In the popular media, FWBs are invariably depicted as having been friends first, and this friendship is seen as a vital part of the relationship. In everyday usage, however, people define and use the term “friends with benefits” in many different ways. For example, in a study by Paul Mongeau and colleagues (2013), they asked 177 heterosexual college students to define “friends with benefits” in their own words. After analyzing the content of all of the definitions submitted, the researchers found that there were actually seven distinct types of FWBs that varied in the relative degree of emphasis the partners put on vs. friendship, how often they interacted, and what they hoped to get out of the relationship in the long run. The seven varieties of FWBs included:
As you can see, the term “friend with benefits” can have more than one meaning! Despite this clear variation, however, most researchers to date have studied FWBs as one homogenous group. As a result, we must await future research to determine whether certain types of FWBs tend to be more or less successful than others.
5 Benefits Of Having A Friend With Benefits | HuffPost
This separation differentiates friends with benefits relationships (FWBRs) from other relationship types by creating a relational hybrid due to no future expectations of transitioning into a romantic relationship.