Some say it's easy, others claim it to be hard, but if you take my advice with utmost consideration, you will be one of the most popular kids on campus. I hail from a Catholic institution and I know wholeheartedly that almost every student who attends these type of schools are devoutly Catholic, bible-following type of youth, so this may be too risqué for them; but for those of you who are realists, let's take a walk on the wild side, baby.
First, one must know the definition of this beautiful blessing in disguise. Wikipedia.com, one of the most credible websites known to man, describes the occurrence of friends with benefits as "a casual relationship, colloquially known as a fling, is a physical and emotional relationship between two people who may have a sexual relationship or a near-sexual relationship without necessarily demanding or expecting the extra commitments of a more formal romantic relationship."
All the perks of a relationship, but without the drama, right? Not so much. It may appear like this in the beginning of the friendship, but after a while, it will become clear that one of the participants becomes "attached."
The relationship is deemed casual, but when you show up to a party or a bar with another fling, the other person goes crazy. This is why, my young grasshopper, you must sign into a contract (legally binding, depending on the clinger status of your benefits friend), for which the terms and standards of your relationship are made clear and understandable.
One major rule of concern is time spent together. If you are spending more than four days a week with one another, then you should not be friends with benefits; you should be in a relationship. The ideal time spent together should be two or three days a week. Sorry, but if you bump into each other at a social event, that counts as a day to dock off the week. By not surrounding yourself with your friend for the majority of the week, it will allow for the lack of feelings to develop.
Further, friends with benefits are ideal for busy college students and young adults entering a career—those with a high sexual drive and too much going on. I have heard of a few accounts of elderly individuals who prefer this type of relationship and lifestyle, but my first phase in investigative reporting starts next week regarding this age group.
Another rule to consider involves etiquette when out together in public. It is acceptable to treat your friend to a drink; it is not acceptable to treat them to dinner or lunch. Again, although this may seem petty, this crosses the fine line between friends with benefits and a committed relationship. And honestly, a drink leads to lower inhibitions while food leads to your friend gaining a few pounds; let's keep the goal in mind people.
By understanding the casual context of your relationship, one will successfully be able to juggle this type of lifestyle by keeping this minor tip, as well as the others, in mind when with your friend with benefits.
If while reading this you have thought, "I have a friend with benefits and I am violating these rules," I have news for you: You should ask them out.
The biggest "issue" with this type of relationship is the heavy presence of emotions, and if you can't go a few days without seeing this person and want to move forward, just say so. In a way, being friends with benefits is often a perfectly healthy transition from friendship to committed relationship.
All joking aside, the best component of any relationship, whether friends, friends with benefits, committed relationships, or even polygamy, is the component of honesty and trust; without that, you have nothing.