Updated: May 2
Being friends with benefits can become complicated quickly. Sometimes it starts casually with a friend and sometimes it starts with an ex, either way, it can be hard to tell when it shifts to something more. Figuring out if he wants something serious can be easy once you have a pattern.
Most friends with benefits start because we all crave intimacy and who better to be intimate with than a close friend? At first, it’s just fun and after sex one of you leaves with no worries and no strings to pull you back. Hopefully, the sex is good and more importantly, it is fun. A lot of friends with benefits have better sex than partners because there is no requirement to be romantic or sexy. You are sleeping with your best friend because you can laugh with them and better communication is the result.
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This is how you know things have changed. It always starts small, like you guys may talk after sex naked. Something that probably feels casual, but you spend more time lying in bed with one another. This is one of the first and biggest signs that you are becoming more than friends with benefits. Talking after sex establishes an emotional connection, not just a physical one. There is a reason ‘pillow talk’ exists and if he starts to engage in pillow talk then he wants more than just sex. What most people don’t realize is that intimacy is found in so much more than sex. The more time we spend with each other, the more we start to fall for someone. And talking tends to lead to cuddling. After sex, it feels very natural to stay touching. Cuddling releases endorphins that establish a connection as well. There is almost nothing better than having great sex than cuddling and laughing with each other.
If you both start to do this regularly, then your relationship is changing and you have to either want that or end it before it continues. Because what comes next is going out in public. You guys probably went and hung out with other friends and did things together, but after your friends with benefits arrangement began to change, you mostly stayed inside. If he asks you to get food after you come over or see a movie, you are entering the dating stage.
It doesn’t necessarily feel like a date because you have done those things with them before. After you’ve had sex with someone and they are interested in spending as much time with you outside as they do inside, they are interested in you, not your arrangement. As silly as it seems, people are action-driven and when we start to change our actions to become more public then we want the world to witness something we are proud of.
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Men, especially, have a hard time separating their feelings and actions so if your friend with benefits begins to want to do more than just hook up, you need to be prepared for him to want more. Sex is just as emotional for men as it is for women, they also tend to be commitment driven, even if they don’t think they are. Wanting to do more than just have sex and then say goodbye means they care about you as more than just a friend.
At this point, it is also time to self-reflect and look at your actions. Are you more interested in his hobbies than you were before? Do you find yourself wanting to kiss him goodbye when you leave? If you do, you probably have feelings too and your friends with benefits are so much more. Both of you will want to spend time with each other, not just see each other when it is convenient.
The sex will change too. If your sex before was fun and casual you will start to notice that they will kiss a little bit longer and harder than before. It becomes more sensual and gentler. When I say gentle, I don’t mean necessarily physically, I mean he will look at you more and hold you instead of getting you both off and moving on.
This is when you know they have not just moved past friends with benefits; they have fallen for you and they will want you for more than a good time.
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