Relationships come in all shapes and sizes, and, sometimes, people can even find love in unexpected places. Friends-with-benefits situations are one of those times. Two people who are friends, or even strangers, can agree about what they want out of their “beneficial” relationship and how long they want it to last.
But what happens when someone catches feelings unexpectedly?
Superdrug Online Doctor asked 1,023 Americans and Britons who had experienced a friends-with-benefits relationship about their experience. Respondents revealed exactly whether it had ended and what happened along the way. Here are some of the results of the study.
How Friends-With-Benefits Relationships Start
The study revealed that respondents admitted to having an average of 2.5 friends-with-benefits relationships. Their experience with those people lasted about 8.5 months, but women (9 months) tended to be involved longer than men (8.1 months).
Approximately 75.5% said they were platonic friends with their chosen beneficial friend before entering the relationship. Just 1 in 4 people said they did not know the person when the friend-with-benefits experience started.
Did people hope these entanglements would result in a committed relationship? According to the study, it depends on the gender. Women (47.9%) were more likely to want something long term than men (34.5%).
Sex Between Friends With Benefits
Survey participants reported having sex with their beneficial friend an average of 6.5 times a month, but was there chemistry? The consensus between men (29%) and women (34.1%) was that the perceived spark with their friend with benefits was moderately strong. Very few felt that they did not have any chemistry with their sexual partner. But about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men admitted to holding extremely strong feelings for their friend during this arrangement.
How did a friends-with-benefits relationship stack up to a committed relationship? Nearly half of men (45.7%) and women (44.5%) admitted that the quality of sex during this type of experience was very comparable to having an exclusive partner. Approximately 29% of men and 33% of women said sex in a committed relationship it better. But 1 in 4 men and 22.3% of women found the quality of intercourse with a beneficial friend to be better than sex in a committed relationship.
According to the study, women (59.7%) were more likely than men (49.9%) to use sexual protection with a friend with benefits than a committed partner.
About 3 in 5 respondents in a friends-with-benefits relationship eventually developed feelings for their partner. A higher proportion of women (65.3%) than men (56%) reported catching more-than-friend feelings for the person with whom they were involved.
So what happened next? The most popular answer between men (49.2%) and women (51.2%) was that they ignored their feelings and continued with the agreed arrangement. Approximately 2 in 5 men and 36% of women confessed their feelings to their beneficial friend. About 20% of respondents decided to end their arrangement with their beneficial friend.
Among those who confessed their feelings to their friend with benefits, 61.9% said their sexual partner felt the same way.
Outcomes of Friends-With-Benefits Situations
What was some of the emotional aftermath of a friends-with-benefits experience? About 3 in 4 respondents said they spent time with their beneficial friend without having sex. If the relationship was solely for sex, 44.5% fizzled out naturally, 32.4% were ended by one of the participants, and just 13.7% reported still being in the same agreement.
People who would hang out together even without having sex were nearly twice as likely to have their friends-with-benefits relationship turn into a committed relationship and three times more likely to get married or engaged.
Relationships of all kinds can be challenging to navigate, but having a friend with benefits can be especially tricky to manage. Since most of the respondents who participated in one of these situations did it more than once, this arrangement seems to be doable. With open communication and understanding, perhaps all parties can get what they desire from such a relationship.
For the full study mentioned in this article, please visit https://onlinedoctor.
Previously published here and reprinted with the author’s permission.