The entire concept of friends-with-benefits relationships is widely popular among college students, especially in the United States; according to a survey about 60% of the youth have reported to have at least one friend with benefit at some point in their life. The utmost popularity of this concept is not surprising.
On the spectrum of completely casual sex to completely romantic sex, friends with benefits occupy a curious middle position. They are not quite casual—the partner is fairly well known to the other (sometimes for years), and they usually have a shared history of non-sexual interactions, and do share some level of emotional closeness and intimacy. When on one hand, friends with benefits alleviate many of the risks inherent in more casual hook-ups, such as ending up with a bad/inattentive/inadequate lover, a crazy person, or a slutty reputation, on the other hand, the whole idea of having friends with benefits is not quite romantic either—they lack the explicit commitment to being a couple and building a future together, and also the expectation of sexual monogamy inherent in most serious relationships. As such, they alleviate the burdens of too much commitment too quickly to the wrong person.
There exists a widespread belief that sex is detrimental to a friendship, that it will complicate matters and ultimately destroy the friendship. People always keep this in mind when considering friends with benefits. According to a study conducted it was observed that losing the friendship was the most frequently mentioned disadvantage of friends with benefits, and the second disadvantage included the risk of developing unreciprocated feelings.
Friends with benefits can end in many different ways. The sexual tension dissipated (which inevitably happens over time). Or the sex was not really working very well. Or that one of them fell in love and they/you/both decided that it was a bad idea. Or one of the either started a serious, monogamous relationship with someone else. However they end, it seems that once the erotic aspect has been exhausted, many don’t find it particularly hard to return to being just friends. The shared history, the emotional intimacy, the mutual liking are all still there.
Business Development Executive
IRIANS – The Neuroscience Institute