Warning: It’s not good.
Having a “friends with benefits” relationship has become almost commonplace in today’s society. It’s a way to express your desires without any strings attached (sometimes). You already get along so well as friends, so why not engage in something that’s mutually satisfying and fun for the both of you, right?
This concept may send your sweet old grandma running to the church to send some prayers your way because it’s rather taboo to many people.
A relationship is often viewed as something meant to be committed and monogamous. One person meets another, sparks fly, romance blossoms, and wedding bells are audible in the distance. But times have changed, and not everyone is getting some this way anymore. Sorry, Grandma.
Those who are not in support of the whole “friends with benefits” thing do have a point about how friends with benefits usually ends. There are definite pros and cons to having a friend with benefits, but it seems the negatives may outweigh the positive aspects that exist.
A lot of people would warn you against pursuing this because someone usually gets hurt. It’s never the intention on either end for somebody to take a hit, but it’s hard to avoid.
It can be almost impossible not to get personal feelings entangled when getting intimate with another person, even if it was established from the start that the relationship would be strictly friendship with a little fun on the side. A big part of intimacy is mental because you have to at least be attracted to the other person and enjoy their company in order to have a good experience. So when emotions and attraction get mixed in the same pot, things can get messy.
At times one person may enter into the casual relationship in the hopes of taking things to the next level over time. Not only is this not guaranteed, but if and when the relationship doesn’t head in that direction there can be some serious casualties to the friendship, making it a slippery slope to walk.
Is it impossible to turn mutual physical satisfaction to a full-blown partnership? Of course not! People do it, but it’s pretty uncommon. Try as you may to deny it, this is a simple fact. But is it really that simple?
Science has finally given an answer for how friends with benefits usually ends.
In one study, researchers had 191 people complete two online surveys that were one year apart. The participants were 70 percent female, 74 percent white, and 72 percent heterosexual. The average age of all of them was 30. Each participant knew their friend with benefits for about three years on average before the study.
The first survey had people answer what they want to get out of the casual relationship, their satisfaction, and how much communication they have about the relationship’s “boundaries.” After a year, the second survey focused on figuring out how these relationships had changed.
The results showed that within that year window, 25 percent were still friends with benefits, 15 percent of people took the relationship to a romantic level, 28 percent got rid of the benefits and stuck with being friends, and 31 percent cut off all ties. Yikes.
Only 15 percent those who wanted things to become romantic were successful. So it looks like the chances of keeping your friendship in the end of FWB is more likely than hoping it turns into a real love connection.
Still convinced you can turn your FWB into a full-blown relationship? Watch the video below for tips on how to transition into something serious:
Nicole Weaver is a love and entertainment writer. Follow her on Twitter.