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Casual Sex Or Friends With Benefits Relationships Mostly End In Disappointment. Here’s Proof

December 08, 2020 | by Akanksha Narang

The thing with uncertainties is that those often make us feel fear and hesitation. Uncertainties have a way of occupying our minds and making us act on the basis of our obsession over the several scenarios we built in our heads. You don’t need to be good at math to do permutations and combinations. But like algebra, this doesn’t really help in real life either. This is especially true in terms of relationships. We start casually with “let’s see where this goes” and often we end up becoming friends with benefits, although that is a term we hardly use.

What do you even mean by that? Purely from my philosophical perspective, “friends with benefits” doesn’t exist. You are either friends or you enjoy the benefits. If you have an emotional connection or “friendship”, well, it is rather a situationship where you are afraid to commit. And if you don’t give a fuck about each other emotionally, then you are just acquaintances meeting often for the higher purpose of banging.

Friends with benefits relationships come with uncertainties

So if we are talking of two people having a non-committed sexual relationship, we can’t deny the fact that it comes with a lot of uncertainties. We don’t know what the exact amount of attachment/detachment is that will make us not wish we had stayed home that night. Do you introduce them to your social circle? Are we going to fuck other people? But most importantly, how and when will this end?

The fate of a non-committed relationship is slightly more uncertain than a committed one. What? I thought I will marry my ex. Here I am broken up and willing to hoe around except I know it’s risky for someone like me who has the tendency to get emotionally attached. Damn!

But if you are willing to dive into this world of possibilities, and if you often wonder how things will fare between you and your casual lover, read on. According to a study, it hardly ever turns out the way you wanted. Study authors Laura V. Machia and her team say that these relationships often evolve in one of these two types – a romantic relationship or a non-sexual friendship. I don’t know why we are in denial but these two are the only possible ways your relationship can exist over the long run. Casual romance isn’t a perennial one and will expire – when we don’t know but it will.

The study aims to explore “how FWBRs progress, and what predictors make them more or less likely to end happily,” reports Psypost.

What do we want from our casual romance?

An online survey was taken by 192 participants in a friends with benefits relationship. They were asked what they want their relationship’s fate to be. Would it evolve into a friendship, a romantic relationship? Would it just end or stay the same?

As delusional as it sounds, around 48% of the participants said they wanted it to stay the same. Yeah, sure. Have you ever heard of anyone celebrating their 25th friends with benefits anniversary? Because this cannot stay the same! Sure we like to tell ourselves that something will evolve, that it will move. I think most of us are unwilling to make it move because we are worried of upsetting the apple cart. Most of these relationships are held together by a fine balance of pretending not to care and trying not to get all entangled.

Another delusional 25% of participants hoped it would become a romantic relationship. It’s like appearing for the IAS exam. You can hope to get in but only a handful of people do so it’s better to keep your expectations low. Again, this is a path neither party really wants to go down because we often tell ourselves that we are in this only for the sex. And it takes only one to be clear and emotionally unavailable to know that a romantic relationship in unlikely to happen.

Can casual sex lead to a relationship?

After 10 months (because well, it doesn’t last long!) these people were asked if they got the outcome they had hoped for. Turns out, most of them realised they were delusional and things don’t work that way. I want to say I told you so, but I imagine most people will want to punch me in the face.

“Those who wanted their FWBR to transition into a friendship typically obtained that outcome (59%), whereas those who wanted to transition into a romantic relationship did not (15%),” the study reports.

Who are those rare 15% that got the romantic relationship they wanted? “The participants who were most likely to end up in romantic relationships with their FWBR partner were those who scored the highest in sexual commitment, friendship commitment, commitment to the FWBR itself, friendship satisfaction, and friendship communication. They were also more likely to report being in agreement with their partner on wanting a romantic relationship,” reports Psypost.

I guess when you do it that way, it’s almost already a relationship. You just have to acknowledge it. Unfortunately, sometimes, in spite of it being that way, it doesn’t work. So just because it did for the 15% of those people, it doesn’t mean it will for others too. I mean, really, 15% is a really, really low percentage. So if you have your hopes pinned on something working out, I would suggest running away but , you know, cling on the that hope if you must. But then again, you wouldn’t want a romantic relationship if you don’t share commitment and communication in your friends with benefits situation.

Tread carefully…Friends with benefits relationships are risky

Speaking of which, a lack of communication can just end the relationship altogether. “Whereas communication is important to all relationship outcomes, it is likely even more important than in traditional romantic relationships because FWBRs lack a guiding cultural script to define the roles and trajectory (VanderDrift, Lehmiller, & Kelly, 2011),” the authors reveal.

ALSO READ:5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Say Yes To Keeping It Casual When You Really Want Commitment

Well, a casual romance or friends with benefits relationship may end in friendship, romantic relationship or nothing at all. As long as you are both on the same page, it’s not so bad. But keeping a check on your expectations and communicating well is necessary. And to be honest, if you look at the statistics carefully, very few people know what to expect from their casual romance and don’t get disappointed in the end. It is prevalent but it is also risky. Maybe getting real will help and I am hoping this study serves you truth hot and ready to be consumed!

Also, given that we are just on the road to recovery during a pandemic, we guess you don’t want to risk going out there looking for a new partner to do. In this case, perhaps stick to one, even if the situation is unlikely to blossom into a relationship. More importantly, you want to be touch with someone where it won’t blossom into a positive report. So, better safe, than sorry, right?

ALSO READ: On-And-Off Relationships Aren’t Worth Losing Your Mental Peace Over, Says This Study

Akanksha Narang

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