What Are Friends With Benefits?


We have all heard this phrase bandied about for years, but what does the term “friends with benefits” truly mean and what are the rules? Do friends like this have rules? If you have never had a friendship like this, then you probably do not know what friends with benefits are, so let’s find out.

When two people become friends, there is a certain attraction pulling them together. Attraction doesn’t only happen in a relationship or courtship between a couple, it can happen between friends as well. Whether we are talking about heterosexual couples or gay couples, the premise of friends with benefits is the same.

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Sometimes a couple breaks up, but decide to keep living in the same house because they both own said house. Even though they may want to split and lead separate lives, sometimes they just cannot seem to let go.

Some couples who are going through a divorce might have benefits like these. Neither person loses their home, they keep paying the mortgage together and raising their kids, however, they sleep in separate beds or rooms and might have sex on occasion.

Sometimes friends with benefits arrangement might not be about sex, it could be about financial security. Perhaps one person in the relationship or marriage does not work or is ill or injured and opts to take care of the house and childcare.

A couple may not want things to change too drastically for the children. This kind of arrangement might simply be about both parents being there for their children.

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Quite often this situation might arise based on physical attraction and not much else. This couple could be very sexually attracted to each other and want to continue this mind-blowing sex, but do not want to complicate their friendship by committing to each other.

So they choose a friend’s with benefits’ relationship and providing everyone is on the same page and are aware of the rules, this should work out for some people. This sounds really civilize and mature, but it is clear you would have to possess some maturity for an arrangement like this to work.

Obviously, in any situation like this there would need to be rules, so what do you think the rules should be? If you were entertaining thoughts like these about your best friend, what kind of rules would you insist on?

Friends with benefits basic rules

Below are some of the basic rules for any friends with benefits arrangement:

  1. Safe Sex Is Not Negotiable – Condoms would be a non-negotiable, especially if both of you are seeing other people as well.
  2. Total Honesty at all Times – You would need to be honest about everything or it would not work, Being able to trust each other even in a casual friend with benefits situation would be important. If the element of trust is broken, then your benefits might just come to a screeching halt.
  3. Your Kids Come First – What this one aims to protect is any children who are living in this situation. AFriendswith benefits arrangement is fine and could be beneficial to your children, given both parents are under the same roof.If one of you is seeing other people, keep it outside your home for the kids sake. Your behavior might confuse young children and kids these days are messed up enough, without us doing it to them too.
  4. All Decisions Should Be Unanimous – I think this rule goes without saying, if there are decisions to be made that affect the two of you, then you need to agree. Couples in friends with benefits arrangement need to follow the win/win formula when it comes to things they disagree on.

Remember, you are maintaining a friendship here that means something to you. If you want ‘no strings’ then forget an arrangement like this, because you will have to choose your friendship over everything else.

The basic rules above are what anyone in a friend with benefits relationship would expect of their partner. There could be more rules depending on the circumstances of the relationship. If both of you do not have kids, this might work out for you and I can understand why people choose this way to live.

Why should one person lose so much in a divorce or separation? Arrangements like this would not work for everyone. For many of us, it is about far more than sex. It is a cure for loneliness for some people.

You would need to rise above jealousy if your friend is seeing other people. You would also need to be emotionally fit, able to put your emotions on hold for the sake of what is best for you, your friend, and extended family members and friends.

You would need to be strong enough to end it if you are still in love with this person. These situations don’t work for everyone and sometimes people get hurt. If one or both of you have kids it is up to you to protect them.

Not many of us have friends who choose to do this, so it is a guessing game as to what rules you should apply to you and your friend’s arrangement. The general rules go without saying, but there would be personal rules that met each other’s needs in the relationship.

What would be a deal-breaker for you? If you think about it, it is totally possible to think of many rules you would need from your friend.

Take a look at the following six rules that friends with benefits advise you to put in place:

Major rules for friends with benefits


Choose Wisely

Be fussy when it comes to choosing a suitable person to have a relationship like this. Friends with benefits are always misconstrued as ‘sex without strings.’ This is just not so, your friendship is on the line here, so you should be careful when making plans to embark on a relationship like this.

