Updated 05 December 2016

Friends with benefits

Can friends have no-strings-attached sex without developing feelings for each other? These users learned the hard way.


The friends with benefits relationship has become a fashionable ‘relationship’, but can two friends really have this kind of arrangement without becoming emotionally attached? Unlike Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis's happily-ever-after ending in the movie, these users were not so lucky. Our experts and users answer reader questions.

Q: I’ve developed feelings, what now?

A close guy friend and I have embarked on a friends with benefits situation. It’s been about six months now and I have started to develop real feelings for him. Should I tell him how I feel about him or would that just ruin the ‘situation’ we have? I really don’t know what to do.

Forum user answer

I think I am a bit older than you, and I really want to advise you to give it up with this guy immediately. I have been in this situation and it went just about as badly as you can imagine, he ended up falling in love and marrying someone else in a three month romance. Meanwhile I had to pretend that it was all wonderful and I was SO happy for them. She’s a nice person and I can’t blame her for a situation I got myself into. Rather be alone than be someone’s convenience.

Read the full post here.

Q: Are we dating, or are we just friend with benefits?

I got back together with an ex that I was so in love with. I still love him and I have told him this. His response was "That’s sweet, but I want to take it easy this time around". I have no idea what to make of this. Wait for him to “love me again" or what. So I just went with the flow and accepted that I love him - he is taking it easy. But it’s so hard because I have no idea where I stand are we dating or not or just friends with benefits.

Expert’s answer

As I often say, sometimes people, especially young women, are actually in love with the idea of being in love, and direct this towards someone who actually doesn't love them, and who sometimes doesn't even deserve to be loved. And they can be very stubborn about revising their assumptions about this "love".  If he ever actually loved you, he still would, and you wouldn't be sitting around waiting for him to "love you again".  The "friends with benefits" fashion is actually only about providing guys with free sex who want nothing more, from women who assume they'll get more if they give more. He's getting what he wants from you WHEN he wants it, and isn’t interested in you at other times. You didn't over-react; you have been under-reacting. You don't describe the faintest way in which he signals that he wants you at all, except for the occasional "benefits". Don't you deserve a whole lot more than that? It’s highly unlikely you'll get more from him.

Read the full post here.

Q: My husband left me; his friend wants to provide me with a sexual relationship. What should I do?

My husband left me for another woman. We had a good sex life and I find myself missing him. Last week I asked that he comes and have sex with me just ones because I have not been bonked in a year and he refuses. My problem is that his best friend wants to have sex with me and has been calling me lately for the past six months. I want sex but I am afraid to give in to my husband’s friend, I am not divorced yet.

Forum user answer

Please don’t demean yourself like that. You are worth more than just meaningless shag - from your husband, and from his friend, who is just using you in any case. Think long term here, if you do get into a relationship again, you will have to explain your sex life to your new partner (none of their business, but yes, they want to know) and while perfectly acceptable for men to sleep around, they want their woman to be virginal. Bull yes, but that is how it is unfortunately.  In your shoes, I would ask the friend politely to disappear, forever, and never demean yourself again by grovelling to your husband. You are worth more than that. If you want to be treated with respect and be taken seriously by men you have to behave with dignity.  If you really must, there is always help yourself. Not the best, but a means to an end in the short term.

Read the full post here.

Q: Can our FWB relationship become a real one?

We have been seeing each other on and off for the past few years, we feel the same way about each other and the more time we spend together the more we realise we don’t want to be with anyone else. Do you think that things can work out with your FB? Won’t that distrust always be standing there? I am scared to suggest any form of commitment, even though I know that I see him and he see me whenever we can, there is no one else. Why must it be so complicated? We are both divorced.

Forum user answer

I am living proof that FB relationships can work out. You need to believe in what you are doing, both need to be serious and committed to the relationship. Just be careful that you don’t over complicate things now with the term dating/relationship, you still want to enjoy what you share and not start taking each other for granted. You can grow to love someone in the end.

Read the full post here.

Q: I have fallen for him big and I’ve sunk into an emotionally low place.

I recently started having sex with someone I’ve known for a while. He is incredibly good looking and women fall for him all the time but he is actually a genuinely sweet guy. A while ago he broke up with his girlfriend and he is now embracing his new found single status. To cut a long story short doc, he made it clear that what is happening between us is nothing serious, just friends with benefits.

Expert’s answer

I wonder why the phrase" friends with benefits" has become so readily accepted, without examination. Sometimes it seems to mean a long series of one-night stands. Usually the benefits are unequal. As you seem to demonstrate it seems to me to be naive for people to assume they can continue to have an affable sex-only relationship without at least one of them becoming more emotionally involved with the other. It's not a question of you not being "strong" enough, but of simply being normal and human. This happens. The "connection we have built" is, from your description, just not a 2-lane highway, but one lane only, and not suitable for 2-way traffic.

Read the full post here.

(Health24, November 2012)

(Picture: Woman staring at phone from Shutterstock)

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