There is an episode of the show “30 Rock” titled “Stride of Pride.” In the episode it breaks down the concept of the type of people you date and keep in your “dating triangle.” The show calls the “friends with benefits” (FWB) “the sex idiot,” implying you are going for looks, but no substance. To me, there is more to it than that. When you have found yourself in a casual phase, it’s best to know who would make a great partner. Yet, there should be a vetting process of who can fill that slot. Let’s check off those boxes…..
He is in a transitional stage or travels a lot…..
He is getting his masters or PhD and the last thing he wants is to commit. He plans on moving away once he graduates. Or he has a fairly demanding job where he might travel.
He likes you more than you like him…..
Your phone will blow up from him fairly often and you don’t have to sacrifice your schedule and plans to see him. He is willing to bend his schedule just to see you.
You are fine with never hanging in public…..
There might have been dates in the beginning. You probably tried it, but realized he was bad in public. I dated a guy who I felt I couldn’t take anywhere because of how bizarre he would act in restaurants, the way he ordered food, used expired coupons, and flagged down the hostess for water every five minutes. However, you can still have the occasional meet up to switch things up. The home base should be his place.
He has his own place in town…..
Convenience is key! Do not travel two hours in traffic to see him. It’s best for him to play host so you can leave whenever you feel like it. Panic cleaning your bathroom when he wants to swing by on a whim is not fun.
Make sure you are enjoying your stay…..
In my experience, when the relationship is bedroom buddies, make sure that bedroom is decked out. Stop putting up with air-mattress guy. Give yourself a reason to go over. He might live in a fun area, have a beautiful balcony, a well-crafted bar cart…. you get it.
Let’s break down who you shouldn’t pick…..
Anyone is the middle of a divorce or break up…..
He is filling a very large void. The worst thing is he will use you as a free therapist and talk constantly about her. It’s not fair to you to work overtime just for a hook up.
He is disrespectful….
He treating you as a purchase is unacceptable. There should be gentlemen qualities even in casual, with no pressure to have unsafe sex or any acts you don’t want to participate in.
You are obsessed with him…..
Your diary shouldn’t be full of entries about him. You aren’t scheming about ways to become his girlfriend.
He doesn’t communicate well…..
With certain casual dynamics there might be zero texts, then out of the blue you find out he got a girlfriend. There needs to be check ins and clear intentions with no surprises. Not saying you should have a gab fest daily, but at least know where you stand.
He is somehow connected in your life…..
No co-workers, friend of a friend, or your aunt’s second cousin’s neighbor. When you have a paper trail and outsiders, it will cause pressure. Weirdly, they might ruin it by convincing you to be boyfriend / girlfriend. Some dynamics and timing are fine to leave as they are.
Picking the right FWB is important. The goal is to treat it like what it’s meant to be….casual. You don’t dream about finally being together; there isn’t this weight of emotions. He is your stable person in an unpredictable dating landscape. However, be prepared for sudden change when one of you gets into a relationship. Have respect for each other and be mindful of the other person’s health and emotions.