Advertisement

Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 46, Issue 6, pp 1785–1791 | Cite as

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

  • Jesse OwenEmail author
  • Frank D. Fincham
  • Geneva Polser
Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Casual sex Hooking up Friends with benefits 

References

  1. Adams, J. M., & Jones, W. H. (1997). The conceptualization of marital commitment: An integrative analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 1177–1196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agnew, C. R., Van Lange, P. A., Rusbult, C. E., & Langston, C. A. (1998). Cognitive interdependence: Commitment and the mental representation of close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 939–954.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bisson, M. A., & Levine, T. R. (2009). Negotiating a friends with benefits relationship. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38, 66–73.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Eisenberg, M. E., Ackard, D. M., Resnick, M. D., & Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2009). Casual sex and psychological health among young adults: Is having “friends with benefits” emotionally damaging? Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 41, 231–237.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Furman, W., & Shaffer, L. (2011). Romantic partners, friends, friends with benefits, and casual acquaintances as sexual partners. Journal of Sex Research, 48, 554–564.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Garcia, J. R., Reiber, C., Massey, S. G., & Merriwether, A. M. (2012). Sexual hookup culture: A review. Review of General Psychology, 16, 161–176.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. 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
  8. Hudson, W. W., Harrison, D. F., & Crosscup, P. C. (1981). A short-form scale to measure sexual discord in dyadic relationships. Journal of Sex Research, 17, 157–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hughes, M., Morrison, K., & Asada, K. J. K. (2005). What’s love got to do with it? Exploring the impact of maintenance rules, love attitudes, and network support on friends with benefits relationships. Western Journal of Communication, 69, 49–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Johnson, D. J., & Rusbult, C. E. (1989). Resisting temptation: Devaluation of alternative partners as a means of maintaining commitment in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 967–980.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Johnson, M. P., Caughlin, J. P., & Huston, T. L. (1999). Tripartite nature of marital commitment: Personal, moral, and structural reasons to stay married. Journal of Marriage and Family, 61, 160–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lehmiller, J. J., VanderDrift, L. E., & Kelly, J. R. (2011). Sex differences in approaching friends with benefits relationships. Journal of Sex Research, 48, 275–284.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Lehmiller, J. J., VanderDrift, L. E., & Kelly, J. R. (2014). Sexual communication, satisfaction, and condom use behaviors: Friends with benefits and romantic relationships. Journal of Sex Research., 51, 74–85.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Meltzer, A. L., & McNulty, J. K. (2010). Body image and marital satisfaction: Evidence for the mediating role of sexual frequency and sexual satisfaction. Journal of Family Psychology, 24, 156–164.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. Mongeau, P. A., Knight, K., Williams, J., Eden, J., & Shaw, C. (2013). Identifying and explicating variation among friends with benefits relationships. Journal of Sex Research, 50, 37–47.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Owen, J., & Fincham, F. D. (2011). Effects of gender and psychosocial factors on friends with benefits relationships among young adults. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 311–320.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Owen, J., & Fincham, F. (2012). Friends with benefits prior to an exclusive dating relationship: A troublesome foundation? Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 29, 982–996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Owen, J., Fincham, F. D., & Manthos, M. (2013). Friendship after a friends with benefit relationship: Deception, psychological functioning, and social connectedness. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42, 1443–1449.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Owen, J., Rhoades, G. K., Stanley, S. M., & Markman, H. J. (2011). The revised commitment inventory: Psychometrics and use with unmarried couples. Journal of Family Issues, 32, 820–841.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Petersen, J. L., & Hyde, J. S. (2010). A meta-analytic review of research on gender differences in sexuality, 1993–2007. Psychological Bulletin, 136, 21–38.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Puentes, J., Knox, D., & Zusman, M. E. (2008). Participants in ‘‘friends with benefits’’ relationships. College Student Journal, 42, 176–180.Google Scholar
  22. Quirk, K., Owen, J., & Fincham, F. (2014). Perceptions of deception in friends with benefits relationships. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy., 40(1), 43–57.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 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
  24. Rusbult, C. E., & Van Lange, P. A. (2003). Interdependence, interaction, and relationships. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 351–375.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Sabourin, S., Valois, P., & Lussier, Y. (2005). Development and validation of a brief version of the Dyadic Adjustment Scale with a nonparametric item analysis model. Psychological Assessment, 17, 15–27.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Stanley, S. M., Lobitz, W. C., & Dickson, F. (1999). Using what we know: Commitment and cognitions in marital therapy. In W. Jones & J. Adams (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal commitment and relationship stability (pp. 379–392). New York: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Stanley, S. M., & Markman, H. J. (1992). Assessing commitment in personal relationships. Journal of Marriage and Family, 54, 595–608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Stanley, S. M., Markman, H. J., & Whitton, S. W. (2002). Communication, conflict, and commitment: Insights on the foundations of relationship success from a national survey. Family Process, 41, 659–675.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Stanley, S. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Whitton, S. W. (2010). Commitment: Functions, formation, and the securing of romantic attachment. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 2, 243–257.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  30. Thibaut, J. W., & Kelley, H. H. (1959). The social psychology of groups. Oxford, England: Wiley.Google Scholar
  31. 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: 10.1037/0022-3514.73.6.1330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. VanderDrift, L. E., Lehmiller, J. J., & Kelly, J. R. (2012). Commitment in friends with benefits relationships: Implications for relational and safer sex outcomes. Personal Relationships, 19, 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Weaver, A. D., Claybourn, M., & MacKeigan, K. L. (2013). Evaluations of friends-with-benefits relationship scenarios: Is there evidence of a sexual double standard? Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 22, 152–159. doi: 10.3138/cjhs.2128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Whitton, S. W., Stanley, S. M., & Markman, H. J. (2007). If I help my partner, will it hurt me? Perceptions of sacrifice in romantic relationships. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 26, 64–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Counseling PsychologyUniversity of DenverDenverUSA
  2. 2.Family InstituteFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  3. 3.Education and Counseling Psychology DepartmentUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations