When Does 'Friends With Benefits' Get Tricky?
Two sets of strangers open up about casual relationships.
More about this episode
A Conversation on 'Friends With Benefits'
Those in a "friends with benefits" (FWB) situation who wished it would evolve into a relationship don't have the highest success rate of fulfilling their romantic desires. Indeed, according to a 2020 study, in the journal Personal Relationships, those with such an aim end up in a relationship 17 percent of the time.
On the other hand, those in a FWB who hoped the "situationship" would end in platonic friendship found the most success, with 59 percent of people finding their FWB to end the way they wanted it to.
Even more revealing is that a lack of communication, the study found, correlated with an increased likelihood of the "situationship" ending altogether. Thus, if a FWB relationship hopes to end well, it requires sustained communication, mutual respect and aligned expectations.
Opinions. We all have them, especially when it comes to love and sex. So what happens when two people who've never met get to share their opinions in an open and honest conversation. Maybe they learn something about the other person and maybe they learn something about themselves.
I'm Dr. Judy and this is Well, In My Opinion. Today. We're asking the question. When does friends with benefits get tricky?
Yeah, totally. I totally agree. I've never had any luck with friends with benefits. I'm sorry.
No? Why not? Does it just always get serious right away? You could seem like you're kind of a serious guy.
I'm a sensitive person. I like to move fast. Meaning if I'm attracted to you, I feel it. And it's a feeling thing. And anytime that, um, it jumps right to sleeping with someone, it's kind of like your mind, like, you know what I mean? Like this is us, like, you know what I mean? Um, and if, if it feels good, if it feels right to me.
I think it depends on the person. I mean, it always depends on the person, but I think I always tell my guy friends, if she slept with you three times, she starting to think that she likes you. Like, I personally think that women can have casual sex with the same guy once or twice, but by the third or fourth time, we're kind of starting to have the feels. And you just have to know that like that that's probably the cutoff. So, um, you can probably have friends with benefits for two or three sessions, and then you probably have to be prepared for somebody to start having feelings, I think personally. Guys are a little bit different.
I think so. For the most part, obviously we liked that release, but I like getting attached to someone. And like I said, if I'm feeling it, I want to get to know you more. I want to get to, you know, keep exploring this. I don't want to just do it just to do it. You know what I mean?
Do you find yourself to be a little bit jealous or possessive too? Is that part of it for you? Is like, if you're really into somebody you want to like grab them.
Used to be yes, but not so much anymore. But, um, that probably was a part of it. And I think it was more like, "Hey, I want to be your only attention right now if we're going to keep going." So yeah. That's a good question.
Not really wanting to share so much. It's like, no, I want all of it. I can relate to that. Yeah.
Yeah. It's a waste of time after a while. Cause it's just like, what are we actually being something? Or are we just kind of…
Just a booty call at that point.
The opportunities for a friends with benefits situation are everywhere. According to pure research, it turns out that only 14% of American singles are specifically looking for a relationship. That leaves a pretty large section of the population who's happy to go with the flow.
I tell all the friends with benefits, the same scenario. I'm very easy going. This is your movie. It ends when you call in, that's it. Well, let's go, let's continue the movie whenever you feel like it needs to end, it needs to end. I'm just in the movie.
I like that attitude. I wish there was a lot of guys, especially in the gay world, that thought that way, because sometimes they just get so sprung up.
Everyone gets sprung. That's why I tell them the movie thing. At first, they're like, "Oh no, you're going to want…", I mean, no, no, no, believe me.
I think as soon as they get to that level where they're like trying to like convince you that it's like going to work or like you guys should be more, that's when you need to back away. I've definitely, unfortunately, had many situations where I unknowingly have lead guys on like, just because I'm nice. And like, I didn't necessarily think that they wanted anything more, but then once they start buying you lots of things and it's just like, it's like almost becomes boyfriend-y, it's like, oof, like I literally just want to do for your dick.
I've totally got lots of gifts and have not given nothing up.
I mean, I give it up. Like I definitely throw it back. I would have not, I definitely wouldn't have the gifts if I didn't know how to throw it back every now and then.
Oh, but you can get the gifts and not throw it back, too.
Oh, I know that. Of course, of course. I just don't like hurting other people's feelings. Like I don't, I know what it's like, so I don't want to lead some guy on and have them think that, Oh, like this kid's really into me. Like there's something going here and then me hook up with somebody else and then be like, "What? Like I thought we were something."
I just try to come straight out forward, A) this is your movie. It'll end when you want it to end, you know, I'm here to fuck.
This is your movie. You want it to end? I'm here to fuck.
I'm not going to be emotional.
You know, I'm not looking for you to be emotional if we're here to have fun.
So then it comes down to the, you know, are you the type of person that can distinguish sex and getting off, and hooking up and being in a relationship? Because friends with benefits clearly that situation where it's like, you know, do we want to get down to the nitty gritty and hang out more than we're hanging out now, which is not just having sex?
So when you're having friends with benefits, let me ask you this: When you're doing friends with benefits or you have a friend that you're routinely hooking up with, do you go to dinner with them? Do you hang out with them outside of the sex? Is it just come over, have sex right away and then leave? Is it let's hang out?
It's a friend thing. Right? So I mean, it can be like, whatever the friend thing is feeling that day. Yeah. Oh, you want to go to the bar or show? Or the beach?
I have lots of friends, but not all of them run through me.
It can't be an everyday thing. You'd let them know that too. You know, this is like maybe a once a week, twice a week thing. If you're really good, I might give you three days, you know, but you got to put them levels because you gotta let your friend with benefit know.
Well, I mean, also I feel like in good relationship, as far as friends with benefits goes, both of you have the same mentality, like you're not the only one. Like I know that you can go out and get dick as much as I can go out and get it.
Definitely, hopefully you're not waiting on me.
Exactly. That's where it can get tricky is when they're waiting on you and they sort of get comfortable in the position of like where you two are. You know what I mean?
Definitely, I can see that.
Like they're like they find comfort in the relationship-esque type of feeling, but they're also comfortable like being on their own for some periods of the time. I think you just have to communicate. Communication is key.
Communication is key. You know, you just let them know, "Hey, they're just a friend," you know? It is what it is.
It is what it is. And I'm not trying to hurt your feelings. Like I enjoy having sex with you, but I don't think you're necessarily the one for me. What do you think about having multiple friends with benefits at one time? Or what do you think about sleeping with multiple people in one day?
Yeah, I think that's okay.
As long as you're safe.
As long as you're safe, I just don't see nothing wrong with it. I've done it a couple times.
How many partners have you had at one time?
Like one day or as a one—
In one session.
I'm into group sex.
Really? Like three or four people or more?
Five, six?! I've only had two! Six?
The number one way that friends with benefits can get tricky is when one person falls in love with the other person. It seems like a good idea at first. But when one person has higher hopes that this might turn into a serious relationship, that's when things get really awkward.
I'm Dr. Judy and this has been Well, In My Opinion.