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How to be friends with benefits: Rules, advice and tips for casual relationships

Updated on December 14, 2013

How to be friends with benefits? What are the rules of a casual relationship? The term Friends With Benefits really took off after the movie. It became yet another thing that relationship blogs and magazine columns began ranting about. Movies are all about perfect endings but life isn't always so. This post discusses practical tips, do's and don'ts, hard-hitting advice and some of the basic rules that can be followed if you want to become friends with benefits with a girl or a guy.

Do you really want to be friends with benefits?
Do you really want to be friends with benefits? | Source

1) Don't try when you are not ready: Be mature

As exciting as it sounds, being friends with benefits requires a lot of emotional maturity. You must be mature enough to understand the repercussions of entering a relationship with no strings attached. It is not something that you would want to take lightly.

A casual relationship can leave a lasting impact on how you perceive sex. It will also affect your expectations out of a normal relationship. Think about these things before you make yourself available.

2) Find someone outside your social and work circle

Friends with benefits should ideally be outside your social and work circle. Hooking up with someone with whom you have a lot of common friends is a recipe for disaster. Your mutual friends will find out sooner or later.

From being labeled as an easy woman to a guy who is a complete jerk - the possibilities are endless when things go wrong and your friends find out about your casual relationship.

3) Look for someone who is fun to hang out with

The term Friends With Benefits revolves around having a friend with whom you can have a sexual relationship without any strings attached. But it is undeniable that you will be spending quite some time out of the bed too.

Hook up with someone who is fun to hang out with. Guys who are too serious or girls who seem too conscious may not make the best casual partners.

A natural sense of attraction is a must.
A natural sense of attraction is a must.

4) Find a guy or a girl who you are naturally attracted to

People become friends with benefits when they are attracted to each other. This natural sense of attraction is a must if you want to hook up with someone.

If you must, say no to such a proposal but don't feel pressurized if the strong feeling of attraction is missing.

5) Don't hook up with people who are already in a genuine relationship with someone else

Imagine how you would feel if your boyfriend or girlfriend was cheating on you with someone. It would be heartbreaking and in a worst case scenario where you are married, it can break your family apart.

Keep this in mind and never try to pursue a casual relationship with someone who is already in a loving relationship with someone else.

6) Be upfront about your intentions: Don't be a heartbreaker

Once you start flirting with someone who is a potential friend with the bedroom benefits, be upfront about your intentions. Don't try to get into bed with someone by using mushy lines, only to dump them later. You can be honest about your intentions without sounding trashy by working around some of these lines:

  • Since we both aren't looking for anything serious, I hope it is fine if we just have some fun
  • Our work commitments will hardly give us time to meet but that doesn't mean we can't have some fun every now and then, does it
  • Since neither of us is looking for love we can keep this relationship completely casual
  • Let's be clear about our intentions for our fun relationship

Use these lines as conversation starters and discuss it out openly. If that person is on the same page as you are, you can have a relationship on terms that you both agree to.

There is really no need to make your friends meet your hook up.
There is really no need to make your friends meet your hook up.

7) Try to avoid letting your friends meet your hook up

Never have your bedroom buddy meet your other friends. It is not a good idea to open up your casual relationship for scrutiny. Everyone in your friend circle will start judging you and give you unwanted advice.

Even if it is at a party, don't make the mistake of assuming that people will notice you if you have a hot date. Keep your casual relationship and your friendships separate.

8) Set a few ground rules after your first few hook ups

Once you both have been upfront about your intentions, talk about a few ground rules after your hook up. Here are some of the things you may want to discuss:

  • Neither of you will show up at each others' home unannounced
  • You will let each other know immediately at the slightest of signs of falling in love
  • Places you can and can't meet
  • Whether you want to keep your casual hook ups a secret from all your other friends

These are just a few things that should be a priority. Judge the person and the situation to be very clear about the do's and don'ts of your particular relationship.

9) Never let your hook ups meet your parents

Making your casual partner meet your parents is also a one way street to disaster. Don't forget that your mum and dad have known you since the day you were born. They can read you inside out and find out what is going in your head even if you don't say a word.

The excessive nagging and parental advice to break up your relationship will frustrate you till no end, especially when it comes from your parents.

