Man, is it ever complicated, being a person with needs and desires in the 21st century. Sometimes there's no better-sounding arrangement than having an exotic upstairs neighbour you can dial up at three in the morning for a good time. Other times, you wish "no strings" came with, at minimum, a side of espresso and eggs in the morning, prepared dotingly for you by your sidepiece in his underoos.
To be clear, fuckbuddies are great. Fuckbuddies are not an afterthought - they're our friends (sort of), our frisky companions, and our partners in letting off steam. Fuckbuddies make the world go round. But they're not our boyfriends or girlfriends, tempting as it may be to begin treating them as such.
So how do you draw - and maintain - the appropriate boundaries?
1. Don't expect your sexy friend to be at your beck and call
Not that your significant other should be either, but this is one crucial area of distinction between relationships and "Relationships". You and your fuckbuddy have made no serious commitment to being in each other's lives, so there's usually no unwritten rule that you should be seeing each other twice a week.
Of course, keeping things casual has plenty of upsides. But it's not exactly unheard of for one person to begin craving a disproportionate amount of the other person's company. If you've both decided that "no strings" is where it's at, make sure you're okay with the possibility of a 3 week radio silence first.
2. Be on your way by 11 am
This rule is hardly hard and fast, but as a general best practise, don't hang around all day. Assuming you're even at the point where you're spending the night - some people do prefer sleeping alone - you should assume your fuckbuddy has things to do in the morning.
When you're in a relationship, you can grocery shop, help out with assignments, and plant itty bitty flowers together - as well as get a side dish of all the related spats that come with the territory.
None of this is to say you can't enjoy a brunch outing or a day at the amusement park like a normal couple - just make sure you're not stepping on each other's toes.
3. Bring health to the table
Sexual health is a crucial topic for partners of any kind, but it's especially important to discuss these matters frankly when you're engaged in a non-monogamous relationship.
Talk openly with each other about how frequently you get tested, what sorts of positives you've had in the past (if any), and what your habits are like outside of your "friends with benefits" relationship.
Health, of course, is more than just physical. Your emotional and mental health can count as part of the discussion. What are your boundaries? What should your partner do to make you feel safe and respected?
4. Keep communication open
It seems par for the course that if you don't have "The Talk", you should probably assume you're both seeing other people.
But why assume things or leave things unspoken?
If transparency and healthy boundaries are what you're after, you should both be completely forthcoming about where you stand and establish a dynamic where you can feel comfortable coming forward with your thoughts.
A good fuck buddy can be a beautiful thing, but to be truly successful, you need communication, understanding, and some ground rules.
Have you had a positive experience with a fuck buddy? What rules do you have in place?