If you’re not looking for a relationship right now (or are tired of going out with guys who don’t want one), you might be considering a FWB situation.

A…whaaaa?

If you haven’t heard this term, let me illuminate you:

FWB = Friend With Benefits

Friends With Benefits GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Basically, this is a guy you hook up with, where there are no strings attached. You’re not in a relationship. You may or may not go on dates, out to dinner, out for drinks…but you definitely have hot sex!

Whether you’ve started an FWB situation or just want to learn more about what you might get into with one, let’s talk about FWB meanings or implications.

7 FWB Potential Meanings You Should Know

Just like every relationship, every friends with benefits situation is different. But most fall into at least one of the following.

1. One of Us Wishes This Was More

Sometimes one person lands in a friends with benefits situation wishing the relationship was more. Is it you? Do you feel more connected to him after sex than he seems to? Do you wish you could actually date this guy or be in a relationship with him?

Or maybe it’s him. Maybe you’re fine keeping things casual, but you can feel him catching feelings for you.

What to Know: If you’re the one wanting more, look out. It’s easy to get your heart broken if he truly only wants sex, and if that’s the case, you won’t change his mind.

2. We’re Both Getting Something Out of This

Sex is a basic need, and if you’re not in a relationship, having it with an FWB you trust with your body is the next best thing. And heck: if you’re having casual sex, you might even be having more sex than you would if you were in a relationship. According to this study, about half the people in relationships don’t have sex every week. If you’re getting yours more than that, good for you!

What to Know: Don’t take advantage of the situation or the guy. Yes, you like sex, but keep in mind, you’re in a relationship, even if it isn’t a romantic one with a long future, so be respectful of him and his time. No 11 p.m. bootie calls!

3. This Works Til Something Better Comes Along

You (and maybe the guy you’re hooking up with) are happy to be FWBs until one or both of you end up in a relationship. Maybe you’ve both had trouble finding worthy partners on dating apps, so you’ve decided to just enjoy your friendship (as well as those awesome benefits) until Mr. or Ms. Right come along.

You might even commiserate about your bad dating experiences, which, in addition to hot sex, can be a great stress reliever!

What to Know: Once he’s in a relationship, it’s over. Be okay with the uncertainty of not knowing when this arrangement might end. And DO NOT keep hooking up once one or both of you is in a serious relationship!

4. This is a Safe Way to See What a Relationship Could Be

If you have a hard time being vulnerable with a guy, having an FWB might be a safer way for you to get intimate without having to commit to longer. But if you are looking for LOVE, having a friend with benefits is NOT the way to go.

If you are NOT looking for long-lasting love, this may be a good option, but it gets complicated quickly, so be prepared for that.

What to Know: Be open to where it takes you, but talk about expectations. Are you okay if he has sex with other people? Is he?

5. This is Going to F#%@ Our Friendship

Maybe you’re taking a solid friendship and turning it into a casual sexual relationship. It COULD work…

…but it also could destroy what you have, and then you will be down one friend who was important to you. FWBs are volatile, and they definitely change the dynamic of a friendship, whether it’s because one of you starts having feelings or because sex just overcomplicated your friendship.

What to Know: Decide whether it’s worth the risk of potentially losing this friend. Have plenty of discussions up front about expectations (more on that in a minute) so there’s no gray area.

6. We Only Hook Up When We’re Drunk

Maybe you don’t even really like this guy sober, but something happens when you have one too many glasses. You find yourself time and time again waking up in his bed, wondering what happened.

What to Know: Few decisions you make when you’re drunk are smart ones! If you’re okay with this, own it. But if you don’t feel good about this recurring situation, make an effort to not get drunk when this man is around.

7. We’re Too Busy for Something More

You’re busy. He’s busy. You don’t have time to dedicate to a relationship, but sex you’ll make time for! It might just be a quickie every few weeks, but this FWB situation serves to relieve stress without you having to commit too much time or emotion.

What to Know: Consider whether it’s really that you don’t have time to dedicate to a relationship or that you’re actually scared to invest in one. This can feel like a safer form of intimacy, but you’re still keeping your emotions at arm’s length. Reevaluate what you want.

Setting the Ground Rules & Establishing FWB Meaning

If you’re sure that a friend with benefits would serve you well at this point in your life, it’s super important to set some rules and have conversations about what you both expect from this arrangement.

Decide what you’re looking for. A once-a-week hookup where he leaves right after? Someone to stay the night and cuddle? Can you have sex with others?

What are your dealbreakers? What would cause this arrangement to end? Him having sex with someone else? One of you having feelings for the other? You feeling like the original friendship is suffering?

Talk to your friend about your sexual expectations. What’s okay and not okay? Is he into rough sex that you don’t like? Are there body parts you don’t want touched? What turns you on?

Also discuss long-term expectations. Is a relationship off the table down the road? At what point do you end this? When one of you starts dating someone? Having sex with them? Deciding to be exclusive?

If You Start to Catch Feelings

So…it all sounds great, but what happens if you start to have feelings for your FWB? More than likely, the dynamic is going to change. It’s the risk you took when you went down this path.

Stop hooking up and try spending time together in other ways. It will make it worse for you, particularly if you have an insecure attachment type because you likely connect sex with emotional attachment. You won’t be able to be intimate with this man without having strong feelings.

Talk to him. If he’s open to dating or having a relationship, shift the dynamic from being casual to something more serious. Start over. Go on dates, even if you’ve known each other for years. And don’t have sex until you’ve gotten to know each other under this new dynamic. Pretend you’re dating someone completely new!

If he doesn’t return your feelings, don’t spend time with him and definitely don’t have sex with him anymore.

Conclusion:

For some people, having a friend with benefits can be its own benefit. It can make you feel connected to a male even when you’re not dating, and of course, there are all the benefits that sex brings!

Just go into this situation with caution. I know so many women who have gotten hurt in an FWB arrangement. And you don’t want it to keep you from finding that love that you’re looking for.

Ladies, leave a comment below: have you ever had a friend with benefits? What advice can you share?

P.S. If you’re done with the whole casual thing, I encourage you to check out my Little Love Steps so you can make moves toward finding the right, loving relationship you crave.

Also, if you’d like to join me on a brand new webinar to learn “why men flake, avoid commitment and consistently ghost until they meet a woman who’s following these 7 simple steps”, then register here (it’s 100% free).