How to Build Healthy Friendships with Privilege

“No, We’re Not Dating”: How to Build Healthy Friendships with Privilege

And how to understand that this format does not suit you at all

Friends with privileges is a relationship format in which partners do not invest romantically and do not build common long-term plans. It may suit people who are not looking for a monogamous relationship. However, partners can harm each other if they do not respect boundaries and agreements.

Who can suit friendship with privileges

According to family psychologist Racine Henry, friendships with privileges can make life easier for those who are comfortable with relationships without obligations. If a person understands that he does not want a romantic relationship, but needs constant sex, this format can close the need for physical intimacy. But you also need to invest in friendship with privileges. Healthy relationships are built on attention, care and honesty.

Sexologist Zhana Vrangalova notes that friendship with privilege helps to explore one’s sexuality. You spend too little time with a one-night stand, and he may not care much about your sexual pleasure. Friends with privileges may have a strong bond and mutual liking, so they will invest more in sexual relationships. 

Who might not like friendship with privileges 

Relationship coach Sarah Louise Ryan argues that the main difficulty is the feelings that arise. During physical intimacy, the body produces happiness hormones – endorphin, dopamine and oxytocin. They, in turn, help to become more attached to a partner, so some may fall in love with friends with privileges. The expert advises avoiding this format if you are easily attached and afraid of rejection. 

Sarah Louise Ryan recommends avoiding privileged friendships if you are prone to jealousy or severely insecure. Otherwise, you may constantly seek approval from your partner. 

Sexologist Sari Cooper adds that friendships with privilege can make people with depression feel worse. Also, a sexologist does not advise those who have experienced sexualized violence to choose for friendship with the privilege of unfamiliar people. If you have triggers that go off during physical intimacy, you can harm yourself and your partner. 

Psychologist Lisa van Raalte warns that sex between friends can change a person’s attitude. For example, he is a great friend, but does not respect your boundaries in sex. Or one of you may fall in love unreciprocally , which can put an end to friendship. 

You should not have sex with a friend you are in love with or who is in love with you. According to Zhana Vrangalova, one of you may hope that later the relationship will grow into something more. In such a case, a privileged friendship can bring a lot of pain due to unfulfilled expectations. 

Things to Discuss When Entering a Friendship with Privileges 

Decide on your expectations 

To begin with, Zhana Vrangalova advises discussing exactly what you mean by “friendship with privileges.” In some relationships, people don’t expect any emotional intimacy and just meet for sex. In other cases, they can be really close friends and spend time together not only in bed. These nuances should be discussed with full text