by Guest Writer Iyana Edouard
These days a majority of twenty some things aka “millennials” aren’t looking for a traditional monogamous relationship. For those that are this post is not for you, move on. However if you are part of the group young men and women that want something casual but respectful then this is for you.
Being in an open relationship or having a friends with benefits is not often viewed in a positive light and for good reason. A lot of the “FWB” type of relationships usually end with someone catching feelings or someone getting hurt. Is it possible to a open and causal relationship with someone without catching feelings or getting hurt? Absolutely! However the longevity and success of a FWB or open relationship is all dependent on how mature and open both parties are willing to be.
There must be a mutual understanding between both people on exactly what’s going on. Here are some tips on how to make sure you both get what you need and want, without all the drama.
Don’t force it.
Establishing an FWB should happen organically. For example when I was in a college I met a young man who I had a great time with physically, was great to talk to, but I didn’t want a relationship at the time. Luckily, neither did he. After a few months of hanging out I told him that I think we should exclusively be FWB with each other and what all that would and wouldn’t include. I’ll get deeper into that later. The point is, no one forced anything on anyone it kind of just happened. If you try to force a FWB more than likely someone will feel uncomfortable and no one wants that. That FWB ended lasting a pretty long time and neither of us felt discomfort any point.
This is the main problem when it comes to these types of relationships. Don’t just assume you’re the only person they are sleeping with or seeing? Don’t assume they caught feelings? Don’t assume they are being dishonest? Ask questions and communicate as often as possible. The more transparency you have the better.
Communication, communicate, communicate!
This is the easiest tip but always the most neglected in every relationship. With an open relationship you have to communicate with your partner even more than a traditional one because you both have to make sure you have the same understanding of what type of relationship you want have. When you do set the terms for your FWB it’s so important to discuss what you both expect, want, and don’t want. If one of you goes out on a date and think it might lead further make sure to tell the other person. It may not seem like their business but if you sleep with the person you went on a date with and don't tell you FWB it could really do some damage, physically and emotionally, And communicating is a sign of respect as well and of course respect is necessary.
Satisfaction on both sides.
Don’t be afraid to be selfish but also remember to be selfless as well. The whole point of FWB is receiving the “benefits”, whether they be in the bedroom or if you need a favor. If you and the other person both aren’t enjoying yourselves, giving, and receiving then what’s the point? Once again don’t force it. It either works or it doesn’t.
Develop a friendship.
This actually isn’t required but it is helpful in keeping everything kosher. You should somewhat like that person you’re having a FWB relationship with obviously. You can have a healthy friendship and relationship with out feelings being involved, as long as you are both very clear about what you want and are honest with each other, and yourself.
Don’t spread your business.
This is the most important tip out of them all. DO NOT tell the world or the internet all about your open relationship. It’s not their business. It’s okay to tell your best friend or your sister but not everyone else. Just because it’s casual and carefree does not mean you’re partner will be okay with you sharing. Also keeping it secret is kind of part of the fun.
Don’t be afraid of exploring open relationships if you never have before. We are now in a time where people can be open with their sexuality and relationship identity so take full advantage of it. But of course don’t take advantage of the other person and don’t let them take advantage of you. In end the end friends with benefits is all about being respectful of one another and having fun.
- Iyana Edouard
- @writtenbyiyana (Instagram & Twitter)