One third of young people have had a ‘friend with benefits’


Relationships at any age are complicated, especially when trying to study, manage your money and living away from home for the first time – so it is easy to see why stressed students find the idea of a commitment-free relationship attractive.

‘Friends with benefits’ arrangements are becoming increasingly common for young people, after a study showed that 32% of young people have had a ‘friend with benefits’.

The survey of 1,000 16-24 year olds, conducted by relationships charity OnePlusOne and youth charity Youthnet, shed light on the trend of friends agreeing to a no-strings-attached, purely physical relationship.

Is no-strings-attached sex really beneficial though? According to the survey, 53% of those who admitted to having regular sex with a friend admitted to hoping that it would turn into something more serious.

One Swansea University student in her third year of study, said: “Friends with benefits arrangements can be mutually beneficial, as long as one doesn’t end up wanting more.

“In my experience, someone always ends up being hurt and due to the agreement, feels guilty for having any feelings in the first place.”

Not all friends with benefits arrangements end badly though. Rebecca Irvine, a third year student, said: “‘Third year is complicated enough without starting a new relationship.

“The only way that kind of thing works is if you’re both not jealous people and both know exactly what you want.”

While the arrangement works for lots of people, it does not for everyone. It’s important to be fully aware of the risks of these kinds of relationships before entering into one. But if you do decide to go for it, be safe, be sensible and have fun!

OnePlusOne is a UK charity which aims to strengthen relationships through a range of online resources. They released their latest findings to encourage people to talk openly about relationships, and what works for them. Youthnet has information and advice on it’ website – – to help young people to think about the pros and cons of this kind of relationship and decide what’s right for them.

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