have that creepy best friend. You both keep calling each other and I can see the obvious flirting signs through your texts. I’m suspicious about you two.”
I couldn’t take any more. “Don’t you dare say anything about my best friend. How dare you question my loyalty? I’ve always been faithful to you but now I can’t take it. I AM BREAKING UP WITH YOU,” I shouted in anger.
I banged the door shut on my way out and cried, wondering what I’d just done. I wanted to rant, talk to someone, so I called Roland, my best friend. I asked him to come to my place. My boyfriend had always been suspicious that I wanted to be friends with benefits with Roland.
More than friends, but not in a serious relationship
As I reached home I saw Roland waiting for me. I immediately hugged him and cried, as I told him, “I broke up with Sam. ” I couldn’t control my tears. He took me to my apartment and calmed me down. He offered me some water and asked, “What happened? Tell me everything.”
“He accused me of cheating on him with you. How dare he say that?” I told him the whole thing.
“I trust you, Max,” proclaimed Roland. “I know how loyal and dedicated you are. I’m not mad at Sam, I’m just sorry for him that he failed to notice how amazing and wonderful you are. You always stood by him in those two long years, quit your job and went against everyone’s advice to support him when he was fired, and moreover, you couldn’t hear a word against me. I’ve seen people backbiting but you took a stand for me.”
He reminded me that I’m wonderful, which I’d forgotten for a long time. He brought a smile to my face and made me feel important and significant. I loved the way he appreciated me and I leaned toward him and kissed him. Wait, what did I just do? Kissed my best friend? Are we now more than friends with benefits but not dating? Do friends with benefits relationships work? I was unsure.
I found what I was looking for
Perplexed, I sat there still thinking about what I had done when he kissed me back. I felt compassion, warmth and a feeling of security as he encircled me in his arms. In the heat of the moment, we went ahead and had sex. And the sex was amazing, unlike with Sam.
We’re not in a relationship but more than friends. But is friends with benefits a good idea when you’re already best friends and colleagues as well? Well, if you keep this aspect of your life out of the workplace, no one has to know. All sorts of thoughts were racing through my head.
The evening made my long-time best friend my friend with benefits, with no strings attached. It’s been four months now and I can’t think of a single reason to complain. We can talk endlessly, go out and have fun, share a great understanding, have some good sex, and all this without any unnecessary questions, mistrust and jealousy.
I don’t have to tell him where I’m going, who I’m talking to, who the new guy on my friend list is, and so on. I realized that understanding, compassion and friendship were more important than romantic surprises. Sometimes it feels like what we share is more than friends with benefits but not a relationship. That’s because we’re best friends too and tell each other every little thing.
The reason a friends-with-benefits relationship has been working out for us so far is that we both knew what we wanted from it and there were no mismatched expectations from either of us. We are more than friends but not dating each other. Just remember that if you’re looking for a fun time with no commitment, don’t let feelings get in the way.
Rarely. When one person in the relationship learns that the other person is looking for more, they usually back out because this was not what they had signed up for.
Usually, a friends-with-benefits equation starts right after one gets out of a relationship and can continue as long as the arrangement works for both the people involved.