These kinds of relationships are more than a friendship and are a relationship without a commitment. Choose a partner who gets how this works. Find someone who will not get jealous of your dating others.

Jealousy can destroy your friendship if you are not careful. Your friend must be mature and able to solve problems as they arise within the relationship, so choosing the right person is really important.

If the person you have in mind is attracted to you or has a crush on you, do not go there. He or she is probably hoping this relationship will be a committed one sooner or later. If you do decide to go there, you are essentially giving your friend false hope. Maintaining your friendship and surviving this arrangement should be your first consideration.

Know What The Deal Is

A relationship like this is about negotiation as are all relationships. Relationships all involve some kind of negotiation at certain times. This tip follows onto the next tip below. You need to know what the deal is. You need to clear it up with him or her before going down this road.

The trouble is that couples who have been in a situation like this did not get clear about the rules or clear it with each other that they were free to date other people. In other words, do not jump into bed with your best friend until you have the rules in place.

These agreements are the personal ones that only suit your situation. Let’s say you are really jealous of your man looking at women. You will need to get over that if a friends with benefits arrangement will work for you.

Your jealous nature is your problem and you need to deal with it. It is not your man’s fault if you are jealous of the woman he is dating. You chose this arrangement, so either live with it or end it. Unfortunately far too many people jump in head first and get hurt.

Reach An Understanding

You need to be clear with your friend about all the issues that could come up in a relationship. You should be very clear about whether this arrangement is temporary, casual sex or whatever it is, you need to define it.

If you are attracted to this person emotionally, then this is probably not a good idea. You should also be agreed about what to tell your family and friends. If you want your little affair to remain a secret, then this needs to be decided upfront and respected by both parties.

Do not agree to keep this arrangement secret unless you mean it. Getting that kind of agreement from your friend and then running to your best friend to spill the gossip is quite rude, and very immature. It might well be that your friend does not want the entire world to know his or her business. Consideration for their feelings should be at the top of your list.

If you are dating someone new, you do not know what’s around that corner. In a relationship like a friends with benefits one, you and your friend need to be clear on what the arrangement is. Are you close friends who are attracted to each other and would like to be sexual once in a while?

Are you a married couple who do not want to split just yet because of the children or the mortgage? Whatever the reasons, you will need to know where you both stand.

Keep Your Sex Life Separate

If one or both of you are dating, it is a good idea to keep this life to yourself. In other words, keeping quiet about your friend when you meet someone new is smart given you don’t know where it is going. You should always keep your dating life to yourself too.

Unless it is something the two of you talk about comfortably. Another bonus of this kind of friendship is that if he or she is your ex, you know will feel more comfortable and you also know their sexual history.

Sex is the biggest part of the package and needs to be kept separate. If you go out together with friends and not as a couple, then you need to get clear where you are sleeping that night and whether you need extra money for a cab.

Assuming that you and your friend will go home together is way over the line. He or she might meet someone and might ask them to come home for a nightcap. If you live in the same house then this is different.

You will not be able to help who he or she sees you with, however, it is not a good idea if you are living with your ‘friend’ to bring anyone home with you. This is particularly important if you have children and they see Daddy kissing another woman who is not their mom.

The last thing you want to do is mess up your kids, so proceed with caution. If you are getting closer to people you are dating then you might want to let go of your friend with the benefits.

Enjoy The Time With Your Friend

To wrap this up in a short and sweet way, you should always have fun. You chose to take the benefits your partner was offering for the sake of enjoyment and companionship. Most friend’s with benefits couples will often stop what they are doing once they become serious with another person.

So if you don’t see this developing into anything more, then make the most of it and enjoy yourself. Given the amount of these relationships that actually work and are healthy, you need to enjoy it while it lasts.

Above are six general rules that couples who are involved in a relationship such as this, should pay attention to. Obviously, you will have more personal rules, but to get things started, the list above should give you a starting point. What is surprising is how many guys and girls fall into these types of relationships without even discussing the rules.

Men and women seem to have different rules regarding  friends with benefits. It is probably true that more of these relationships might succeed if the couple can negotiate some rules. Without structure, the relationship won’t survive and you will have killed you friendship for what? A wonderful night of steamy sex.