31 Secrets to Break Up with a Friend with Benefits, End It & Get Over It ASAP

Learning how to get over a friend with benefits is a tough journey. If you have feelings, it’s best to end it now, rather than risk heartbreak. 

how to break up with a friend with benefits

Once you start a friends with benefits relationship, you know that you can get out of it anytime. Everything seems free and easy, you’re getting the best of both worlds. But learning how to break up with a friend with benefits is the tough part.

The problem is that there is no easy way to get out of it unless you have a guilt-free, circumstantial reason.

Most people would say that you don’t need to break up with your FWB. Unfortunately, that can end badly for so many reasons. [Read: The honest truth – why it’s easier to get over someone if you dump them first]

Why is it ending?

Did they catch feelings? If so, this won’t be as easy as mutually calling it quits. You will have to let them down. And if you want to keep the friendship minus the sex, you will have to take care to ensure you don’t hurt their feelings too much.

Or maybe you’re the one who has caught feelings and you’re sensibly realizing that you need to get out before it turns to heartbreak. In that case, it’s going to hurt somewhat either way.

Have you decided you want to go out into the world and start dating? That should be relatively easier, as you probably discussed this before starting. Just be sure you give them a clear answer as to why you want to end it. [Read: How to stay friends after having sex with them]

Why breaking up with an FWB sucks

Any type of breakup isn’t ideal. But there’s just something about the friends with benefits breakup that makes everything so much more awkward.

If you’re trying to keep the friendship afterward, you may find you struggle to block out the fact you saw one another naked so many times.

Before you find out how to break up with a friend with benefits, know why it’s not the greatest experience you’ll ever have.

1. They might like you as more than a friend

This is one of the biggest problems in engaging in a friends with benefits arrangement. Sooner or later, one of you will become attached. If you don’t, well, consider yourselves lucky. [Read: Why and how not to catch feelings for someone]

2. You could be co-workers

This can get awkward because your whole dynamic at work can get really screwed up. Your decisions could be affected by your relationship, and it might even do irreparable damage to your workflow. [Read: What to do when a relationship with a co-worker ends]

3. Or you work in the same industry

Aside from working in the same company, working in the same industry also poses a problem.

It’s hard to look professional to your peers when someone starts mouthing off about the fact that you slept with someone and ended it badly.

4. Mutual friends may get caught up in the drama

Depending on your views on the situation, this could either be a bad thing or a non-issue. You might have wanted to keep things private, but that offer gets taken off the table when you end your FWB relationship in a bad way.

5. They could react negatively

You never know what can upset any one person. If your FWB feels wronged, they could act out in so many different ways. They might get hurt and lash out at you verbally or even physically.

You have every right to step away from a situation you don’t like, but there are instances when the consequences make it hard for you to do so. [Read: Smart ways to deal with a hostile ex]

How to break up with a friend with benefits, minus the drama

When you feel like breaking off an FWB relationship for any reason at all, don’t be afraid to do it. It is much easier in theory because the agreement in itself has no strings attached.

Still, it’s best to do it in a proper way, rather than be an asshole about it. Here’s how to break up with a friend with benefits without drama and extra pain.

1. Don’t have sex before you break it off

Some couples can’t help themselves in these kinds of situations. Either you pity that person or you want to have one last good bout of no strings attached sex.

Whatever the reason, avoid doing it because sex can mess up your rational thinking. [Read: Breakup sex and circumstances where it works]

2. Give an honest reason

If you want to end things in a civilized manner, be open and honest about your reasons. It’s better to give a sincere reason than a lie that can be called out in the future. It will also give them closure so that they can move on to their next relationship, FWB or otherwise.

3. Use the ex reason if necessary

My ex is back in the picture. We’re trying to make it work.” Seriously. This is the most effective excuse in the book! [Read: Still in love with your ex – 19 ways to accept it is normal and let go of the past]

4. Be kind about it

When you learn how to break up with a friend with benefits, don’t be a dickhead about it. Be as nice as possible.

Use a soothing tone, and don’t make it seem like it’s your partner’s fault. This is where euphemisms and compliments can come in handy.

5. Be self-deprecating

Even if it’s not your fault, it is still your decision. Take responsibility for this loss of a booty call, and make sure that you look like you feel bad about it.

