Basically, it’s a situation where two friends decide to get sexual but not committed to each other. The occurrence of this is actually quite common, and with movies like “Friends With Benefits” and “No Strings Attached” further pushing the narrative in recent times, there is no doubt that it exists well around us.
How much, though, is the benefit people get from these friends-with-benefits situations? Do they even get any at all?
The obvious first thing anyone would want to say is sex. And in a way, sex may be referred to as a ‘benefit’ but aside this, what else is the point of this kind of relationship? With traditional relationships, one expects more than sex. One expects, and gets emotional support, partnership, loyalty, care, love and all those good stuff that comes with booing up. The same can’t really be said for friends-with-benefits situationships.
According to Sex therapist Ian Kerner, when you go down this road sex may be all you get, alongside the possibility of losing your friend along the way.
“A FWB situation puts your precious friendship at risk. Even when we have no intention of letting it get messy, sex has a tendency to muddle your feelings,” he tells Cosmopolitan.
This is not to say that all FWB relationships end badly. Some of them actually transcend that physical relationship to become a real, committed one.
Heidi Reeder, Ph.D. shared with Psychology Today that relationships can get better after being FBWs.
“About 76 percent of those who ‘went there’ with a friend said the relationship got better. Better! Okay, the reality is about half of these folks started dating their friend after the fun, even though that wasn’t their original intention. But the other half kept on as friends—friends who said the quality of the friendship bond increased,” Reeder said.
So obviously, the only sure benefit you're getting in a FWB relationship is sex, and that could actually be good or bad thing. Because, really, if the sex is bad, can it count as a benefit?