You and your boyfriend have broken up, and you are now in the process of moving on and building a life for yourself, only for him to bring up the idea of being friends with benefits.
If you still love your boyfriend, this can be a very tempting offer, but is it worth it?
The truth is that being friends with benefits, especially with an ex-boyfriend, is never a good idea. There is no way to come back from the feelings you once had to now be in a no-feelings-allowed dynamic, and it will just lead to more hurt.
If you need a little more convincing, we have covered all you need to know on the topic, and why you should not say yes when your ex-boyfriend wants to be friends with benefits.
Is It Normal To Be Friends With Benefits With Your Ex?
We said that it is not a good idea to be friends with benefits with your ex, not that it never happens. Being friends with benefits with an ex can happen so incredibly easily, especially when you are vulnerable and still have feelings towards him.
It can be an easy trap to fall into, he wants sex, and you want intimacy. The relationship with no strings attached could mean something very different to him than it does to you, and there is just no way this can have a happy ending.
In saying this, being friends-with-benefits with an ex is a very common scenario that many people have found themselves in, so you are not the only one facing the conundrum.
When two people break up, they are left with quite a big void in their life. For guys, they might want to fill this void with sex, but instead of going through the trouble of finding someone new, they go back to the person they think might say yes, and that is you, the ex.
You might misread the situation, or think that eventually, he will love you again, and the two of you end up as friends with benefits. It is easy to see why it happens so often.
10 Reasons Why Being Friends With Benefits Is A Bad Idea
It is not a good idea to be friends with benefits with an ex, for so many reasons. Unless you are completely emotionally detached from the relationship and there are no lingering feelings left (which is nearly impossible after dating someone) then avoid being friends with benefits!
Here are the reasons why it is a bad idea:
There Are Feelings Involved
The number one rule with a friends with benefits dynamic is that there are no feelings involved. You will not be able to convince anyone that you do not have any sort of feelings towards an ex that you dated for some time.
It really is impossible to be friends with benefits with someone that you have dated, and it complicates the dynamic so much more than it should.
Having feelings for your ex, and them possibly not having any of the same towards you, creates a power dynamic, where they hold all of the power, knowing that they can hold your feelings at ransom.
You Miss Out On The Real Thing
While spending time in a non-commital dynamic with your ex, you are taking time away from any meaningful relationships that you could be having.
He is stringing you along to get what he wants from you, and this really is a waste of your time. You deserve someone who is in it for the right reasons, and who appreciates you for more than just what your body has to offer.
You will be putting effort into this relationship that is not going to go anywhere, instead of focussing on yourself and your happiness, and possibly someone who could give you so much more.
Any Friendship Could Be Ruined
Many exes who have broken up have gone on to have healthy friendships afterward. Adding a friends with benefits relationship into the mix does put any future friendship or civility at risk.
These situations rarely ever end well, and coming back from a messy friends with benefits situation to then be friends afterward is not as likely as you might think.
A friendship after this will never be the same, and you will need to be prepared to lose him once it all goes downhill.
You Are Wasting Time And Effort
As the two of you were in a relationship before, there will be history there. This means that you will likely text and meet up outside of the benefits part of things, and it might mimic a relationship.
This might fulfill you for some time, but you are wasting the effort you are putting into the relationship. What is the point of acting like you are dating someone when you aren’t, and when there is no chance of it actually going anywhere?
Your efforts are better spent somewhere else. It’s like rocking in a rocking chair hoping to actually get anywhere.
Jealousy Will Happen
Friends with benefits often form some sort of jealousy between each other, and could you imagine how much worse this would be when you have been in a relationship together?
In a no-strings-attached relationship that is focused on sex, each partner is free to date others and maybe even find a new relationship. Could you handle your ex-partner seeing other people on the side, while still meeting up with you?
This is not something you would have been happy with when dating, so chances are you won’t be happy with it happening after either. You are being shortchanged and you don’t deserve to be some entertainment when he wants it, just for him to be speaking to others on the side.
Jealousy will happen, and it is something that can destroy friendships.
Your Ex Becomes Possessive
You experiencing jealousy is one thing, but your ex might become possessive over you, and try to prevent you from seeing anyone other than him.
He will not want to commit to a relationship, and he will want to stay friends with benefits, but he might not like the idea of you seeing other people, and hold your feelings for him against you, making you feel guilty if you wanted to see other people.
This really is just him picking and choosing what he wants out of a relationship, and not giving you what you want.
It is completely unfair and you really should not get stuck in a dynamic like this, where he continues to have all the control.