If you want to do mushy stuff like have breakfast in bed together, have a genuine relationship. Sleeping over and the cute stuff that follows shouldn't be there with a friend with benefits.
If you want to do mushy stuff like have breakfast in bed together, have a genuine relationship. Sleeping over and the cute stuff that follows shouldn't be there with a friend with benefits.

10) Avoid letting casual partners sleepover and wake up next to you at your home

There are only two people who you should be having sleepovers with – friends and lovers. Cute sleepovers create a sweet bond which is much more than just sexual chemistry. If your special friend is going to crash at your place after a night out, make it clear that he or she must leave before you wake up.

Waking up next to someone and gazing at their sun-kissed faces is a pleasure that must be reserved for people who you really love. Don't belittle the value of love by waking up in your bed to the sight of the man or the woman who showed you a good time.

11) Avoid cuddling with each other for a long time

Good sexual chemistry joins bodies while cuddling joins hearts and souls. Avoid falling into the trap of cuddling by keeping your heart and soul out of your casual relationship.

Get up and walk away when you find yourself aimlessly cuddling with someone with whom you are just friends with benefits. Cuddling will create a sense of comfort which should ideally be shared only with girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands and wives.

12) Allow each other to go on dates with other people: Don't let jealousy ruin your casual relationship

The fact that you are in a casual relationship means that there are no strings attached. You can have as much fun as you want but that doesn't stop either of you from seeing other people.

Be open to going on dates with other people and expect the same from your casual partner. If you are not mentally prepared, jealousy will claw its way through your casual relationship and rip it apart.

Whether it is a silly tweet about how much fun you had last night or a cute selfie - don't even think about posting stuff about anything that has to do with your friend with benefits.
Whether it is a silly tweet about how much fun you had last night or a cute selfie - don't even think about posting stuff about anything that has to do with your friend with benefits.

13) Don't post silly stuff about your hook ups on social media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr are not the places where you want to post stuff about anything that has got to do with your casual relationship. Whether it is an update about where you went out with your special friend or a selfie you took while you were in bed with him or her - don't post anything on social media.

You will open yourself up to public ridicule if you take to social media about your casual hook ups. Apart from your own friend circle, you possibly face the horror of the pictures being shared endlessly with random people on the internet.

14) Don't hook up with your bedroom buddy too often

Avoid meeting too often. The reason is quite simple – never let your company be taken for granted.

If you are always just a phone call away, you will be nothing more than a booty call. If you think that sounds crude and nasty, it will feel even worse.

15) Respect needs and boundaries: Never be judgmental

Never belittle your friends with benefits by being judgmental or disrespectful in any way. Think before you make a comment on their personality or say something about the time they spend with you. For example, a guy could seriously hurt a girl emotionally if he calls her easy.

Give, and get respect from your friend. Your casual relationship will see a happy run if you both respect your needs and boundaries.

Don't do romantic and mushy stuff that normal couples do.
Don't do romantic and mushy stuff that normal couples do.

16) Don't do stuff that normal couples usually do

From spending hours together at the mall, going on endless coffee dates, driving to romantic look-out points and cooking meals - boyfriend-girlfriend and husband-wife couples do a lot of stuff together.

All this is exactly the stuff you must not do with your hook up. Spending time doing things that normal couples do, will connect you both on a deep emotional level. It will all be downhill from there.

17) Never try to justify your relationship

Trying to reason or justify your casual hook ups will bring nothing but disappointment. It can also lead to a depreciating sense of self-worth. You should have thought about this before becoming friends with benefits.

Put your casual relationships on hold if you find yourself questioning your motives. When it comes to casual relationships, the journey of doubting your judgment can be extremely messy and shattering.

18) Never talk about the future of your relationship

You must avoid having silly chats about how things will be six months down the line or whether you will still be hooking up with each other after a couple of years. These seemingly unassuming conversations can have a deep emotional impact.

It can make both of you start thinking about the future which will shake the very foundation of being friends with benefits. Even normal couples find it hard to talk about their futures at the risk of irking off a commitment phobic partner.

Love winning over lust? Talk about it with your friend immediately.
Love winning over lust? Talk about it with your friend immediately.

19) Be honest if you start falling in love with your friend

If you start falling in love with your special friend, let him or her know immediately. Be honest about your emotions and be clear about your intentions. If you don't, the pain of unrequited love will destroy you from within.

Call it quits if you don't want to have a genuine relationship with your hook up. On the other hand, ask that person if you feel like giving it a shot. Walk away instantly if the answer is no.

