A longitudinal study of friends with benefits relationships

Laura V. Machia, Morgan L. Proulx, Michael Ioerger, Justin J. Lehmiller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Friends with benefits relationships (FWBRs) uniquely combine friendship with sexual activity but differ from romantic relationships in that they may be less likely to be exclusive or long lasting. A longitudinal analysis of the trajectory of FWBRs is presented, in which participants in FWBRs at Time 1 reported on their relationship outcomes at Time 2 (N = 192). Results demonstrated that a plurality of FWBRs transitioned into having no relationship of any kind at Time 2 (31%). 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%). Time 2 relationship status predictors and further implications of FWBR trajectories are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-60
Number of pages14
JournalPersonal Relationships
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • commitment
  • sexuality
  • trajectories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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