It is all over television shows and movies, it has been written about in countless books and heard in songs of all genres. It’s new and exhilarating. It’s naughty, yet innocent. Compared to an affair, it is much less stressful; some may argue that even compared to a romantic relationship, it is still less stressful.
Friends with Benefits-- FWB.
This kind of relationship that is growing more and more popular in today’s culture is when two people-- often friends at first, but not always the case-- have a sexual relationship without any emotional attachments. On the surface it sounds effortless and satisfying, but it can also be problematic.
A research study conducted by students at Michigan State University reported that most frequently the “disadvantage of a FWB relationship was that one person might develop feelings for the other and this might not be reciprocated.” Friends with Benefits is a recent movie that illustrates this kind of relationship in its entirety. In contrast, the main advantage was that it was “recreational, non-exclusive sex with a known and trusted other.” Of course when something is ‘good’, it also has ‘bad’ trotting along behind it. In many cases however, even when one person falls for the other, if both parties agree to end the relationship, both can go back to being just friends.
Finding someone for a friends with benefits relationship beats sitting at home alone watching Netflix on a Friday night and it is certainly much more refreshing than that disconcerting one-night-stand. Although stressful in some cases, it can be a relief from all that pressure put upon relationship expectations; it’s even socially-acceptable.