When the subject of “friends with benefits” comes up, it can seem so perfect. Why not have a great time in bed with someone without having to worry about dating or any other strings that might be attached otherwise. You already know each other, too, which is a bonus because your higher comfort level will make for better sex than if you had a one night stand.
It’s not that experts advise jumping into a friends with benefits relationship of any kind, but new research is promising. Contrary to what most believe, friendships aren’t necessarily ruined after the sex stops. The majority of friends with benefits relationships continued after friends were done with the “benefits” part of the relationship, according to a study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. Researchers gathered 308 college student participants and tried to find out what happens to a friendship after being friends with benefits.
They discovered that 50 percent said they remained as close or even closer than they were before. Almost 32 percent of the participants in the study said they remained friends, but weren’t as close as they used to be, and about 19 percent said they were no longer friends. However, those who said their friendship didn’t work out also were more likely to say that their relationship was more based on sex than on friendship.
Unfortunately, those in the friendships that didn’t work out reported feeling more lonely and distressed, as well as deceived by their friend than those who remained friends with their friend with benefits.
Researchers do seem to believe a friends with benefits situation can work out. “FWB relationships, especially those that include more attention to friendship-based intimacy, do not appear to negatively impact the quality of the friendship after the ‘with benefits’ ends,” they wrote in the study.