Publication Date

Spring 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Clifton M. Oyamot, Jr.


Friends with Benefits, FWBR, Relationship Closeness, Relationships, Self-Monitoring, Sexual Behavior

Subject Areas

Psychology; Social psychology; Personality psychology


Friends with benefits relationships (FWBRs) are defined as sexual relationships between two individuals who are friends, though they are not emotionally intimate or committed to one another. Little FWBR research has explored who is most likely to become involved in FWBRs and how personality may affect their FWB experiences. With the present study, I examined two aspects of personality that have been strongly implicated in romantic relationship choices and experiences: self-monitoring behavior and attachment styles. Further, I examined relationship closeness in FWBRs and compared the findings to literature reports of other types of relationships.

Consistent with predictions, some experiences in FWBRs were influenced by interactions between gender and self-monitoring, as high self-monitoring men participated in more FWBRs and found the relationships to be more satisfying compared to low self-monitoring women. There were also some indications that gender can influence certain aspects of FWBR experiences. FWBR experiences are affected, not just by gender or self-monitoring behavior alone, but by the interaction of the two. Perhaps interactions between gender and other personality traits might also influence the experience of FWBRs. Future research should examine other personality differences in FWB participants to further understand this type of relationship.