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October 3, 2007
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The Ups and Downs of Friends With Benefits

Friends with benefits: we’ve all had them at one point or another… and science is finally catching on. Researchers at Michigan State University recently conducted a study on this nebulous arrangement, the results of which are neatly summarized in this New York Times piece.

Turns out, FWB relationships are true to their name: they tend to be low on passion and commitment, and somewhere in the middle when it comes to intimacy. In other words, you have the emotional closeness of a friendship, plus sex and minus the starry eyed passion of a “real” relationship. Oh, and with a bunch of stress too — not surprisingly, it’s not uncommon to fear that the friend in your bed is going to try to turn your benefits into an actual relationship.

Got an FWB yourself? Here are the odds of keeping that going:

One-tenth of these relationships went on to become full-scale romances, the study found. About a third stopped the sex and remained friends, and one in four eventually broke it off — the sex and the friendship. The rest continued as friends-with-benefits relationships.

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