Let’s be real; most of us have thought about it at least once in our life.
But is it possible?
Can you truly ever be friends with benefits with your ex?
If you’re in the position of wanting to get into a friends with benefits relationship with your ex, but you’re not quite sure if it’s a good idea, you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve been working in this industry for a decade now.
During that time, I’ve helped lots of people navigate the breakup process by either getting their ex back or moving on from them.
This question comes up WAY more often than you would expect because breaking up with a person doesn’t mean you break up with everything they had to offer.
So, Is It A Good Idea?
You won’t really see other relationship experts talk about this arena because being friends with benefits with an ex is seen as one of those iffy taboo things after a breakup.
But I’m here to answer the tough questions and help you get all the clarity you need.
First off, a lot of my female clients think that the best chance of getting an ex back is sleeping with them, so they offer up a “casual” friends with benefits scenario, hoping that it will evolve into something more.
If you’re thinking along these lines too… Stop.
It probably isn’t the best strategy to get your ex back and might actually end up doing more harm than good.
What Is “Friends With Benefits?”
Before I get into the details, let’s actually define what I mean by “friends with benefits” because a lot of people have different definitions of this.
To me, friends with benefits means consistently sleeping with someone without being in a committed relationship with them.
Most of my clients make the mistake of initiating a friends with benefits deal so their ex can start seeing them as a partner again, but that almost always backfires. Why though? Well, let’s address the big question here: can being friends with benefits with an ex work?
Ultimately it depends on how you define if its “working” or “successful”.
Some people see sleeping with an ex as success, whereas others see it as a catastrophe if there are no signs of getting back together.
So, most of my clients who have opened up the sleeping together occasion do get their exes back in their lives… but not necessarily in the way they wanted.
The ex just wants sex and no relationship.
It’s because you’ve already set a precedent of sleeping with an ex without an official relationship so they know they can take advantage of you that way consistently. Next thing you know, you’re just a booty call, and that’s it.
They’re not interested in anything else to do with you, and that’s a problem.
They’re not even at fault here because they only said yes to sleeping with you, not getting back together.
The Pandoras Box Scenario
I often compare friends with benefits with opening pandora’s box.
Pandora’s box is a myth that teaches the age-old lesson of how curiosity kills the cat.
The story starts with a beautiful woman who was gifted a box from the gods, but they told her never to open it.
She stared at the box for days, wishing she could know what was inside. One day, she couldn’t take it anymore, and she opened it to take a peek.
Her curiosity then unleashed all the evil in the world unto mankind.
That’s kind of like what you do when you sleep with an ex… maybe not to the extent of dooming the world though.
Now, I’m not demonizing sex here or saying you can’t sleep with your ex. I’m just saying you should have a game plan and shouldn’t do it without a relationship first being intact.
Well, every relationship needs a strong foundation to stand on just as every house does.
Building A Foundation NOT Based On Sleeping With Your Ex
The foundation of your relationship with your ex in a friends with benefits situation is all about sex.
Sex is only a small part of what makes a great relationship, though.
Great relationships rely on a LOT more than just sex to keep them alive.
This is something that might sound obvious, but a lot of breakups I see happen because people had intense sexual chemistry but absolutely no compatibility when it came to their personalities.
The whole problem with being friends with benefits with your ex is that it’s a flawed concept because you usually agree to it under the pretenses that something more will happen. At least that’s what happens in this space where people are trying to get their exes back by sleeping with them.
Well, why would an ex want anything more if they know you’re okay with just having sex? And how would they even know you want more?
I know what you’re thinking… there has to be a way to make it work. Well, let’s break that down.
Is There A Way To Make Friends With Benefits Work?
Is there ever a scenario where friends with benefits can work, exes or not?
Interestingly, scientists have been studying this for years, and they learned three things. Firstly, they’ve narrowed it down to two components that you need to have for a friends with benefits situation to work:
- Good communication
- Strict boundaries
Good communication means you’re both always talking to make sure you’re on the same page as far as the rules of this non-relationship relationship go.
This ensures that both parties are clear on the purely physical nature of this setup, and no one is disappointed or hurt.
Setting strict boundaries is also crucial to maintaining a healthy space.
But What’s The Third Thing They Learned?
Well, it basically wipes out the first two rules.
Their third finding says that no matter how well you follow the first two conditions, complications start creeping in. Things get emotional, and that makes the boundaries crumble, and the friends with benefits relationship immediately dissolves.
As someone going through a breakup, you’re already pretty susceptible to emotional behavior, so it’s even more of an uphill battle for you to engage in a friends with benefits relationship.
You’re probably not in the best headspace to be in a purely physical friends with benefits relationship with anyone, certainly not your ex.
And that, ladies, is the ultimate paradox.
Since a successful friends with benefits relationship relies on not being emotional, how can you be unemotional during an incredibly emotional time with someone you feel deep emotions for?
It’s even more complicated because the moment you engage in a friends with benefits relationship with hopes of getting back with your ex, the good communication rule goes out the door. Why?
Because you’re lying to them and trying to trick them! Entrapping someone under false pretenses by offering sex but desiring more is just unfair to them as a person too.
- Basically, being friends with benefits with an ex WON’T work.
- Even if you think it’ll be THE thing that makes him think you’re irresistible, you’ll just be building a foundation on quicksand.
- The quicksand will eventually swallow your relationship up.
- So NEVER sleep with your ex until they commit to you and prove that they are ready to take you back.