Urban Dictionary defines a friend with benefits as “Two friends who have a sexual relationship without being emotionally involved.”
It is someone you can get away with drunk texting on Friday night from a bar after your fifth cocktail. It can be someone who you would never date for various reasons (he rides a motorcycle, he eats crackers in bed, he’s a Republican, etc., etc.), but whom you nonetheless love getting naked with on occasion.
There are a lot of advantages to maintaining a friend with benefits — also known as a fuck buddy or FB, for those who prefer not to use the “F” word in polite company. They provide company, they’re pleasant to look at (at least according to you, but probably not your friends), and they’re good for your mental health. Most importantly, their very existence in your life all but guarantees you’ll get laid.
But the definition of FB also connotes impermanence. That’s what makes it so darn exciting, getting the most out of him while he lasts. So what happens when your interest in you FB finally goes limp?
Here are a few ground rules for breaking up with your booty caller…
RULE #1: Ask yourself: Why am I breaking up with him?
Getting laid on a regular basis is a good thing. So before you break it off, take a moment to ask yourself why you’re dumping him. We’ve seen too many perfectly good FB lost for no good reason.
Is the guy you are dating insisting you get rid of him?
Do you fear growing emotionally involved?
Or have you simply lost interest? Generally speaking, FBs have a famously short life expectancy before you are onto the next one. (With no hard feelings, of course.)
RULE #2: Have a plan
Once you’ve determined why you’re dropping your FB, and you are doing it for the right reasons, you’ll need to come up plan for doing it as gracefully as possible. Here are four tried and true breakup techniques:
1. The clean break
This usually happens when you’ve entered into a romantic relationship with another person and the two of you have decided to become exclusive. Time to dump the FB.
In this situation, it’s polite to let your boy toy know of your recent change in relationship status. A quick, friendly email will suffice. It can say something simple like: “Hey, remember that guy I told you about? Well, we’ve decided to take our relationship to the next level. I just wanted to let you know.”
Easy, breezy, and polite. And it has the advantage of being somewhat true. And your FB will understand.
2. The long, mutual goodbye
This is when you just sorta naturally stop seeing one another over a period of time. Instead of once a month, your liaisons dwindle down to once every two or three months. Then once every six months. Then once a year. Until one day it dawns on you that you haven’t spoken to him since last February. And you haven’t missed him, either.
3. The passive aggressive blow off
This is when the goodbye isn’t mutual. You’re no longer interested in continuing, but he is. And so he persists in sending you increasingly urgent texts asking to get together. Rather than simply telling him the truth, you take the easy way out, responding with vague, non-committal responses. “How’s it going, sexy?,” he writes.
“Fine” is your unenthusiastic response.
“I’m in your ‘hood” he writes the next day, suggestively.
“Want to get together?” he finally suggests
“Busy. Maybe this weekend. I’ll call you.” And then, of course, you never do.
This back-and-forth carries on for a few weeks before eventually he gets the hint and stops messaging you.
4. The straight up break up
Every now and then you may find yourself confronted with a FB who just won’t leave you alone. You haven’t responded to any of his e-mails in weeks. You’ve ignored every single phone call, text message, and voicemail for the past month. Yet he persists.
What’s a boy to do?
Well, you could continue ignoring him until even he eventually gives up. (Though from our experience this could take weeks, even months.) Or you could lie and tell him you have a boyfriend. (Though this might simply lead to another proposition.)
So your best bet is to do the grown-up thing and formally break up. This means calling him, telling him you’re no longer interested in hooking up, that his behavior borders on stalking, and that he needs to stop contacting you. Yes, it will be awkward. Yes, you’ll probably feel like an asshole afterwards. But sometimes it just needs to be done.
RULE #3: It’s OK to relapse
Unlike when you accidentally hook up your ex-BF in a moment of weakness, getting together with your ex-FB after you’ve broken up is totally fine. (Assuming he’s not a stalker.)
You may not have spoken to one another in a year or two or even ten, then one day you run into each other at the grocery store. He’s looking mighty fine these days. You exchange numbers again. And, come Saturday, the two of you are rolling around in the sheets for “old time’s sake.”
Perhaps the best part about having an FB (aside from the obvious) is that you get to call the shots as you see fit. You can break up, get back together, break up, and get back together again as often as you want, and it’s no big deal. The real rule is that there are no real rules. So long as you are both getting what you want, anything goes.
RULE #4: Don’t Dump FB #1 Without Having FB #2 Lined Up
But that goes without saying, right?