Can Friends With Benefits Fall In Love? 3 Ways to Make it Happen
CAN friends with benefits fall in love? I’ve been asked that by so many of my female coaching clients, so I wanted to address the topic here.
But first, let’s define friends with benefits: two single people that have sex with one another, with no strings attached. Also known as FWB.
Or as Urban Dictionary puts it:
Ah, you gotta love the internet.
If you’re in
CAN Friends with Benefits Fall in Love…or Is It a Fairy Tale?
Maybe when you first started hooking up with this guy, you really didn’t want any strings attached. Maybe you were coming out of a nasty divorce or relationship, and while you weren’t ready for another relationship, you did have…um…certain physical needs you needed to address. You know, someone to just “have fun” with.
And maybe that FWB situation worked well for you for a while…but the more time you’re spending with this guy, the more you’re starting to fall for him.
Thing is, you’re not sure how he feels. Do you risk jeopardizing the current situation (and maybe even ruining your friendship) by telling him how you feel? Or do you quash those feelings and keep hooking up? (Let’s be honest: you know the second option isn’t realistic.)
Let me say that yes, friends with benefits can fall in love…but it really depends on the situation. I knew a guy in college who had his regular “Thursday night friend” who came over once every week for months. They were just casual. No big deal.
20 years later? They’re married. So yes, it can happen. Here’s how to figure out if your FWB situation could be more.
1. Realize That You’re Not Actually “Friends”
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I know it’s got the word “friends” built right into the title, but your friends with benefits really isn’t a friend. In
And that might be cool; if you’re using each other to fulfill your sexual needs and everyone’s happy, then keep things status quo.
But if he’s there for sex and you’re looking for something more, which I’m guessing you do since you’re here reading this, then it’s time to shift his mindset about the status of your situation and move on to step two.
2. Stop Giving Him the Benefits. Be Willing to Lose Him
Now look, you don’t need to go cold turkey here and never sleep with him again, but I do suggest changing the context of how you hang out.
Does he only text you to hang at night for a quickie? Be busy, then suggest lunch the next day.
Does he always take off first thing in the morning after you’ve slept together? Suggest going for brunch or a morning walk instead.
If you make these suggestions that shift where and how you spend time together, you will quickly see whether this FWB situation could turn into something more than just sex.
However, realize that if he only wants sex, you pulling back from it or suggesting datelike get-togethers may cause you to lose the connection altogether if he’s not down with that change of plans. If he’s a commitment-phobe, he may run, so be prepared.
At a meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, researchers presented results from a study about friends with benefits. They surveyed them twice, one year apart, to see how that FWB status had changed.
In the second survey a year later, 25% were still FWBs, 15% had become romantic partners, 28% just went back to being friends, and 31% cut ties from their sexual partner completely.
This shows you that the answer to the question, “can friends with benefits fall in love” is drastically different, depending on the people involved. So know that you might end up in one of the other categories if your attempts to turn things romantic fail.
3. Let Him See You in a New Light
Up until now, this man has been able to get the benefit of having sex with you without putting too much effort into it. He has seen you
It’s time to change something about yourself so that he sees you in a different way.
Maybe you invite him to meet you at trivia night and show off how much of a history buff you are…
…or wear something sexy around him when you normally wear yoga pants…
…or maybe you open up to him about your dorky love of doing escape rooms.
Share a part of you that has changed — or that you’re now opening up to him to reveal — and he’ll shift the way he sees you.
The only way friends with benefits can fall in love is if you shift the dynamic and let him see the real you. That means that you need to go deeper than the superficial “hey, how’s it going” conversation you have before getting down to business.
By pulling back from the sexual activity side and focusing on getting to know one another on a real level, you can start creating a strong bond that can develop into a romantic relationship.
Also converting your FWB to a real relationship may take time. Studies show that the longer you’ve known somebody, the more attractive you’ll find them. The more comfortable he is with you as a friend, the more he’ll open up to seeing you as more than just a friend with benefits.
But he needs to actually get to know YOU before that can happen, so focus on being authentic and letting him in.
I wish I could give you a more conclusive answer to the question, “can friends with benefits fall in love?”
It can be exceedingly difficult to change the status of an FWB situation if he’s become used to you being just a hookup and nothing more. If, after trying the techniques I discuss in this article and video, you’re not getting the sense that he’s interested in expanding your relationship romantically, it might be time to end the benefits portion of your friendship. Otherwise you will continue to have strong feelings for him that he will probably never return. Ending it can save you heartbreak later.
And if you are the type of woman who ties emotion to sex easily, and you are looking for a relationship, you might do better to avoid these FWB situations entirely and focus on getting to know a person emotionally FIRST, before getting to know him sexually.
You won’t have to worry about having feelings for a man you’re sleeping with…because you had those feelings before you started sleeping with him!