Should You Be Friends with Benefits? The Pros and Cons

Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake make it look easy!

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We’ve all seen the movie. It seems idyllic. Boy and girl start off as friends. Slowly, they move their strictly platonic movie nights into the bedroom. This seems to be going well, at least at first. However, things start to sour sometime around the third act. Suddenly, this once happy arrangement starts to get… complicated. But not to worry, by the end of the movie, the once-friends end up together and everything ends up with rainbows and butterflies.

Girl on boy's back having fun in a parking lot

But can a friend with benefits situation actually work out? Is it something worth trying? Below is a list of pros and cons about starting a “friends with benefits” relationship.


Girl with brown hair in bed with girl with short blonde hair with half on face

No commitment

If you’re just planning to casually sleep with someone, then there is absolutely no commitment when it comes to the relationship aspect. You can continue living your life as a single person while still having someone to have fun with in the bedroom.

Already comfortable with them emotionally

If this person is your friend, then you probably have developed some sort of relationship with them already. You can bypass all of that awkward first date small talk and you don’t have to stay up talking about your favorite memory, likely because they already know all of this information about you. Instead you can focus on time alone.

It can be fun

A friend with benefits relationship can be fun. You get to experiment with what you like and learn more about your own sexuality without having to worry about STDs (as long as you’re both tested and practicing safe sex) or about being in a relationship.


Two peoples' feet in a bed with a floral comforter

No commitment

Just like earlier, the lack of commitment can be a negative aspect. Because there is no commitment, this means that there are no expectations. You and your partner may both be free to meet and sleep with other people. They also are not expected to be around whenever you shoot them a text or be able to just hang out like a partner would. If this is something that you are looking for, then a friend with benefits may not be right for you.

You may lose your friend

After or during this whole new situation, you may find that you have lost the friend you once had. Your relationship is bound to change once sex enters the picture, even if it was completely platonic. You now have a new level of history between you and this will always be something that you will need to accept and confront. Your friend has quite literally seen you in a way that none of your other friends have and this is going to change the dynamic which may result in your friendship being ruined.

Someone will probably catch feels

It’s natural for humans to associate sex with love due to the chemicals released in our brains while we are getting busy. You may start to realize that you would like to actually start a relationship with the person that you have been casually sleeping with. And if you’re not falling in love with your friend, then they may be the one wanting to make your relationship more romantic. Either way, someone is very likely to start having feelings for the other which will definitely complicate the entire situation.

A few things to remember:

Boy and girl wearing backpacks having a conversation overlooking a river at sunset

Communication is key

Talk, talk, talk! As scary as it can be to actually confront someone you’re sleeping with about these issues, it is so important to set strict boundaries early on. Try to talk to them about what you expect and what you want to happen. Discuss “what if” scenarios and encourage them to feel comfortable talking to you about these things, too. And make sure you actually have this conversation early on. Saying you’re going to communicate and actually communicating are two very different things.

Do it for the right reasons

Make sure you’re starting a friend with benefits relationship for the right reasons. Are you doing this in the hopes that your friend will start developing feelings for you? Are you trying to make someone jealous by sleeping with this friend? Remember to start a casual relationship for the right reasons rather than for something that could end up hurting both of you and your relationship in the long run.

A friend with benefits relationship doesn’t have to be complicated. As long as you are both clear about what you want and what’s happening along the way then your friendship will likely remain strong. Just make sure that you know what you and your partner want from the beginning and throughout. The movies may not be entirely accurate but that doesn’t mean that they’re wrong!

Have you been in a friend-with-benefits relationship? Do you have any advice for our readers considering starting one?

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