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Is a ‘friends with benefits’ relationship possible?

Is a ‘friends with benefits’ relationship possible?


Dear Reagan,

I have a guy I’ve been friends with for a long time and we hooked up over the break. I had a really good time and I think it would be fun to do again. I really don’t want a relationship. Is there any way we could do this again without ruining our friendship?

Sincerely,

Confused at Christmas

Dear Confused,

Many of us have experienced unexpected friend hookups, and they can be insanely awkward. Wading the murky waters of “friends with benefits” (FWB) situations can be difficult but also rewarding and fulfilling.

Be aware that sexual relationships can often lead to romantic feelings. Sex releases chemicals in your brain like dopamine, oxytocin and epinephrine, to name a few. These chemicals can create feelings of attachment as well as elation. In an FWB situation, this could simply create a closer friendship but could lead to someone catching that pesky feelings bug.

Make sure your friend wants to continue and does not have romantic feelings for you. If he has feelings and you do not, it would be best not to get further involved so as to keep the friendship alive. If you’re on the same page, I say go for it—cautiously. Keep in mind that this is not a “no strings attached” relationship because your friendship already contains strings. Establish clear rules. Maybe you want to make sure there are no sleepovers, or limit your physicality to making out. You may need to rehash the rules if anyone gets jealous. If you do not feel like you can not talk to this guy about your feelings, wants and needs, you should probably remove sex from the equation and focus on your friendship instead.

Good luck!

Reagan

Send questions on sex, dating, relationships or anything else to [email protected]

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Reagan Martin

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