Whether you are just joining the dating scene, returning to the world of dating after years in a committed relationship, or not up to speed on the latest dating jargon, there are a few terms that you will encounter over and over at any dating site that you need to understand. Even if you think you know what NSA, FWB and ONS mean, keep on reading. You too might learn a thing or two that will make your dating experience better.
Anyone searching dating sites to find companionship, interesting people, dates or even a long-term relationship will encounter these three acronyms often: NSA, FWB and ONS. In this article, we will define these terms and explain what the differences between the three are.
NSA – No Strings Attached
Not necessarily a relationship, the Urban Dictionary defines NSA as “the willingness / desire to have sex without the necessity of a relationship. NSA means let’s have some fun without creating any obligations beyond the moment. We do what we do tonight and don’t ever have to see each other again. But without the negative connotation of one-night stand, even if that is what it is.”
FWB – Friends With Benefits
‘Friends with benefits’ (FWB) is commonly defined as a sexual relationship between two people where the primary basis of the relationship is sex with no expectations of a romantic relationship or other commitment. The Urban Dictionary defines Friends With Benefits as “a friend in which you are allowed sexual activity but no true relationship is involved. Not a girlfriend or a boyfriend. The benefit is purely sexual. Not to be tied with feelings.” A second definition is “a friend with whom you may occasionally ‘hook up’ or make out with, etc etc, and may do so without worries about commitment.”
ONS – One Night Stand
This is a fairly simple concept to understand. A ONS is one evening of sex with a partner you never desire to or expect to see again. Once again turning to the Urban Dictionary, “ONS is an acronym indicating the common dating phenomenon ‘one night stand’. You can also use the acronym ONS to indicate a person with whom you have had said ‘one night stand’.”
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While surfing a dating site, or connecting with people at the site, you will encounter these terms repeatedly. While on the surface there is a lot of commonality between the terms, specifically all three refer to someone who is looking for a sexual relationship with no long-term commitment, there are subtle and not so subtle differences in how the terms are used by people at the dating site.
ONS is probably the most straight forward and easiest to understand. Anyone with this in their profile or who suggest this is looking for exactly that. A single night of sexual enjoyment with no expectation of anything beyond that one night. Take it at face value and proceed if that is what you want as well.
NSA can be as simple as a ONS but leaves open the possibility of more. Anyone using NSA is implying that they might be interested in more that just one night, maybe two or maybe three, but probably nothing beyond a week or two of hot and heavy sex at the most. This of course is completely determined by how well the first ONS went! It is also a term that is used to not be as blunt as blurting out ONS.FWB can be the most complex and difficult to deal with of the three. The fact that the name itself starts with friends implies that this is something growing out of an existing friendship. People using FWB at a dating website are saying they are interested in a sexual only relationship, but one that will last for a while and allow for the two of you to develop a friendship. On the other hand, friends with benefits with any new connection at a dating site may be nothing more than a hookup that may or may not evolve into something else.
When you hook up with someone or dating through a dating site, be sure that you know what these terms mean to you and discuss your expectations with any potential partner before closing the bedroom door. Mis-set expectations or unspoken expectations can only lead to hurt feelings and pain.
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