Hook-ups aka "friends with benefits" aka casual dating: Can it turn into something serious? Or does having sex early on literally spell the doom of a potentially budding relationship?
Well, yes and no. In a new University of Iowa study, sociologist Anthony Paik found that average relationship quality was indeed higher for individuals who waited until things were serious to have sex compared to those who became "friends with benefits".
But having sex early on wasn't to blame for the disparity. Turns out, it's who you're doing it with. When "players" were removed from the equation, Paik found no real difference in relationship quality. That is, couples who became sexually involved as friends and were willing to explore a serious relationship ended up just as happy as those who dated and waited.
"The study suggests that rewarding relationships are possible for those who delay sex. But it's also possible for true love to emerge if things start off with a more 'Sex and the City' approach, when people spot each other across the room, become sexually involved and then build a relationship," says Paik.
But still, if you're looking for a serious catch, fishing in the casual dating pool probably isn't the best idea -- the odds are against you if you hook up with a guy who's only in it for sex. You'd do better with the good ol' dinner-and-movie date.