Originally Posted by mmfox
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?
I'm not sure that my experiences are the type that you are looking for but I will chime in with my "two cents" anyway.
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.)