When to call it quits on being friends with benefits

In order to avoid misunderstandings and hurt feelings, you and your sex buddy have to be on the same page from the get go.
In order to avoid misunderstandings and hurt feelings, you and your sex buddy have to be on the same page from the get go.
Image: 123RF/andreypopov

Can friends really have sex without any strings attached? Relationship counsellor Lethabo Ntsasa says it is possible, provided you set boundaries from the get go to avoid any misunderstandings.

"Some people make the mistake of going into this kind of agreement hoping that as the one party enjoys the sex, they will deem them worthy of being in a committed relationship. This is the wrong mindset to have, and will only result in being broken-hearted. If you are going to take on a sex buddy, ensure you are both on the same page," he says.

What most people probably grapple with is how to turn off their feelings and separate sex from an actual friendship.

Ntsasa cautions that this is not always possible. "People may be able to switch off their feelings when having sex with a once-off encounter like a one-night stand or even making use of the services of a prostitute, but frequent encounters inevitably lead to some sort of feelings being involved.

"Although one of the parties involved may suppress these feelings for the sake of not wanting to betray the initial agreement of no strings attached, often times one or both of the participants develop a sense of entitlement and romantic ownership over time."

According to Ntsasa, while having a sex buddy is not an issue, he strongly suggests that people who choose to have such a buddy remain single. "When you feel that you have found the one who has captured your heart, it is best to cut ties with your sex buddy."

Here are some other reasons why, at some point, Ntsasa believes you should call it quits with your friend with benefits:

  • When they are having sex with multiple people. Although you should always use protection when having sex with a sex buddy, if they have sexual relations with lots of other people, it exposes you to potential sexually transmitted infections;
  • If your sex buddy gets into a relationship, let them go.
  • When your sex buddy is not discreet. If they go around telling everyone about what happen between the sheets, cut them loose and retain your dignity.
    Also, this could compromise the chances of finding a romantic partner because no one wants to know who you slept with before they came along;
  • If they start acting jealous,demanding to know where you are, etc. These are all red flags that the other party may be much more invested than you;
  • If they confess to having feelings for you, let them go only if you do not feel the same. Continuing to have sex with them would only be selfish because you cannot offer them what they need.

This article is adapted from one originally published on SowetanLIVE. Read the original article.