Commitment in friends with benefits relationships: Implications for relational and safe-sex outcomes

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The present research sought to explore the antecedents and consequences of commitment in the context of friends with benefits relationships (FWBRs). Data collected from an Internet sample of participants (all of whom currently had an FWBR) revealed that these relationships do indeed uniquely combine aspects of both sexual relationships and friendships. In addition, results indicated that satisfaction, investment, and alternatives were predictive of commitment, consistent with the antecedent factors specified by the Investment Model of C. E. Rusbult (1980). Moreover, high commitment was associated with desiring a transition into a more interdependent relationship (i.e., a true romance), as well as reduced condom use during intercourse. These findings have both theoretical and practical relevance to understanding relationship transitions and safer sex practices across many different types of partnerships.

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