Investigating and Extending Variation among Friends with Benefits Relationships: Relationship Maintenance and Social Support

Paul A. Mongeau, Lisa J. van Raalte, Lori Bednarchik, Mark Generous

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The considerable diversity in friends with benefits relationships (FWBR) is largely unexplored. Therefore, this investigation focuses on differences in the communication of relationship maintenance and social support across FWBR types. Given that communication influences relationship initiation, maintenance, and termination, the frequency of maintenance and support behaviors should differ dramatically across FWBR types. Large differences appeared across five of seven relational maintenance, and all five social support, dimensions, which further validate differences among FWBR types and place communication at the heart of these differences. To overcome limitations of FWBR types, a two-dimensional model of FWBRs (closeness and romantic desire) is introduced to more simply explicate diversity. Finally, we discuss practical and theoretical implications of both the results and the dimensional perspective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-286
Number of pages12
JournalSouthern Communication Journal
Volume84
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 20 2019

Keywords

  • Casual sex
  • emerging adults
  • friends with benefits relationships
  • relational maintenance
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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