Friends with benefits sounds like this simple no strings attached agreement. You can have fun and laugh and talk, and, of course, have sex without the drama of a relationship. But more often than not, things have a way of leading you toward complications. But if you know how to end a friends with benefits situation right, you can end it the right way and keep your friend too.
In a friends with benefits situation, not only are feelings likely to erupt, but when they only come from one side it becomes more complicated than you signed up for. Not to mention if you start liking someone else.
You entered into this in the first place so there wouldn’t be a break up per se. But when it comes to figuring out how to end a friends with benefits situation it can be even more complicated. How can you do it without the confusion?
1. Make sure they know you appreciate them as a friend. Let them know you care about your friendship, but you think the benefits have run their course. It was fun while it lasted, but it is time to move on.
Make sure they know they weren’t just casual sex because you do care for them but need to take dating more seriously.
2. Ask if they are upset. You do not want to blindside this person, they are your friend after all. After a break up, you take some time apart and count on your friends, but this is your friend. So count on each other and say goodbye in a healthy way.
Talk to them. Ask if they saw this coming and communicate. Let them know why you want to end things and make sure they know you are still there for them as a friend.
3. Prepare them. As a friend they will probably be following you on social media and seeing you out and about. If you are jumping into the dating scene or a relationship, make sure they know.
They deserve your respect and not to be taken off guard when they see you making out with someone. Even if they didn’t develop feelings they deserve to know what to expect.
4. Take some time off. If they did develop feelings, or maybe you did and want to get out before they get more intense, take a break. Let them know that you think things are getting more complicated than you planned. You think you should get some space before going back to be just friends.
This is sort of like a break up in a way. Take some time to mourn the part of this situation that is ending before getting back to the friendship. Just make sure you are on the same page about maintaining your friendship.
5. Do not avoid them. If you plan on being friends after ending the benefits, ghosting is NOT an option. This really should never be an option, but especially in this situation. By developing a friends with benefits situation rather than meaningless sex with a stranger you agreed to being honest.
So you owe them at least that. If you stop answering them and just hang them out to dry you are not only being rude and disrespectful, but you are being a coward and a pretty bad friend. It does not have to be a big ordeal. Simply let them know how you’re feeling. If they are a good friend, they will understand.
6. Let them be upset. As I said, it is a sort of break up. If you have been thinking about it for a while, it might be shocking to this person so give them a chance to come to terms. Let them be shocked and upset. Eventually they will understand and your friendship should survive.
If they have a hard time ending things they may have had feelings you didn’t know about, so give them some time. You can reach out to hang out, but give them the space they need.
7. Stick to your decision. If you are ending your friends with benefits situation so you could date, but then have a bad date, do not expect this person to be waiting around with open arms.
If you end things then pick them up again, not only is that confusing for both of you, but it makes things complicated with this friendship and anyone else you are thinking about dating.
8. Talk to a friend. If you share a friend group that knows about your friends with benefits situation have a chat with a trusted friend. Ask them if they have any suggestions or if they know your friends with benefits is thinking about ending things too. It is always good to prepare yourself, just make sure to be respectful.
Friends with benefits may not be as serious as a relationship, but it still deserves respect. So if you decide to confide in someone keep it between you two, and don’t share anything too private.
9. Do normal things. Ending it doesn’t have to feel like a break up. If you continue hanging out with your friend group and doing things you did together before you started up things can drift back to normal.
That doesn’t mean you don’t have to talk about ending things. But just that if you have a strong foundation you can get back to normal rather quickly with the truth and routine.
10. Let it be. Sometimes friends cannot survive friends with benefits whether it was due to feelings, betrayal, or an avoidable lie, this may be a friendship that sinks.
If that is the case, don’t push it. If you are meant to be friends you will be. But do not vent to a bunch of people or drag their name through the mud because they couldn’t get past something. Entering into a friends with benefits situation is always risky.