Ask Gigi: How Do You Know if Your Friends With Benefits Situation Is Fizzling?
Welcome to Ask Gigi, an advice column where certified sex coach and writer, Gigi Engle, answers your most intimate questions. Nothing is off-limits! From threesomes to anal, unrequited love to cheating: we want to hear it all.
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Some red flags to look out for when it comes to a fizzling FWBs situation:
1. Communication is getting sketchy
When it comes to FWB situations, communication is really important. Just because there aren't strings attached, doesn't mean either or has the right to treat either party with anything less than total respect. This means keeping up communication both with your FWB on a social level and also keeping them informed if your situation changes (ie: You enter a relationship of any kind - even an open relationship). Your FWB stops texting you back regularly, disappears for weeks on end, or has been ditching on plans - the relationship is likely fizzling. You have every right to be straight with an FWB and ask for an explanation.
2. Something starts to feel weird
Gut feels are often our subconscious telling us something is amiss. If spending time with your FWB starts to make you feel anxious, upset, or emotionally drained - the connection is likely fizzling out and it may be time to part ways or go back to no-sex friendship. If you start to feel like something is wrong, talk it out with you FWB - again, it's all about communication. Check in with yourself too. Ask yourself if this is continuing to make you happy or is nourishing you on your journey of self-discovery.
3. You're super confused about their position in your life and yours in theirs
Maybe you've caught more intense feelings for your friend as a result of sex and you've noticed they're pulling away. If you're confused by their feelings for you, that is your answer. If someone wants to make something more than it is, you'll know. Remember that if this isn't what the other person wants (or what you want), you have an obligation to forthcoming about your feelings and part ways with mutual respect.
How would you approach your friend with benefits to talk about it, if you want to re-connect?
The best way re-establish connection with a FWB who you lost touch with is to be honest. They're your friend. So, ask them if they'd want to hang out and catch up. Meet at a non-sexual place (aka: not where you used to have sex) and grab a coffee to catch up.
If you're just looking for a casual sex thing and aren't looking to become friends again, send a straight-forward text like: "Hey! How have you been? I know things kind of tapered off with us before, but I really enjoyed spending time with you and if you're in a place where you'd be open to starting up our hang-out situation again, let me know."
What should you do if you’re not interested in reconnecting? Should you just let the hookup die out or should you say something?
If you're not interested in continuing the casual relationship, there is nothing wrong with allowing things to naturally run their course as long as both of you are OK with that being the conclusion of the relationship. The thing is, if you want to be friends again (without sex) or want to keep a window of communication open, it's best not to just fizzle out the relationship without at least letting them know you're in a different place in your life, you have respect for them as a person and a friend, but you'e looking for something different at this time in your life and want to pursue the option.
When it comes to FWB, setting clear boundaries from the get-go is super important. Otherwise, people fall into a grey area where you're not sure what the other person is thinking or looking for. This sets the stage for people getting their feelings hurt, totally destroying what was otherwise a great friendship, and confusing everyone. Be clear about your intentions without being disrespectful, respect the boundaries of your friend, and be willing to communicate openly every step of the way.
Part of this article originally appeared as an interview with Elite Daily on the “Fizzling” Phenomenon.
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