6. Do you still want to be friends?

If you can handle the pressure of being friends with a former FWB, then go for it. It’ll make the transition easier because they won’t feel like they’re being left out to dry. If you don’t want to, we suggest ending it all immediately. [Read: 16 scenarios where you can’t be friends with your ex]

7. Never go out with them alone again

If they agree to the friendship thing, do everything in your power to keep it that way. Only invite them over when there are other people around. That way, you can be held accountable by your friends and their judgmental looks.

8. Make sure they know you still appreciate them as a friend

Part of knowing how to break up with a friend with benefits is working out what happens next. Let them know you care about your friendship but you think the benefits have run their course. It was fun while it lasted, but it is time to move on.

Make sure they know they weren’t just casual sex because you do care for them but need to take dating more seriously. [Read: How to break up with them – an example of a breakup conversation]

9. Ask if they are upset

You do not want to blindside this person, they are your friend, after all. After a breakup, you take some time apart and count on your friends, but this is different. So, count on each other and say goodbye in a healthy way.

Talk to them when you end a friends with benefits relationship. Ask if they saw this coming and communicate. Let them know why you want to end things and make sure they know you are still there for them as a friend. [Read: How to let go of someone you love without the bitterness]

10. Prepare them

As a friend, they will probably be following you on social media and seeing you out and about. If you are jumping into the dating scene or a relationship, make sure they know.

They deserve your respect and not to be taken off guard when they see you making out with someone. Even if they didn’t develop feelings, they deserve to know what to expect.

11. Take some time off

If they did develop feelings, or maybe you did and want to get out before they get more intense, take a break.

Let them know that you think things are getting more complicated than you planned and you think you should get some space before going back to being just friends.

This is sort of like a breakup in a way. Take some time to mourn the part of this situation that is ending before getting back to the friendship. Just make sure you are on the same page about maintaining your friendship. [Read: 58 life-changing secrets to get over a breakup and heal your broken heart]

12. Don’t avoid them

If you plan on being friends after ending the benefits, ghosting is NOT an option. This really should never be an option, especially in this situation.

By developing a friends with benefits situation rather than meaningless sex with a stranger, you agreed to be honest.

So you owe them at least that. If you stop answering them and just hang them out to dry, you are not only being rude and disrespectful, but you are being a coward and a pretty bad friend.

It does not have to be a big ordeal. Simply let them know how you’re feeling. If they are a good friend, they will understand. [Read: Prepare yourself for these consequences if you ever ghost someone]

13. Let them be upset

If you have been thinking about it for a while, it might be shocking to this person. So, give them a chance to come to terms with everything. Let them be shocked and upset. Eventually, they will understand and your friendship should survive.

If they have a hard time ending things they may have had feelings you didn’t know about, so give them some time. You can reach out to hang out, but give them the space they need.

14. Stick to your decision

If you are ending your friends with benefits situation so you can date, but then have a bad date, do not expect this person to be waiting around with open arms.

If you end things then pick them up again, not only is that confusing for both of you, but it makes things complicated with this friendship and anyone else you are thinking about dating. [Read: 16 major annoyances of long term friends with benefits]

15. Talk to a different friend

If you share a friend group that knows about your friends with benefits situation, have a chat with a trusted friend. Ask them if they have any suggestions or if they know whether your friend with benefits is thinking about ending things too.

It is always good to prepare yourself, just make sure to be respectful. If you decide to confide in someone, keep it between you two and don’t share anything too private.

16. Do normal things

Ending a FWB doesn’t have to feel like a breakup. If you continue hanging out with your friend group, you can drift back to normal.

If you have a strong foundation you can get back to normal rather quickly with the truth and routine. Knowing how to break up with a friend with benefits also means understanding how to continue as friends once the line has been drawn.

17. Let it be

When you end a friend with benefits relationship, sometimes that friendship won’t survive. Whether it was due to feelings, betrayal, or an avoidable lie, this may be a friendship that sinks.

If that is the case, don’t push it. If you are meant to be friends you will be. But do not vent to a bunch of people or drag their name through the mud because they couldn’t get past something. Entering into a friends with benefits situation is always risky. [Read: 25 important friends with benefits rules you should never forget]

How not to relapse into your old FWB routine

Now that you know how to break up with a friend with benefits, it’s important not to slip back into a situation that wasn’t working for you.

After all, there is still a possibility that you and your friend will go back to your old ways. It might be due to nostalgia or an unbearable dry streak, but think about why you broke it off.

Is it really worth starting again and going through the same awkward breakup?

