I've had a lot of friends with benefits. And they've all been happy, healthy and pretty much without exception, we've remained friends afterward. But one of my friends is currently in a position I found myself in a few years back, wondering "Has my friends-with-benefits situation gone on too long?" Because it can be difficult to tell when something that was once a perfect setup has gone past its sell-by date.
Now, there are definitely times when a FWB should have never happened to begin with. "I think the first question that should be asked is to yourself. Do you even want a casual sexual relationship?" relationship therapist Aimee Hartstein, LCSW tells Bustle. "So many [heterosexual] women end up in these situations because they are hoping that the guy will eventually become their boyfriend. In reality, that's not a great reason to have a friend with benefits. More often than not it ends up being painful and upsetting. The only reason to have a no-strings attached sexual relationship is because you truly desire no-strings attached sex. Not because you are hoping it will evolve into something else."
But what if you are that person — the person who likes the no-strings attached sex? I've definitely been that person. Well, even then, there are still times when you need to say goodbye to a casual hookup buddy. Here's how you know your FWB has gone on too long, because it's not a time period, it's a feeling: