Can you hangout with your friend with benefits outside of sex?


kangaroojoust22 asks:
So I met a girl around a few weeks ago. We had a lot of fun together, and hooked up quite a few nights over the course of a couple of weeks. Then things slowed down, and now its been about 2-3 weeks since we have seen each other.

We call/text a little every few days, but nothing crazy. I got the “would you still wanna hang out, even without sex” text the other day. I am all for hanging out with her, cuz she’s really cool… But I also am not trying to be only just a friend, I have other people for that. I am also a naturally flirty guy, and the thought of not being playfully physical sounds terrible. (grabbing her leg, massaging her hand, etc)

Do you guys do stuff with your FWB, like hangout and watch movies, grab ice cream, etc? Or do you only see each other when its time for sex? I am not trying to play the friend-zoned guy, so I want to make sure it’s not leading to that.

Demetrius says:

First, let’s answer this question in a non-specific way. Removing your situation from the general equation, do I think that you can hang out with a friend-with-benefits in a not-strictly sexual capacity? The short answer is: Yes, with one major caveat. In general, I think that the success of casual relationships all comes down to both people in the pair being on the same page as to whether or not their current situation will be static or dynamic. What I mean by Static is that the relationship, whatever it is, remains the same. Dynamic situations can change and grow and go through transitions. You can hang out with friends-with-benefits outside of just sex, but it really depends on whether or you’re both on the same page as to what hanging outside of just sex means. If one person is thinking that they can parley a non-committed sexual relationship into a committed one, and the other person wants things to remain the same, a casual relationship isn’t going to work. It doesn’t matter if it’s hanging out outside of sex, or eating takeout in bed together, or having sleep overs. All of these things that we’re told to be wary of in non-monogamous pairings can mean nothing OR everything with a friend-with-benefits, depending on whether or not both parties are on the same page. If you’re engaged in a friends-with-benefits situation, but both parties know that things wont progress beyond being just friends who sleep together, you can meet each other’s friends, do non-sexual hangouts, talk about your respective dating lives, what have you. If you’re not on the same page, even a simple booty call will have a lot of implications for one of you.  It’s not the activity so much as it is the intention behind what you do, and whether or not you’re on the same page with those intentions. Have dinner, meet friends, go to a networking event or whatever else with a friend-with-benefits as long as you’re both clear on your expectations and what doing any of those things might mean. Or don’t if you’re not.

Now, in your case, I think you need to do a two things. First, you need to figure out exactly where you stand with this lady, and where you want to stand with this lady. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with just keeping things sexual, or blending things a bit, but you need to be clear about where you stand with her, where she thinks you both are, and where you both might see things going. It sounds to me like her asking whether or not you would still want to hang out, regardless of sex, is her trying to establish what exactly the parameters as friends with benefits. Based on this, I would guess that she would be interested in progressing from just sex, to more than just sex. Whether or not that’s a full-on commitment remains to be seen, but we know at the very least that she wants to see what hanging out with you is like outside of the bedroom. I think that you have to ask her what she wants, long-term, even if that conversation will be awkward. I don’t think you’re in danger of being “friend-zoned”, but I do think you’re in danger of sending a mixed message. If I’m going out on a limb, I think that the progression she’s looking for is toward a relationship, while you seem fairly content with what you’ve got going on right now.

The next thing you need to do is figure out if hanging out outside of sex is a good idea based on where she sees things going. If you’ve decided that you only want things to be sexual with no shot at a relationship, and she sees things progressing to a relationship, I don’t think you should be hanging out outside of just sex, and maybe even that should stop. If I’m right, it seems as though you’ve got diametrically opposed views on where you’d like for things to go, and that means that maybe your casual relationship has run it’s course. There’s nothing wrong with saying “we’re looking for different things, I think we should end it now” and it seems like that’s where you’re headed. It sounds like you’re trying to avoid giving up the benefits you enjoy, which are sexual, whereas this girl you’re dating is trying to expand those benefits to include the socialization that comes with being friends, or at the least something more than just sexual. It seems like you maybe might be on different pages, but I could be reading the entire situation incorrectly.

I’m working with limited data, and most of it is anecdotal so my read on the situation could be wrong. If I’m entirely wrong, you’re both on the same page, and neither of you thinks that it will cause a conflict of desires to hang out beyond just hooking up, by all means hangout with your FWB in a non-sexual way. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found myself more likely to want to actually hangout with a friend-with-benefits than I was say, 12 years ago. Maybe it’s an age thing, or maybe it’s just getting mature enough to realize that a lot of people who are into casual, non-committed sex are perfectly fine with that, and can remain your friend after sex. So yes, I can and would hangout with a friend-with-benefits outside of sex, as long as we’ve both got the same expectations.

I think the important takeaway here, whether I read your situation correctly or not, is to figure out what your partner  is looking for and work from there.  If you’re both on the same page, and both have an interest in seeing each other beyond sex, go for it. If she’s looking for something you’re not, it might be time to reevaluate your casual sex situation. Either way, you need to communicate about it first, then make an informed decision.

Good Luck Out There.

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