Friends-with-benefits relationship is no longer taboo in today’s world. Many adults want to engage in relationships that involve just sex, wanting a physical connection without romantic feelings. And becoming friends with benefits is the perfect way to do that.
Although getting emotionally attached is off-limits in an FWB situation, some girls and guys fall in love with their FWB. Catching feelings is against the concept of these establishments but in some cases, friends with benefits can also become a real couple.
How do you know that your friend with benefits wants something more from this relationship? Here are some signs your friend with benefits is falling for you.
The main rule of an FWB relationship is simple: no strings attached. In other words, an FWB relationship represents an agreement between two adults to have sex without being tied to a romantic relationship. The two are just friends who engage in physical intimacy.
“Friends with benefits relationships (FWBs) consist of a sexual relationship between friends that lacks a romantic commitment.”
Letcher et al. (2022). Motivations, Expectations, Ideal Outcomes, and Satisfaction in Friends With Benefits Relationships Among Rural Youth.
Some other rules of FWB establishments include:
Related reading: What Are the Symptoms of Soul Ties?
Most people believe that women are the ones more likely to become interested in becoming romantic after engaging in physical intimacy. The idea that guys catch feelings in an FWB establishment is quite foreign to many.
But this is not true. Anyone in an FWB relationship can develop an emotional attachment to the guy or girl they sleep with. This includes guys too.
Every friends with benefits will eventually turn into a relationship 😅
— AZIZUR (@this_is_aiz) June 24, 2022
The Singles in America study revealed that out of the 55% single individuals involved in FWB establishments, 45% developed into romantic relationships. In their turn, Machia et al. (2020) conducted a year-long study to show that only 15% of FWBs relationships transitioned into long-term commitment. This statistics show that such relationships may end up becoming full-fledged relationships later on. Falling in love with a friend with benefits is not that uncommon, even if the initial agreement was to just have sex with no feelings attached.
Related reading: Dating vs Relationship – What Are the Main Differences Between Them?
It might be hard to believe that an FWB is developing feelings for you, yet you have to understand that it’s really not impossible. Whether you want to make sure the relationship only stays with friends with benefits status or you have a romantic interest in your buddy yourself, you must know how to observe the hints.
A clear sign that someone caught feelings for you is that they’ve become jealous. They do not like seeing you date other girls or other guys and start getting irritated by it.
If they seem jealous when you mention meeting someone else or having a date, chances are that it’s because they see you as more than just a fling.
Sweet good morning messages are something couples exchange daily. But most friends-with-benefits establishments will not involve such messages – you’ll only set up intimate encounters and that’s it.
If you suddenly start talking about other things and your messages become more meaningful, it’s a clear sign that your FWB is catching feelings.
“When you notice that the person you’re talking to invests considerable time to ask meaningful questions, it means that they want to know more about you.”
Damian J. Sendler, director of Felnett Health Research Foundation clinical research programs
Not everyone is willing to tell you about the things they’re going through, especially if it’s an FWB. However, if your buddy uses almost every conversation you have as a chance to drop some information about their life, they probably like to confide in you because they are into you.
Pay attention to what your FWB likes to talk about when you’re together.
You may be meeting up for sex, but you’re still friends at the end of the day. So, small gestures such as gifts might not seem like much – but in some cases, they may mean more than you think.
Not everyone is willing to offer gifts unless they feel something for that person. If the vibe feels different than just friendship, consider it a hint.
Do you feel like the whole atmosphere shifts in the room when the two of you are together? Does that short eye contact hint at more than just physical desire?
Well, these signs definitely don’t lie. When it’s clear as day that there’s more going on between you two, you can start looking at it as a sign of emotional attraction.
Sexual attraction is normal in a friends-with-benefits situation. But when your FWB likes being physical with you even when you’re not being intimate, it’s definitely something you should consider a sign.
One of the more subtle signs that your FWB is falling for you is when they stop dating anyone else. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen the person with someone else, it might be because they are interested in you now.
One sign that your FWB sees you as more than just a means to getting physical pleasure is that they start doing things to impress you.
For instance, he or she might start dressing a certain way or might change their hairstyle – especially if you voiced your preferences in this aspect in the past. Or, your pal may suddenly talk about things you’re interested in, such as a hobby.
A sign that your buddy is falling for you is that you spend more time together now. Unlike before, you might now start making plans for the future with them, and they begin spending the night or going on adventures with you.
“It might be a hiking trip or going to concerts, but the most important quality of making plans together shows that there is mutual interest in spending more time together.”
Eye contact says a lot, and sometimes you can use it as the biggest sign that an FWB has become interested in you in a romantic way.
If you see them staring at you or the contact is longer and deeper, this dreamy expression tells you everything you need to know.
Someone who wants you in their life will introduce you to their loved ones. If your FWB wants you to meet their friends, they want more than sex from you for sure.
Have you ever started dropping things or stumbling in front of your crush? See if your FWB does the same around you. You won’t need another sign that they like you.
A guy who talks in a higher voice to you probably has some romantic feelings for you. According to science, guys’ voices get more high-pitched when they talk to someone they like. Generally, such voice change is among the most powerful signs of male attraction.
You may have been told to trust your gut in the past. Well, believe it or not, most people can just sense when a person’s feelings for them change.
When it comes to your friend with benefits, you probably just have a feeling that they’re into you, especially if:
Someone who is romantically interested in you and your life will start seeing all the little things about you. They’ll notice that inch you cut from your hair, how you like your coffee in the morning, or what you do when you feel sad.
If this is something your friend with benefits is doing recently, consider it a sign that he or she is starting to fall in love.
When true feelings are involved, sex is no longer the only thing ones seeks. While getting intimate is special in its own way, you might start to notice that your buddy likes sticking around even outside of the bedroom.
Surely, this must show that they like you romantically.
There is sometimes such a magnetic attraction between two people that they just can’t stay away from each other for too long. If your friend with benefits does this, he or she probably likes you.
You two might be on the same page about everything and start dating. Your FWB might organize movie nights or ask you to have dinner together. This says enough about how they feel about you.
Agreeing to have a friend with benefits allows both of you to experience physical pleasure. Although this was the main purpose of the relationship, you might notice that your friend is suddenly making more of an effort to impress you in bed.
Now, sure, some people simply show off in this department to make the other individual feel good too, but you cannot rule out the possibility that they’ve caught feelings. When someone pays more attention to you, is open to new things in the bedroom, and clearly wants to impress you, it could be a sign that they are falling in love.
When you start a friends-with-benefits relationship, you are not supposed to fall in love. It’s all meant to be casual sex and nothing more. Knowing this rule, someone who caught feelings might be insecure, feel like they violated the terms of the relationship, or fear rejection.
Instead of having a talk with you, they become distant. So, if your buddy stops talking to you all of a sudden, it’s a sign that what they feel for you turned into something else.
An FWB who has fallen in love with you will not always try to hide their true feelings. Instead, they wear them on their sleeve, and they will surely hint at their romantic intentions.
Chances are that your friend is trying to test your reactions to their feelings.
Kissing is part of the FWB life in one way or another. They won’t feel that deep when all you want is the sex, but if they feel more profound lately, take it as a sign that your buddy’s feelings might have taken another route.
“Using terms of endearment and pet names are part of a love language and a clear indication that you see the other person as a significant other.”
Margena Carter, Carter Care Therapeutic Services founder and licensed psychotherapist
Another sign that someone looks at you in a more romantic way is that they give you pet names. Couples have all sorts of pet names for each other like “baby”, “boo” and different others.
Pay attention to this. Does your FWB still call you by your name, or have the interactions shifted to more lovey-dovey ones?
These are the signs your friends with benefits are falling for you. Once you have the confirmation, you can decide what direction the friendship should take. Who knows, if you feel the same way, it might turn into something beautiful.