Couple Identity, Sacrifice, and Availability of Alternative Partners: Dedication in Friends With Benefits Relationships
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.
KeywordsCasual sex Hooking up Friends with benefits
- Guerrero, L. K., & Mongeau, P. A. (2008). On becoming “more than friends”: The transition from friendship to romantic relationship. In S. Sprecher, A. Wenzel, & J. Harvey (Eds.), Handbook of relationship initiation (pp. 175–194). New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Puentes, J., Knox, D., & Zusman, M. E. (2008). Participants in ‘‘friends with benefits’’ relationships. College Student Journal, 42, 176–180.Google Scholar
- Rusbult, C. E., Drigotas, S. M., & Verette, J. (1994). The investment model: An interdependence analysis of commitment processes and relationship maintenance phenomena. In D. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 115–139). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Thibaut, J. W., & Kelley, H. H. (1959). The social psychology of groups. Oxford, England: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Van Lange, P. M., Agnew, C. R., Harinck, F., & Steemers, G. M. (1997). From game theory to real life: How social value orientation affects willingness to sacrifice in ongoing close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 1330–1344. doi: 10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar