Experiences with FB or FWB only
Hi all. I wanted to ask couples about their experiences with keeping outside involvements limited only to "sex (f**k) buddies" or "friends with benefits" status only, and not allowing these interactions to progress to relationships (bf/gf, romantic, etc).
Are there any couples out there that maintain these boundaries? What have your experiences been and how did you go about setting up your own set of rules/guidelines?
(Added at edit) What made you decide to limit outside interactions to these categories instead of allowing for other relationships?
Well, I fear you may be looking in the wrong place (although I may be surprised).
This is a forum about polyamory, which is usually focused on the romantic relationship aspect, rather than the sexual aspect (although it's not without sometimes vast quantities of sex).
The normal terms I hear is that if the relationship is primarily about sex and is not expected to, or has rules in place to stop any sort of romantic developments, this is termed "Swinging".
There are many resources out there for folks who want to pursue those types of relationships, and they can probably much better answer the questions that you have.
So have I misunderstood you? How would what you describe be different from swinging?
CDM - I'm not sure that the OP is here seeking those types of relationships for themselves, but curious how anyone who has FWB or FB maintains those relationships.
I know some poly people who have relationships as well as FWB. Personally, I have let my initial FWB revert to a friendship and grew my second one into a full blown relationship. Initially, it seemed that Wendigo's wife was okay with us being physical as long as we stuck to foreplay and no PIV sex. Then when we realized there were emotions involved and did have PIV sex, she asked that we suppress the emotions but was okay with the sex. That went on for a 6 months before she and I sat down and came to an understanding and our relationship started progressing.
With my initial FWB we only saw each other a handful of times a year and while we remained good friends in the interim though chat, text, and phone calls. I was never interested in an LDR. The sex was fun when it happened, but I could take it or leave it and didn't miss it when he was away so I never felt the need for it to move to a different type of relationship with him.
I have two FWB type friendships that have been in place for years (in one case almost as long as my relationship with my husband). However, it has never been about "not allowing" these relationships to "progress" - these relationships are what they are because that is what they are - not because of a rule or boundary.
Back in the day, I used to have FB type interactions because I didn't want to be hampered by the work/time investment that a romantic relationship requires. A personal choice - a "rule" for myself - to simplify my life, so I could focus my energies on other things important to ME.
Nowadays, I am a believer in letting things progress (or not) without expectation of a particular outcome. NOT every relationship needs to (or should) follow the same trajectory.
(Reminds me of a recent commercial I saw that fed into the "must find mate" meme - girl is looking at a guy, plans out their life/marriage/kids together, now if only she could convince this stranger to say "Hello." - Jeesh! Really?! That's a huge load of expectations right off the bat - How about getting to know people as people without viewing every date as an "application for life-partnership"?)
Sounds to me that you are asking whether it is possible to successfully set up a "FWB/FB only" type set-up (more "open" less "poly"). My impression is that it may be possible if you find people that are looking for the same thing. In practice? Feelings happen. We have very little control in this regard. (Which is how I ended up with MrS...and - 19 years later - Dude. Despite having NEVER "looked for" a relationship... ever.)
I'm not sure if my situation applies... In my case I'm poly and dating a poly man. So feelings and relationships are allowed with us, and certainly not restricted with outside partners, although neither of us has been very lucky finding anyone else so far.
However, I briefly had a FWB. There were rules that we were not to be in a relationship, but they were places by him. He was (and still is) mono, and did not want a relationship with someone who was poly. As a result, he wanted to make sure he didn't get attached, and didn't want me to get too attached either.
Not much happened as a result. The impossibility to develop a relationship with him made me less eager to spend time with him in a sexual way, so we mostly maintained our previous (and current) status as just friends, with a bit of flirting and sex, but only a couple of times over a year, so nothing major.
Then he met someone he wanted to be monogamous with, as we both knew would happen, and the friendship lost its benefits.
I can talk more about my experience if you want, although it's not exactly what you asked for.
This discussion is off topic. While there are poly folk who do swing or have open relationships for casual/NSA sex, this subject isn't on topic for a board dedicated to discussion of polyamory.
...as to why the thread "Experiences with FB or FWB only" was closed.
It seemed like the thread was generating thoughtful and insightful responses from poly people who have had some experiences relevant to the topic.
Unless there were other inappropriate posts that were blocked or something?
I guess I don't understand why the thread was considered off-topic. Wouldn't a discussion of other forms of non-monogamy, and how they relate (or don't relate) to polyamory, be a reasonable topic for a polyamory forum? Haven't there been similar threads that were not closed to discussion?
I'm not trying to complain or provoke an argument--I genuinely don't understand, and was hoping a moderator could provide a public response to my question.
That makes two of us.
I was contemplating my reply (since I am married, with 2 other loves, and at the moment am considering to evolve a friendship I have to a FWB state) when I saw the thread was closed. So, yeah, confused.
perhaps NOT really about FWB...
This thread is an outgrowth of the thread that I would agree, was wrongly shut down. mmfox wanted to discuss friends with benefit arrangements, seems like a totally appropriate discussion for this forum. So, try again?
I think the issue has to do with attachment, jealousy and boundaries.
In Poly, I would say relationships need to be allowed to develop organically. I really identified with what is written at morethantwo.com - a relationship in itself is an entity all it's own, just like an individual.
As well, the old adage, "the best laid plans" comes to mind.
I think where Autumnal Tone got it wrong was in lumping FWB relationships with swinging. To me, swinging can be either with known partners or strangers and FWB would imply a friendship but not a "romantic relationship"...
Here are some previous, relevant threads:
"he wants to be in love"
play vs. partner, boundary equality?
"poly or swinging"
"What are Your Poly Guidelines and Boundaries"
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