There is often a fine line between being friends, friends with benefits, and dating. One is often synonymous with the other. It is very common for people to move linearly through being friends, to friends with benefits, and eventually to dating.
So how do you determine the stage that you and your “special friend” are at? There are many key factors to examine. There are often discrepancies depending on gender. Females tend to move more quickly through the linear dating line than males. Carefully inspect the following criteria to determine which stage you are in.
Friendship is something we all know and value. It is someone you enjoy hanging out with (yes, sober too) and have no intense romantic feelings towards. You do not have sex with your friends. If you are having sex with your “friend” you have moved on to the next stage in the relationship game.
A friend with benefits is someone, with no strings attached, you have sex with. No dinners, no flowers. It is described as mutually beneficial, and often the result of closing time at a bar. Careful rules should be set and agreed upon by both parties. Both parties need to be completely turned off by the thought of a boyfriend or girlfriend. If one person develops feelings for the other, which is often the case, it needs to be addressed. But until then, enjoy the ride!
Dating is often the result of a relationship starting out as two friends that eventually move to the “benefit” part. However, you have not yet reaching the dating stage, no matter how serious things seem to have gotten, without the timeless “boyfriend/girlfriend” conversation. Once you realize you have feelings for a person, and you are physically attracted to them along with their personality, then why not start dating?
So what point are you at? Do you want more from your current liaison? The key to each of these relationships is communication, so talk to your partner about where they feel you both are at as well. Who knows, maybe your friend with benefits wants more… Maybe your friend doesn’t see you as just a friend? Either way, make a clear connection to what you and your “friend” really are!