By Chris Seiter

Updated on February 2nd, 2021

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.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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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.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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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:

  1. Good communication
  2. 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.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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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.

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9 thoughts on “Can You Be Friends With Benefits With An Ex?”

  1. Kimberly Lewis

    July 17, 2022 at 4:23 pm

    I told my ex I wanted to be fwb and we had sex, but I really want our relationship back. Help

    1. Coach Shaunna Nicol

      July 18, 2022 at 9:04 pm

      Hey Kimberly, so you need to stop sleeping with him that is not going to get him to commit to you

  2. Dustin

    June 14, 2021 at 7:24 pm

    I was dating her for months and I broke her Trust so she broke up and blocked me and then little after that she unblock me and start to talk we talking and laughing I went over and hang out and left now we asked to be friends with benefits I had sex and I slept over and she kissed me a few times and cuddle up and slept over how can I make this right I’m taking my time I didn’t see her at first for a while

  3. Random

    August 9, 2020 at 12:19 am

    Me and and Ex gf were in long distance relationship. She broke up with me coz she is hurt and crying most days thinking about the past and she felt like i used her. She tried to contact with me now and i asked her to give me a chance to prove my worth and she said she isnt ready for a relationship and she is talking to guys out there and telling me all these guys are asking her out. She is scared to be in a relationship with again coz if it is fucked up again she cant get over the pain she is going through right now. Also she asked for some time to figure out what she wants and telling me that she isnt ready for any relationship with me or any guys. But she asked me for friends with benefits till she is ready to take a decision. Also she told me she is more physically attracted to me than before and she doesnt know why is that and she needs time figure that out. So i said okay with fwb. But to be honest it is hurting me and i want her back and i want to treat her and make her happy. Is there anything I can do. Whenever i talk about my feelings for her, she us saying she isnt ready for relationship and she needs to be single for some time.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      August 25, 2020 at 3:17 pm

      Hey there, so you need to stop the friends with benefits situation because she knows you are there for her if she wants you. You need to show her that you are not going to sit and wait for her to make a decision. She either wants you or she doesn’t. Go into a No Contact and be strong with yourself.

  4. Laura

    August 5, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    I am 39yrs old, I dated a guy for just a few dates in the early stages of my separation from husband, the guy decided it wasn’t going to work after 5 dates, i was a bit wary with him because i was nervous (long story short i was cheated on and lied to repeatedly by a man for 18 months that i eventually left my husband for, my husband knew things were not right as we hadn’t had relations in 2yrs etc, no excuse but this guy pursued me relentlessly, said he couldn’t live without me, you name it but then he was lying about everything it seems).
    Anyway I realised I really did like the new guy more than I thought at that point and so after a couple of weeks not being in touch i asked if we could do FWB which we did and then I asked a few times if he would consider dating again and he said no, he didn’t want to date anybody really (his match profile was still up and used though). We hooked up again yesterday but he had already said he didn’t want to be tied to anyone right now though i am still wary that its more just me. Anyway, the sex wasn’t as good as normal and today I asked if given that he would rather not do this again and he said to be fair something was missing, he thinks we had our chance and he doesn’t really think of me like that now. He said he thinks I am a bit lost and need to find my way a bit. Said he would like to be friends and we could try the sex again by all means if I wanted to but he didn’t want to date. My question is….if I totally chilled out and didn’t beg him to try again like I kinda did is there any chance of his feelings changing? Hes the only guy I’ve liked since the guy who was lying to me for 18 months and stringing me along. I’m even just wondering if I should just go back to my husband at this point because I dislike being alone and meeting anybody seems impossible and thats the FWB guy saying no to dating and the other guy just vanished after 18 months of chasing me and stringing me along.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      August 22, 2020 at 4:36 pm

      Hi Laura, so first thing is do not go back to your husband because you do not like being alone that is cruel! You need to learn to be comfortable and happy in your own company!

      Yes you could possibly get him interested again, but that includes not sleeping with him anymore, not unless you were to be in a relationship with this guy. Read some more articles and follow the program if you want to get him into a relationship.

  5. Nicola

    April 24, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    So my ex and I broke up 8 months ago. Did 1 month no contact. Started friends with benefits 3 months ago. It feels amazing for both of us. Our friendship isn’t just in bed though. We go out for meals, go to the cinema, do everything that friends/ old couples do. We are so good together. Is this promising of a strong relationship growing? We are so much more confident and honest and open with each other than we’ve ever been while dating. Just a little advice on this would be great please. Maybe an opinion on where to take this.

    Thank you so much

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      May 2, 2020 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Nicola, if you want a relationship with labels then you would need to approach him with this, there is two options he says he wants to carry on and “see how things go” meaning he is able to have the benefits of a relationship without the commitment, or he agrees to be in a relationship again. Until then I don’t really know what advice you want me to give