The Truth About Whether Your Friends-With-Benefits Can Turn Into A Real Relationship

Make sure you protect yourself before entering into a FWB situation.

Can Friends With Benefits Turn Into A Relationship? Hrecheniuk Oleksii | Canva

What is a "friends with benefits" relationship exactly? The common definition of friends with benefits is an intimate relationship with someone to whom you do not have any emotional ties or commitment. While there are valid reasons why you may engage in this type of partnership, there are also many why you may reconsider, especially when you start to ask yourself: Can a friend with benefits turn into a relationship? 


Let's dig a bit deeper into this topic so you can make an educated decision. Some of the reasons you might get into a friends-with-benefits relationship (FWB) include: You're busy and don't have the time or desire to invest in a committed relationship. You're coming out of a breakup and need time to work through your emotions but still want to be intimate, or you have feelings for a friend and think if you offer to have non-committal intimacy with them, your affections will be returned.

Friends-with-benefits relationships may give you a sense of connection, significance, and certainty, but this method of getting your needs met can be superficial and short-lived, and it can leave you feeling worse about yourself. 


FWB relationships are often used to avoid the true feelings and vulnerability of real relationships. It sounds like a fun proposition where no one gets hurt, but it's not. It's confusing, and if you start as friends with this person, a lot of lines are going to get crossed. For instance, if you were friends, you both have shared your thoughts and feelings and feel comfortable talking about most things. This is one reason why it seems you would make good FWB partners.

RELATED: How To Not Catch Feelings When You Want To Keep Things Casual

However, since you are going to be intimate without emotions, how do you draw the line between sharing and not being vulnerable? Even the topics you discussed candidly before may be uncomfortable with the change in your friendship. Do you get to have regular friend time anymore since there is more physical desire when you see each other?

 When you get together, are you always going to end up in bed? This will also be a problem if your "friend" moves on and starts a serious relationship with someone else. Of course, it's fine for men and women in relationships to have healthy friendships with people of the opposite gender, but that gets complicated if you've been friends with benefits with someone who is now just a friend.


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

No matter how unattached you and your "friend" have been in bed, the new romantic partner knows you know much more about their guy or gal than they do and you are a threat to their relationship. Not to mention that you may not be able to turn your feelings off as easily as you think you can, particularly if you are a woman. There is a chemical reaction (oxytocin) that happens in women after intimacy that leaves them feeling happy, relaxed, and connected to their partner. So to consciously decide that you are not going to be connected to the person you are with can confuse you and damage your self-esteem.

You may feel like you are not good enough for a real relationship and that you will never have the kind of emotional support you are looking for. The effort I've seen in girlfriends justifying a friends-with-benefits partnership could have been better invested in building their confidence and seeking a powerful, committed relationship. None of their friendships survived the FWB situation in the end. For instance, one of my clients thought she and her friend were only seeing each other for intimacy while they were both single. They never talked about boundaries because this was unfamiliar territory for her and she looked to him for guidance. After all, he was her friend.

@joyfullyethan Here is what to do when you don’t feel like you are good enough A lot of people out there will tell you to fake it until you make it. And while a part of that can be true it’s also complete bullshit and a way to suppress and bypass how you really feel. You don’t get to feeling good enough about yourself by hyping yourself up. You get there by tending to the parts of you that don’t feel good enough. The way I view it is like a garden. Imagine that you are trying to plant seeds, and these seeds represent the belief that you are good enough. You head over to your garden and find out that is full of weeds (Representing the belief that you aren’t good enough). You don’t acknowledge the weeds. Instead, you plant the seeds hoping and praying they will sprout. But it doesn’t have a chance. The weeds are taking up all of the space in the garden. Only as you begin to tend to the weeds do you create space for new seeds to be planted. When you tend to the parts of yourself that feel like they aren’t good enough and you hold them, nurture them and give them what they want they begin to come back into the whole. They come back into you or into the wholeness that you are. By doing so, you begin to see that the weeds disappear. Leaving space for new seeds to be planted. Seeds that are rooted in the belief that you are good enough. Seeds in which may have already been there in the first place but have been waiting for a chance to grow :) ⠀ #personalgrowth #selflove #mindsetmatters #goodenough #tendingtoyourgarden #plantingseeds #believeinyourself #overcominginsecurity #innerchildhealing #healingjourney #innerpeace #confidenceboost #positivity #selfcare #selfacceptance #selfempowerment #selfdiscovery #embracingwholeness #mentalhealthawareness #spreadlove #spreadpositivity ♬ original sound - JoyfullyEthan

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When she found out he had three other friends with benefits and she didn't know how many more each of them had, she felt like she'd been exposed to diseases and anything else the group may have shared. She ended up feeling stupid and vulnerable and the friendship ended immediately. So, my advice? Think carefully before you enter a friends-with-benefits relationship. Imagine the possible outcomes and make sure you are comfortable with them. Honor your intuition by trusting it to tell you that what you want is best for you and honor your decision either way.

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Kelly Rudolph is a Certified Life Coach and Hypnotherapist who helps her clients manage stress and experience personal growth through greater confidence.