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Arch Sex Behav. 2017 Aug;46(6):1785-1791. doi: 10.1007/s10508-016-0716-4. Epub 2016 Mar 16.

Couple Identity, Sacrifice, and Availability of Alternative Partners: Dedication in Friends With Benefits Relationships.

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Department of Counseling Psychology, University of Denver, 1999 E Evans, Denver, CO, 80208, USA.
Family Institute, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA.
Education and Counseling Psychology Department, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA.


Friends with benefit relationships (FWB) combine elements of ongoing friendship and physical intimacy. Although many studies have examined predictors of who are likely to enter these relationships as well as their outcomes, we do not know what relational factors are associated with FWB relationship outcomes. This study examined the association between three commitment variables: couple identity, satisfaction with sacrifice, and alternative availability and FWB relationship adjustment and sexual satisfaction. In a young adult sample (n = 171), bivariate correlations demonstrated greater couple identity, more satisfaction with sacrifice, and less alternative availability which were associated with greater relationship adjustment, but not sexual satisfaction. In a multivariate context, satisfaction with sacrifice was the only significant predictor of FWB relationship adjustment. There was also a significant interaction between alternative availability and satisfaction with sacrifice in the prediction of sexual satisfaction. For those who perceived fewer alternative options, the degree to which they were satisfied with sacrificing for their partner was positively associated with sexual satisfaction. Implications for enhancing FWB relationships are discussed.


Casual sex; Friends with benefits; Hooking up

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