20) End your casual relationship immediately if your friend falls in love with you

Stop your casual relationship if someone starts displaying signs of needy behavior, attachment or love. Confront that person and ask if what you sense is true. Judge the answers and walk away immediately if you think that your casual partner has feelings for you.

You must make this tough decision right away. Delaying it will make it more difficult and you will start feeling responsible for breaking someone's heart.

21) Never ignore condoms: Protect yourself in a casual relationship

Enough can never be said about the importance of using protection while having sex. Regardless of how long you have been hooking up with your friend, always use condoms.

From life-threatening diseases to life-changing pregnancies, the risks of not using a condom are just not worth facing.

22) Walk away if your friend starts a meaningful relationship with someone else

Make it a rule to walk away if that person starts a meaningful relationship with someone else.

Don't face the guilt of being the person with whom someone cheats on the love of their life. You don't deserve the bad karma.

Always give your real friends more priority. They will stay with you even when the ones with benefits leave.
Always give your real friends more priority. They will stay with you even when the ones with benefits leave.

23) Never ignore or forget your real friends

Friends with benefits should never be given more priority than your real friends. Nothing can take the place of true friendship in your life.

If you must stand up your bedroom buddy because your best friend called you and asked you to hang out at the mall, do it.

24) Don't talk about your casual relationship with your friends

Be tight-lipped about your casual relationships. Don't even mention it to your best friends. Look at it as something which you can keep separate from your social life.

In a perfect world, secrets would actually be kept secrets. But since that rarely happens in real life, it is best if you don't talk about your hook ups with anyone. Avoid mentioning it even in a casual conversation like 'I went on a date with this guy yesterday'

25) Keep yourself busy with other things in life

Relationships involving friends with benefits can get unstable when they become the center of someone's daily habits and routine. Avoid this by keeping yourself busy in your work and study commitments.

Don't reflect on your relationship with a friend who is casually more than just a friend. Keep it separate from your daily routine if you want to avoid drowning in an emotional whirlpool.

26) Don't expect it to last forever

Friends with benefits can never stay together forever. The Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis starring movie itself is a strong reminder to anyone who expects that a casual relationship has the chance of surviving months and years. Don't make the mistake of expecting yours to last either.

As life moves on, your priorities and needs will change. You, as a person will change as you mature and seek out your true purpose. There will come a time when love takes priority over sex. This is the moment when you will start craving the need for emotional dependency and a sense of togetherness, rather than just meaningless hook ups.


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    • carol3san profile image

      Carolyn Sands 4 years ago from Hollywood Florida

      This is an interesting topic. I'm a little older than a lot of the other hubbers...and so much has changed since my dating days. I believe this was probably going on forever, but no one would ever admit to it back in my day. I suppose the best advice you gave was not to expect it to last forever.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 4 years ago

      I believe a "friends with benefits" arrangement is best between mature people who have already had the "fairytale wedding", gone through a divorce, raised their children, and are clear in their mind about not wanting or hoping to be in a full-time relationship.

      Friends with benefits has been very common in senior circles for many years. These people have their money set up in trusts or inheritance for their adult children and grand-children and have no wish to comingle funds with anyone. They get together every now and then with their "friend" and very often do not bring this person around family and friends. Generally speaking they only get together with this "friend" a few times a year. They keep their arrangement on the down low. If things go south they're able to accept it easier.

      The problem with young people having such arrangements is the majority of them eventually hope to get married, live with someone, or settle down in full-blown relationship. With that in mind it means a "friends with benefits" is a temporary arrangement until one person finds someone special that they actually want to commit to.

      Another issue that often arises with young people is the (frequency) they get together with their "friends with benefits" person. It's only natural if you're having sex with them 2-3 times a week one of you is going to start forming a bond. Truth be told most married couples aren't having sex 2-3 times a week! A "friends with benefits" should be a (once in a blue moon) night of sex. 90% of the time they get together it should be for platonic friendship activity. Another way to avoid getting too attached is to have more than one "friend".

    • Alphadogg16 profile image

      Kevin W 4 years ago from Texas

      Princesswithapen, I have to agree with HattieMattieMae, unless you end up with this person, it's not going to end well. You can't do things that "couples" do, with someone your attracted too & having sex with & not develop an emotional attachment, that's just human nature.