1. Just say “no”

When you end a friend with benefits relationship, there might be times when you feel guilty or horny, but try to control yourself. You ended things for a reason. Feeling bad about it is not a good excuse to start things up again. [Read: Reasons the no contact rule works like a charm]

2. Call a friend

And listen to them. Make sure that they are the kind of friend who won’t let you do anything stupid. It’s also preferable if they have the guts to call you on your bullshit in a loud and obnoxious manner. Shame always works.

3. Find someone else to focus on

If you feel like you can’t say “no” and find yourself in the arms of your ex-lover, find someone new to pull your attention away. Go on a friendly date with someone you like, or find someone to talk to online.

Any type of distraction *aside from sex* is an effective way to keep yourself in check. When you end a friend with benefits relationship, you have to make sure you don’t make the same mistake again. [Read: Why rebound relationships can be good for you]

How to get over a friend with benefits

It is weird to think about getting over a friend with benefits because you were never technically together.

But you have every right to feel the loss and take it to heart. If you are losing regular sex, that sucks. But if you are actually losing this person as a friend, it is a breakup. Whether you had serious romantic feelings or just felt connected to them, you deserve to mourn.

So indulge in junk food, watch romantic movies, and take some time. [Read: When you miss someone – 36 signs & things you MUST do to learn from it]

1. Figure out the details

When you end a friend with benefits relationship, it isn’t just the end of a random hook-up. Likely it wasn’t just benefits, so closure is necessary, just as with any other relationship.

Figure out the plan. What comes next? Was one of you ready to start dating? Did someone catch feelings? Did it simply run its course? Figure those details out, it’s vital for you to decide where you go from here.

2. Give yourself a break

Having a friend with benefits gives you a sort of routine. You have gotten comfortable with this person both sexually and as a friend. Before rushing into a new situation, give yourself some time to reflect.

Is this what you want? Do you want something more serious? Do you want some time to be completely alone?

Jumping from one FWB to the next can leave you feeling empty, not to mention it puts you in a bit of an emotional and physical rut. So take some time to figure out your own personal plan. [Read: 16 biggest annoyances of long-term FWBs]

3. Try not to overthink it

Once you end a friend with benefits relationship, you may start to overanalyze every single moment. Did you say or do the wrong thing? Did you tell them you had feelings, or just hope they would know? 

You may wonder why you caught feelings and they didn’t. But you cannot change the past. If you want to know how to get over a friend with benefits, you need to remember that no matter what you dwell on, what’s done is done.

Often, when one person develops feelings they think, I would rather be friends with benefits than nothing. But that will prevent you from moving on and finding someone who does have feelings for you.

Accepting less than you deserve in a situation like this is not only entirely unfair but will also lower your self-esteem. [Read: 16 signs you’re being taken for granted by someone you care about]

4. Appreciate what it was

Being friends with benefits can be super fun. It has a freeing quality to it that, in some cases, relationships don’t. You can feel like without a label you have less responsibility and more fun. And although it is over, you can appreciate what it was.

Be happy you had that time. It can be hard to do when the ending is so fresh, but one day you should be able to look back on this time and be grateful for it.

5. Cry it out

Romantic feelings or not, when you end a friend with benefits relationship, treat it like a breakup. Cry to your friends. Pig out. Call in sick or take a personal day. If you are upset, then mourn how you would for any validated breakup.

Just because you didn’t go on dates or say “I love you” doesn’t mean something in your life didn’t end. There does not need to be a label or an official breakup in order for your feelings to be legitimate. [Read: How to move on from someone you love]

6. Move on

Once you’ve had some time to be sad, think about what you want, contemplate your future, and live it. Go out on dates. Or even find another friend with benefits if you want that.

Just take what you learned from last time and set some ground rules. 

Is friends with benefits really for you?

Once you end a friends with benefits relationship, take some time to consider whether the whole FWB thing is really for you. How did it feel? Did you enjoy it, or did it cause more pain than joy?

The thing is, FWB isn’t for everyone. Not everyone can separate their feelings successfully, so if you find that it’s not your thing, don’t worry. The most important thing is that you realize it now before you continue in a situation that causes you pain or awkwardness.

[Read: How does being best friends with benefits really work out?]

Being friends with benefits is a means to an end – that end being an orgasm. But learning how to break up with a friend with benefits can be awkward. Keep the tips above in mind when you finally decide to call it off for good!

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...