Rule 1: DO think twice about hooking up with your neighbor.

There are, without a doubt, many pros to having a FWB living in close proximity: Your walk of shame is substantially less embarrassing, you don’t have to worry about driving home after one too many glasses of wine, and usually you’ll be able to tell if he’s home. On the other hand, when the reality of how your sex buddy spends his time away from you—and vice versa—sets in, that geographic proximity could very well be the downfall of your casual relationship, says Rachel Russo, a dating, relationship, and image coach based in New York City. And after several 3 A.M. sightings of his empty parking space in your building’s garage, you’ll start to wonder how things got so complicated.

Rule 2: DON’T convince yourself the relationship is more serious than it is.

“No matter how hard sex buds try not to fall in love, there is always the possibility that one or both parties will catch feelings,” says Russo. “And contrary to popular belief, it isn’t just the ladies at risk of falling and ruining the no-strings-attached arrangement.” It happens to men too. But “if you’ve been sleeping with a guy who confesses that he considers you nothing more than a sex bud, while you dream of making him your boyfriend, it is best to cut ties and maintain a strict no-contact policy,” urges Russo. “Don’t think you’ll change his mind. Just appreciate what you had and move on to the next.”

Rule 3: DO proceed with caution if you meet someone new.

You don’t need to hit the brakes immediately with your FWB when you meet someone new, says Amy Spencer, author of Meeting Your Half-Orange: A Guide to Using Dating Optimism to Help You Meet Your Other Half. “Don’t assume exclusivity with a person you like until you’ve actually talked about it,” she says. “Remember, you’re not the only one having casual sex on the side while you date—maybe your new catch is too.” The bottom line here: Don’t make any major decisions until you’ve clarified things with your new dude.

Read More