Myths abound regarding relationships between men and women and friends with benefits:

Men have commitment issues.

Women are emotional wrecks.

Men and women can never be just friends.

Being ‘friends with benefits’ always leads to getting hurt.

The same truth doesn’t apply to every situation or every individual, so all the myths go out the window from the start. Honestly, what’s right for one person may not add up to happiness for another. That doesn’t mean you can’t make a specific type of relationship work, if it’s what you really want.

For example, let’s say you’re in no place to commit. Maybe you’ve had a recent breakup, or you’re career-focused and don’t need to put a lot of time and effort into a full-on relationship. At the same time, you have sexual urges that distract you, and you want to fulfill those before they get in the way of reason.

Turning to a friend who can fulfill that need – and is willing to do so with nothing more than a physical connection and the existing friendship – could be the perfect solution to a very common problem. Let’s face it; the human body wasn’t created for celibacy, and forcing it to return to a state of virtual virginity after awakening your sexual appetite can be detrimental to your physical health. Finding a way to ‘scratch the itch’ and not tie yourself down can lead to a much happier, healthier mind and body.

Rules for ‘Friends with Benefits’

Probably the most common issue with these relationships is that one person or the other isn’t clear on expectations. Setting ground rules for the relationship can lead to a more successful approach.

  1. It’s over when one of you finds someone of interest. Yes, it’s best to keep the sex exclusive, just for clarity and to avoid any unnecessary risk, but that doesn’t mean you can’t both search for the Right One. When one of you finds a partner to pursue, cut it off clean.
  2. Don’t bring emotions into the picture. This is not a way to cling to someone and fall in love. It’s merely an outlet to fulfill basic desires that will help keep you from falling into a pit of despair and dissatisfaction. If you start to fall for your friend, it’s time to cut things off and remind yourself that the friendship is more important than sex and complications.
  3. Continue to do things together as friends. Don’t change the dynamic of your relationship now that you’re having sex. It’ll be easier to keep the status quo and avoid tragic ends based on developing unwanted attachments.
  4. Be careful who you choose. If you pick the wrong guy, you’ll be screwed – in an unhappy way. Don’t go for the guy who’s had a crush on you since fifth grade, and don’t pick the guy who goes through women like toilet paper.

Tapping into that ‘friends with benefits’ place can lead to disaster, if you don’t take precautions. But if you’re looking to release a little sexual tension with someone you trust, it could be a very viable option and a successful endeavor!

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