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Sleeping Together But Not Dating: A Really Good Idea or a Bad One?

Have you ever had a friend with benefits? Many people have, but is it possible to be sleeping together but not dating, without getting feelings involved?

These days, we have far more options when it comes to dating or not. If we want to date, go for it, if we don’t, so what? But, what if you have needs? This is where the grey area of sleeping together but not dating comes into play.

If you’ve never had a friend with benefits, or perhaps a hook up buddy, you will have either embraced the situation for everything it was, or you might have walked away from it a little emotionally bruised. The reason? Sleeping together but not dating is dangerous. Emotions usually get involved on one side, and if the feeling isn’t mutual, the friendship can be damaged, and the ‘partnership’ resolved.

Of course, it’s not always like this and there are some men and women out there who are perfectly happy to enjoy the benefits of a hook up, with no feelings involved, and if that’s you, I salute you. [Read: 16 hush-hush signs your friend wants to sleep with you]

An ‘arrangement’ such as this, e.g. when you’re sleeping together but not dating, usually comes around for one of two reasons:

– Firstly, you simply want to enjoy the fun of sex without having to deal with a commitment, i.e. you’re not in a place in your life where you want a relationship.

– Secondly, one of you has secret feelings for the other, and having this sex without strings idea seems like a good one at the time.

One option is a good one, the other is not. [Read: Sleeping with a friend – A no-regrets guide to being perfect sex buddies]

What exactly does sleeping together but not dating mean?

It really does what it says on the tin – you’re having sex on a regular basis but you’re not dating, i.e. you’re not committed to one another, you’re not in a relationship, and you’re not dependent upon each other for anything. It could also be that one or both of you is seeing someone else – this type of relationship doesn’t have to be exclusive, but it depends on the people involved.

For me personally, I couldn’t have this type of arrangement, because I know my feelings would eventually become involved. I am a woman who develops emotions whenever she has sex with someone, so for me, it’s best to steer clear. I can however see how people find confidence and happiness from this type of set-up, provided their feelings remain unattached. [Read: 15 signs you’re more than just friends with benefits and starting to get attached]

Not everyone wants to be in a relationship right at that moment. Hell, not everyone wants to be in a relationship ever. We’re all different, and we all have different preferences. Gone are the days when it was socially expected that you had to find a suitable partner, get married, have children, and live with a white picket fence.

We don’t have to have that now if we don’t want to. Instead, we can focus on our careers, our hobbies, travel, and if we want to find love we can. If not, no problem.

That doesn’t mean that people don’t have sexual needs however. We are all human at the end of the day. A good way to have those needs satisfied is to be with one person who you trust. So, you can see that sleeping together but not dating with one specific person is actually a far safer option than heading out on a Friday night and meeting a random person for the same purpose.

Of course, there is always the risk of feelings becoming involved. [Read: The NSA relationship guide and 15 must-follow rules if it has to be a success]

The importance of honesty from the start

There is only one way to ensure that sleeping together but not dating doesn’t end in tears. Honest and open communication from the very beginning.

When you decide you’re going to have a relationship based on hook ups alone, you need to be clear about what you both want. Do you want a relationship in the future? Do you just want no-strings fun? Be very honest and clear. Do not say what you think the other person wants to hear just because you want a little fun!

By keeping that communication going throughout the time you’re together, you’ll be sure to avoid any pitfalls and always make sure that nobody ends up getting hurt emotionally. If you start to develop feelings, talk about it, and if you know there is no hope for anything more, make a mature, grown up decision to walk away. Don’t stick with it. If you do, you’re going to be devastated when you see them with someone else – because let’s face it, they’re still single, as are you. [Read: Do guys get attached to their friends with benefits partner? How to know for sure]

Sleeping together but not dating does not imply that you are together in any way, shape, or form. You are sharing a bed, or whatever else you use to do whatever you do. You’re not sharing your lives, you’re not sharing your secrets, and you’re not going to be together forever, unless you both make an honest and open decision to do so. If you respect someone else to sleep with them, respect them enough to be honest about your own feelings.

The rise of the hook up arrangement

Of course, if you’re sleeping together but not dating someone, you’re certainly not alone in this type of arrangement. I’m steering clear of using the word ‘relationship’ because I don’t want to confuse matters or bring any ambiguity into proceedings. In some ways, this is a relationship of sorts, but not the type you automatically think about when you hear the word. You’re in a sexual relationship, not an emotional one. [Read: Can you have meaningless sex? 12 signs to know if you can handle this]

Despite that, this is a type of situation which many people enjoy nowadays, usually on a temporary basis. The reason it is temporary could be because one partner meets someone they click with on an emotional basis and they choose not to sleep with the other one anymore. It could also be that it just doesn’t bring them joy anymore. Our feelings change on a regular basis and sex is so powerful that it’s impossible for things to remain the same over the long-term.

Our busy lives have led this type of arrangement to be more common than it ever used to be. It used to be frowned upon in a lot of ways, but not anymore. That’s a good thing, because if two parties are consensual and want to enjoy each other’s company in a simply sexual way, so what? It’s nobody else’s business but theirs. What there needs to be however, is dialogue. [Read: How to end a friends with benefits situation and remain friends]

It’s often the case that it just happens, and then it happens again, and it keeps happening, and before you know it, you’re Netflix and chilling most weekends. You know you’re not together in the traditional sense, but you’re not sure what you are.

This is where the problems start. Always be honest and talk about it, that’s my advice. If you’re mature enough to have sex, you’re mature enough to talk about it, as my mother always used to say! [Read: How to start a friends with benefits relationship the right way]

I’m in no means telling you to avoid these types of hooks ups and I’m not telling you to do it either, I just want you to know what you’re getting yourself into. Don’t stick with some unknown situation if you’re confused by it. The chances are the confusion will just continue. Say the words ‘what are we doing here? What is this exactly?’, and a conversation can start. From there, you can draw lines that are suitable to you both.

[Read: 25 friends with benefits rules both of you must follow completely]

Sleeping together but not dating can be the ideal addition to a busy man or woman’s life. Provided both parties are on the same page, and feelings and emotions don’t become involved, there’s no harm in it, and a lot of fun to be had!

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