How To End A 'Friends With Benefits' Relationship

Even if it’s not official, it’s still a relationship. So, now what?

How To End A Friends With Benefits Relationship Getty

You two knew that it was not meant to be forever, and that’s why you two were just "friends with benefits." You both were friends (possibly), sex was had, and now, for one reason or another, you realize it’s time to break things off.

It’s okay. These things happen. Maybe you met someone. Maybe you just weren’t feeling it anymore. Maybe you started to feel uncomfortable with what your FWB was saying or doing with you or around you.


Whatever the reason is, you have every right to end a casual friends with benefits relationship.

RELATED: The Truth About Whether Your FWB Can Turn Into A Real Relationship

We’ve all had a moment where casual sex relationships had to end. But here’s the catch — ending a friends with benefits relationship can be tricky.


You were never official, but you still were something. Here’s how to do it tactfully.

How to End a Friends With Benefits Relationship (and Even Possibly Stay Friends)

1. First, determine if a serious transgression has happened.

Though it’s rarer in a FWB situation than it is in a full-blown relationship, you can sometimes run across a hook-up buddy that’s abusive or otherwise toxic to you. If you notice your FWB insulting you, demanding that you take on girlfriend- or boyfriend-like duties while refusing to give you that title, or emotionally manipulating you, you are right to cut things off.

Depending on the severity of your “friend’s” behavior, you may want to consider ghosting them completely. Or, you may want to tell them what has made you decide to cut off the relationship.

Do not apologize, do not falter, and do not rethink your decision. You deserve better!


2. If he’s been good (and a real friend), do not ghost him.

It might not have been a romantic relationship in full, but it was still a relationship. Your FWB deserves an honest, upfront send-off.

Tell them that you need to stop sleeping with them, and that you hope you two can still be on good terms.

You don’t have to do it in person if you don’t want to, but you should say something. Even a text message is enough. It’s a matter of respect!

3. Try to taper off sex before you break it off.

The more sex you have leading up to the breakup, the harder it will be to cut things off.

Your best bet is to stop having sex with them in the weeks leading up to it. This will create both physical and emotional distance between the two of you.


4. Be honest if he asks you why, but don’t back down on your decision.

A lot of people will want to know why a breakup occurs, especially if they are worried about their own behavior.

When breaking things off with a FWB, it’s a good idea to remain pretty open and honest about what made you decide to end things. If it’s because you saw someone else and decided to date them, tell them before they see the photos online. It will sting if it’s a surprise.

RELATED: This Is How 'Friends With Benefits' Usually Ends, Says Study

5. Offer your friendship — and don’t just say “let’s be friends.”

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible for FWBs to be legitimate friends outside the bedroom without romantic feelings between the two of them. If you are both emotionally mature enough to handle it, make an effort to keep in touch and act like friends.


Do normal things together. Chat once in a while. Hang out with other friends as a group. The more you both return to a normal, platonic vibe, the better it will be.

Boundary control is key here!

6. Give your FWB time to grieve.

Even if your relationship wasn’t the full nine yards, the breakup will probably still hurt your fling’s feelings a little. This is doubly true if you’re dumping them because they clearly want to have something more with you.

If your former fling is clearly upset, talk to them about it, but also give them space to grieve if they need it. It may take a while before they can hang out with you again.

7. Do be kind and a little self-deprecating.

Rejection hurts, and yes, this is a rejection too. Your FWB will already be feeling a bit hurt by the breakup, and it’s possible their ego will take a little hit too.


Your job here is to try to make it sting as little as possible. Look a little upset that you have to do this, take blame, and maybe tell them that they will make someone else very happy.

Telling them that they're great in bed, saying that you enjoyed your time together, and even pointing out the little things that made it good can help soften the blow significantly.

8. Understand that there’s a good chance that he will not want to be platonic friends anymore.

As much as we all want to think that people will be okay with being friends after a quasi-relationship falls through, it doesn’t always happen.


Some people, particularly those that caught feelings, tend to be unable to handle the idea of seeing the person they like knowing that a relationship is totally off the table.

Depending on how things go, you may be able to be friends in the future if you give them space and don’t try to force it.

However, if they can’t handle it, you may need to learn to grieve the loss as well.

RELATED: Why Crying Over Your Breakup Is Good For Your Mental Health

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a Jack-of-all-trades writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey. You can follow her on Twitter.