In this day and age, friends with benefits (FWB) relationships are most common. Many people tend to embrace casual relationships with ‘no strings attached.’
These relationships may have an expiration date, but it does not necessarily have to be in terms of time. Some people have proven that they can last for years, whereas others end within a few months. It all comes down to your feelings; that is one of the parties. If one of you does not feel right anymore about the whole relationship, that marks the beginning of the end.
The timing is invariable for different relationships. This article hopes to shed some light on what may cause the end of such a relationship, highlighting some reasons why and how long they can last.
How Long Do Friends with Benefits Relationships Last
Like any other relationship, friends with benefits relationships start with both happiness, excitement, and content. The only difference, in this case, is they do not have much expectation, and they are okay with that.
But sometimes, it may reach that point when you start to wonder whether you have taken things too far. Often, it is not easy to tell when something that was once perfect and everything you wanted starts to go awry. Here you even start questioning whether you wanted the casual relationship to start with.
Before you get into any FWB relationship, it is important to ask yourself whether you are okay with the whole idea of a casual sexual relationship. If you get into one hoping that the man or woman will end being your partner, you are in for the wrong reasons.
Often, you set yourself up for pain and an upsetting situation if it does not turn up the way you expected. The only reason you can have when entering this kind of relationship is when all you want is no-strings-attached casual sex. You should not at any point hope that it will evolve into a blossoming relationship.
You may be the person who likes casual sex or the one who expects it to be more than that. Either way, there comes a time when you need to say goodbye to your FWB partner. It is more of a feeling than a timespan. Here are some scenarios that lead to the end of most friends with benefits relationships.
One of the Parties Has Started to Want Something More
This happens more often than you can imagine with FWBs, more so if one of them got into the relationship hoping for something more, or the feelings may have developed along the way. At this point, the safe thing to do is to terminate the relationship before someone gets hurt.
Even though some people tend to ‘wait and see,’ this is a dangerous move and never ends well. Once things start getting serious, you need to handle them immediately, directly, and confidently.
That means that you need to address the issue fast. It could be that both of you have feelings for each other, in which case a relationship is a viable option, or one of you does not feel the same way. It will need to end immediately, especially if only one person has feelings- this is more torture.
You have become uncomfortable with the situation
You will often find that some people may flow with the whole casual sex idea until they do not. It comes a time that you realize you want a more serious relationship, and the whole FWB is not working for you anymore. At this point, you will have to let go of your friends with benefits relationships. Ensure that you let your partner know and not just leave them in the dark.
It is stopping you from getting what you want
FWBs are all fun and games until you realize you want more than just casual sex. Some can last as long as two years until it dawns on you or your partner that you want a more serious relationship, but not with each other. At first, you are both in for just the sex and hooking up, but later on, you are not content or desire a more serious relationship. And that is okay.
The only problem is that while you were hooking up, a lot of energy and time was spent that you would otherwise use to find a real partner. It is always easier to let go if you feel the same way- you only need to talk openly with your partner to find out. This way, you may still retain your friendship while dating other people.
Also, if both of you had a great relationship, it is usually easy and comfortable, and thus, you are free to talk about anything. But if it starts being an obstruction that stops you from getting what you want, you need to bring it to an end.
Why do FWBs end?
This relationship tends to end when one of the parties develops feelings, and in many cases, it is usually not reciprocated. There are other reasons such as an opportunity for a serious relationship comes along, the interest fades, lack of boundaries, and so on. Developing personal feelings is very likely when you are involved intimately with the other person. This is despite the earlier agreement that it will be strictly physical.
What many do not understand is that a significant part of intimacy is the mental part. You can be slightly attracted to the other party or simply like their company to enjoy the whole experience. Sometimes it is inevitable for the emotions and attraction to mixing up, which is when the relationship starts to decline. Some relationships have worked well. Some people find FWB a platform to explore their sexuality and have fun with someone they can be open to.
This arrangement works for many, and for others, it may come to an abrupt end. Sometimes when one enters into this relationship with the hopes of something serious in the end. This is usually not guaranteed, and if something does not go your way, it could adversely affect the initial friendship and serious heartache.
What Prevents FWBs from Evolving into Real Relationships?
Turning the mutual physical attraction and casual sex into a serious relationship and partnership is unlikely but not impossible. Some people manage, though on rare occasions. Some tell-tale signs may signify that your FWB is growing into something else, like increased communication in texting or calling. That is one of the plausible signals that can tell you your relationship is evolving and could probably lead to something stronger. After all, communication is key.
But why don’t they last? Experts claim that most FWBs do not last or turn into a serious relationship is if one of the parties is already in a committed relationship or does not want to commit. If you start getting emotionally attached to this person, it will not end well with you. For you, it could be more than the casual sex. You could also share your feelings since you know much about your partner’s lives, family, and friends.
Some experts also confirm that if you and your partner are comfortable and open with each other, there is hope that it can turn into something serious. If these relationships run a natural course, with both parties content and happy, it could end in a lasting relationship.
However, some people still insist on having FWB relationships with someone they have feelings for, even before getting intimate. You are advised to always put your feelings and emotions first before anyone. It is hard, even painful, to keep having casual sex with a friend or acquaintance if you have feelings for them, and they do not.
Once feelings start developing, you need to stop them, whether you or your partner- the sooner, the better, as it would mean fewer casualties. Moreover, you need to note whether your FWB partner has some sexual addiction and uses you to fulfill his sexual desires.
That happens, and therefore you should be keen, especially for women, as it could end up in you contracting a sexually transmitted infection, getting pregnant with no support, or emotionally hurt.
How long should FWB relationships last?
A study shows that some last more than others. The successful ones ended up with both parties being friends and others hooking up a second time. Some are usually doomed from the beginning and do not last longer than a few months. Generally, these relationships may last from weeks to years. It all depends on how both of you feel.
Relationships are usually characterized by commitment and monogamy and often lead to marriage and a life spent together. However, friends with benefits relationships do not offer such promise- they always have to come to an end. And it is at this point that people seek more serious relationships. With the changing times, many tend to go the FWB way.
Those who do not support this relationship have a point, especially because of how it ends. There are always pros and cons, but the cons seem to outweigh the positives. Someone always ends up hurt, even when it is not intentional.
Having Friends with benefits relationships is commonplace nowadays. It is an alternative option to expressing your desires but with no attachments. After all, you get along as friends, so you now opt for something more fun and mutually satisfying. Eventually, these relationships come to an end, but the timing is varied depending on the reasons above.