Being friends with benefits is much more complicated than it sounds. When it ends, what do you do? This is how to get over a friend with benefits.
FWB or friends with benefits is a term that sounds so simple. You are friends but have some extra sexual benefits on the side. It seems harmless. But there is a reason this does not usually work out. But no one tells you how to get over a friend with benefits.
Most people don’t take their friends with benefits until death do you part. It can be hard to remain friends after having been together sexually. It can be work to turn on and off a platonic relationship.
When you are close with someone, even in a platonic sense, sex has a way of making things more complicated. Even if you don’t have romantic feelings, sex releases chemicals in the brain that can make you think those feelings are there. So although it can be enjoyable, it is inevitable that it won’t last.
Time is up on friends with benefits
All friends with benefits run their course. Yes, sometimes they can turn into a relationship, but often things end with the drama you were trying to avoid by being friends with benefits in the first place.
If you were not only of the lucky ones that started dating your friends with benefits, what do you do when friends with benefits ends?
Why did it end?
Friends with benefits can stop working for all sorts of reasons. Most often I would say it is because someone catches feelings. If you continue on that path without those feelings being returned, it is likely someone will get hurt.
Another common ending to friends with benefits is that one person found someone else that they actually see a relationship with. If that is the case for you, lucky. But if you are the one who is just now single and celibate, you may feel a loss. Hopefully the friendship can withstand the end of this agreement.
But if someone is getting into an honest relationship, their new partner may not want them spending time with someone they have a history with. So you may be losing the benefits and a friend.
How to get over a friend with benefits
It is weird to think about getting over a friend with benefits because you were never technically together. And depending on the level of loss it can actually feel like a full on break up, only without the label. That can make your feelings seem invalid.
But you have every right to feel that loss and take it to heart. If you are losing regular sex, that sucks. But if you are actually losing this person as a friend it is a break up. Whether you had serious romantic feelings or just felt connected to them, you deserve to mourn. So indulge in junk food, watch Dirty Dancing, and take some time.
#1 Figure out the details. When a FWB relationship comes to a close it isn’t just the end of a random hook up. Likely it wasn’t just benefits, so closure is necessary, just as with any other relationship.
Figure out the plan. What comes next? Was one of you ready to start dating? Did someone catch feelings? Did it simply run its course? Figure those details out. Are you remaining platonic friends or going your separate ways? This is vital for you to decide where you go from here.
#2 Give yourself a break. Having a friend with benefits gives you a sort of routine. You have gotten comfortable with this person both sexually and as a friend. Before rushing into a new situation, give yourself sometime to reflect.
Is this what you want? Do you want something more serious? Do you want sometime completely alone? Jumping from one FWB to the next can leave you feeling empty, not to mention it puts you in a bit of an emotional and physical rut. So take some time to figure out your own personal plan.
#3 Try not to overthink it. If you fell for your friend and now it is over, you may start to overanalyze every single moment. Did you say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing? Did you tell them you had feelings or just hope they would know?
You may wonder why you caught feelings and they didn’t. But you cannot change the past. If you want to know how to get over a friend with benefits, you need to remember that no matter what you dwell on, what’s done is done. Find out why it ended and go on from there. And if you do have feelings for this person, don’t think being friends with benefits will be enough for you.
Often, when one person develops feelings they think I would rather be friends with benefits than nothing. But that will prevent you from moving on and finding someone who does have feelings for you. Accepting less than you deserve in a situation like this is not only entirely unfair, but will also lower your self esteem.
#4 Appreciate what it was. Being friends with benefits can be super fun. It has a freeing quality to it that in some cases relationships don’t. You can feel like without a label you have less responsibility and more fun. And although it is now over, you can appreciate what it was.
Be happy you had that time. It can be hard to do when the ending is so fresh, but one day you should be able to look back on this time and be grateful for it. Even if you can’t see it now, you learned something from this experience.
#5 Cry it out. Romantic feelings or not, treat it like a break up. Cry to your friends. Pig out. Call out of work for a personal day. If you are upset, which I assume you are if you were looking for this feature, then mourn how you would for any validated break up.
Just because you didn’t go on dates or say I love you doesn’t mean something in your life didn’t end. There does not need to be a label or an official break up in order for your feelings to be legitimate. So go on and be sad, you deserve it.
#6 Move on. Once you’ve had some time to be sad, think about what you want, and contemplate your future, live it. Go out on dates. Or even find another friend with benefits if you want that. Just take what you learned from last time over to this new situation. Set some ground rules.
Are you exclusive? Is it a secret? Are you going to be dating outside of this agreement? Do you have a time limit? What if someone catches feelings? Try to figure this out in the beginning so that getting over this friends with benefits won’t be as complicated.
If you are worried about how to get over a friend with benefits, just walk through these steps, and you’ll be over it soon. And if you’re considering a FWB, unless you really are sure you can separate sex and intimacy, think twice before dipping your feet.