There Are Safety Concerns
When the two of you were dating, it was hopefully monogamous, and you knew that there were no external safety concerns.
When you become friends with benefits, your ex-boyfriend might think it is okay to have more than one partner. Even if this is something you have agreed with, there are risks, such as STDs and other issues.
This is a whole new relationship for you to navigate through, and the risks do sometimes outweigh any form of benefit you might think you are getting out of the relationship.
It Will Come To An End
Do you think the two of you will stay friends with benefits till death do you part? No, it isn’t going to happen.
There will inevitably come a time when the relationship needs to come to an end, and this usually means heartbreak.
You might be hoping that through this, he will fall back in love with you and be your official boyfriend again, but this is unlikely and you will probably just end up getting hurt again.
This is not a long-lasting relationship, so do not think it is something that will be around for all time.
It Holds You Back
Spending the time and effort to be friends with benefits means you have less time to possibly find a new relationship. This does not mean you should rush to find someone new after breaking up, but you might miss out on the next Mr. Right because you are so focused on your ex.
Your eyes and your heart will be closed to any new possible relationships while your ex is stringing you along, and this just means that more of your time is wasted on someone who isn’t worth wasting your time on.
It Prolongs The Breakup
Nobody likes a breakup, and you might feel as though being friends with benefits helps prevent the breakup so you don’t have to deal with it, but it only prolongs it.
If you do not have to deal with the breakup today, you’ll have to deal with it next month when the friends with benefits dynamic just stops being healthy for you, and you realize that it is time to call it quits.
Making the breakup happen after a messy time as friends with benefits can actually make it hurt more, so really think about this when you feel tempted to say yes.
Can Being Friends With Benefits With An Ex Work?
It isn’t something that you should necessarily opt for, but if you and your ex-boyfriend are at a place where you can both genuinely have a physical relationship with no emotions and neither of you gets hurt, then a friends with benefits dynamic could work.
The issue comes in when the two of you are not on the same page, and then complications happen.
If the two of you manage to be on the same page and have the same expectations from the relationship, then it can turn out to be a more positive experience than what other people have.
How To Respond When Your Ex Wants To Be Friends With Benefits
You will be experiencing so many different emotions after a breakup, so when your ex-boyfriend asks if you want to be friends with benefits, it might really throw you off.
Before you let your emotions dictate your reply, take a look at the below tips on what you should do:
Take Your Time To Respond
You do not need to give him an answer straight away. There is absolutely no reason you have to reply and decide what you want right in the moment.
There are going to be so many things going through your mind, and the best way to process all of them is through time and space. Take your time to decide what you want and how you feel, and think of all the possibilities if you decide to go forward.
If your ex-boyfriend is pressuring your for an answer straight away, or before you are ready, then that should give you clarity enough that he doesn’t respect you or care how you feel, and you should walk away while you can.
Don’t Lash Out
You might actually feel incredibly hurt and degraded if your ex-boyfriend asks if you want to be friends with benefits. After everything you have been through together, he is reducing you down to just sex.
It is completely natural to feel angry, and nobody should tell you otherwise, but you should do your best to not lash out. This will only make matters worse, and it can just end up souring the relationship further.
Be the bigger person and rather move on without him. Make your peace with the fact that you have avoided a longer relationship with someone who doesn’t value you!
Manage Your Expectations
When deciding on whether or not to go through with the friends with benefits relationship, you need to do your best to manage your expectations.
It can be easy to romanticize the situation and hope that he will fall back in love with you and the two of you will ride off into the sunset together, but that is not likely to happen.
Once he has demoted you to friends with benefits, he doesn’t see you as a life-long partner. Either you are happy with just being friends with benefits and nothing more, or you need to walk away and find someone who values you more.
At The End Of The Day…
At the end of the day, you are an adult and can decide whether or not a friends-with-benefits situation works for you.
However, if I were to look into my magic little 8-ball, I can tell you it won’t end well.
A guy that doesn’t want to date you but wants to keep you around for his sexual benefit is the definition of toxic.
And I get it. We all have needs. But why don’t you go out there and find someone who values YOU fully and not partially.
Exes should always stay in the past. They’ll just make it harder to move on and find the right person for you.
You won’t be able to notice the most amazing guy in the world because you’re caught up in a situationship.
And we all say we ‘don’t care’ and can handle it, but can you? Truly?
I’m self-aware enough to know I can’t have an open relationship or handle FWB’s.
Plus I want someone who I can build a life and future with. Someone with similar values. I don’t want to be caught up with a guy who doesn’t see my worth. Or, in this case, only see parts of it.
I think you deserve so much more. And I hope you’ll agree with me.
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