Anyone who's ever watched a rom-com knows friends-with-benefits (FWB) never ends well. But what does science say?
In a recent study published in the Archives Of Sexual Behaviour, researchers found that the key to a successful FWB was a strong emotional connection.
Looking at a pool of 171 students currently in a FWB relationship – 118 women, 52 men and one person who refused to identify a gender – scientists noticed that participants with a healthy FWB relationship invested in their partners. The reports suggested that acting like a couple actually led to greater satisfaction and less drama.
The study also found that the students who were happiest in their relationships agreed that they "tend to think about how things affect 'us' as a couple more than how things affect 'me as an individual". They also noted: "It makes me feel good to sacrifice for my FWB partner."
"When people do that kind of activity, their FWB relationship tends to be better: they tend to have less conflict than other FWB relationships, and a lot of it is that sacrifice that most friends actually do for one another is as true as it is in FWB," says Jesse Owen, the lead author of the study.
Our take? It sounds like these couples are just in the early stages of a serious relationship...