Maybe you just got out of a relationship and aren’t ready for something serious. Maybe you have a really hot friend. Maybe you live alone and don’t have cable. There are many valid reasons to start a Friends with Benefits relationship. The problem is, these things have a tendency to go south pretty quick — and not in the good way. No need to fear. Just follow these tried and tested rules and I guarantee you will enjoy a mess-free Friends with Benefits affair!
1. Pick someone you wouldn’t normally date. Okay, step one. This is important. This will ensure that you don’t accidently fall in love with him, or at least postpone it for as long as possible. May I make a suggestion? Find a bro. The more Axe body spray, the better. You probably won’t be able to talk to him about politics, but who needs Obama when you’ve got your own big O to… well, you get the idea.
2. Insist that things will not get complicated. It’s just sex. What’s complicated about that? All you’re doing is engaging in the most intimate act two people can perform, on a regular basis with someone whom you’re attracted to. Things are going to be fine! You’re a single gal, taking on the big city, in control of her own destiny and making her own choices. Good luck and God speed, Carrie Bradshaw!
3. Don’t text him for any reason other than sex. Don’t make up weird excuses to text him, like how your professor was a dick today, or you saw this really sad pigeon. Keep your messages focused on future hookups only. And for that matter, keep them succinct and free of too much sexual innuendo. You never know who he’s showing these things to. Don’t say, “want to come play Majong? If not, I’m just going to have to play with myself all night” when “Come over tonight” gets the message across and saves you any future Chinese tabletop game-related embarrassment.
4. Have him slap you across the face. Friends with Benefits are like sexual test kitchens, and tonight you are Ina Garten. But instead of baking rustic apple tarts, you’re dressing as a leprechaun and peeing on someone. Seriously, this is an opportunity to try all that stuff you were too embarrassed or afraid to try in your previous relationships. Experiment, have fun, and most importantly, please give me the details.
5. Don’t make pancakes. Don’t even keep food in your fridge except for a pack of kelp noodles and some old parmesan. You need to make your apartment as uninviting as possible in the morning. You don’t need him sticking around plundering your groceries and messing with your Netflix queue. That’s boyfriend stuff, and it’s just going to mess with your head. If he’s lucky, he gets 30 minutes and a banana; then it’s out the door.
6. Don’t kiss him goodbye. Remember, this is not a relationship. Remind yourself of this by having incredibly uncomfortable goodbyes devoid of affection and eye contact. A pat on the arm or a shoulder squeeze does nicely in a pinch. If you’re not sure what to say as he slinks out the door, “catch ya later, buddy” works nicely or an unenthusiastic “later, dude” is also fine.
7. Break it off after three months (or don’t). Three months is the longest amount of time one can sustain this kind of relationship without it getting complicated. After three months, it’s an emotional free for all. You’re probably going to start getting cosmic about the whole thing. Time to refer back to rule number two, and continue onward despite your best interest. Just remember you’ve been warned.
8. Fall in love with him. If the fact that he owns a vaporizer but not a sofa has suddenly gone from sad to charming, congratulations! You’re deluded. You’re just a few commitment free nights away from choosing your children’s names. Michael. That works well with his last name. Maybe take his dad’s name for a middle name? Wait, do you even know his dad’s name? Do you even know this guy’s birthday?
9. Reach your breaking point. Friends with Benefits are like junk food. They’re addictive and delicious, but they don’t sustain you, and one day you’re going to wake up in a bed of metaphorical Snickers wrappers and think crap, what am I doing? Time to sit down with yourself and ask, is this actually going anywhere or am I just backing myself into an emotional corner? If the answers are no, and corner, please refer to rule number 10.
10. Send him on his way. This is the way your relationship ends. Not with a bang (although try to squeeze one more in if you can), but with a whimper. Yes, it hurts, but you’ve done the right thing. Remember when you started this, and you went on to your friends about how you’re a strong, independent, career woman? It’s still true, despite the fact that you managed to fall in love with a part-time ski instructor who still says “hella.” Now you’re sitting at the kitchen table at 2 a.m., crying mascara tears and listening to “True Colors” on repeat. In the dark. Hey, we’re all allowed one, sometimes two. Just remember that you’re great, and you’re going to be fine. Take a few minutes, then turn off Cindy Lauper, and turn on the light.