Friends with Benefits? Not Like the Movies

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Many people have thought about having friends-with-benefits at one point or another. With recent films like “No Strings Attached” and “Friends with Benefits” hitting the box-office, the thought of having a very own Justin Timberlake or Mila Kunis to do dirty things in the wee hours of the night can be extremely enticing. But some hope that this symbiotic arrangement might lead to something more eventually, so before proposing this too-good-to-be-true offer to a slightly-significant other, here are some surprising statistics:

A study at Michigan State University showed that only 10 percent of friends-with-benefits relationships eventually end in romantic relationships. And yet, most films that depict this type of relationship, end with the lead characters falling in love with each other. Curious, isn’t it?

While the movies set up a passionate ideal, the reality is that the same study at MSU showed that most people who enter friends-with-benefits relationships truly just want to be friends… with a few benefits on the side. They usually don’t want to be in relationships at all, but are looking to get their fix, after which the degree of passion is unusually low for the partners engaged. This tells us that people involved in FWB relationships only indulge in the benefits because they want their sexual needs met, not because they are induced by a passionate attraction to their partner. 

So for those who actually want passion and something more than just a booty call every now and then, FWB may not be the answer.

The best solution for those who are only interested in FWB in order to get a foot in the door with that special someone, is to ditch the no-strings-attached approach and do it the old-fashioned way: be cool, considerate, and compassionate and hope that the other person likes what he or she sees. Being oneself upfront will work far better for than trying to be friends-with-benefits first.


Photo Credit: Celebrity Wonder

Sophomore > Journalism and Environmental Studies > NYU

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