Casual Sex Leads To Long Term Relationships?

September 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Rants & Reviews

USAToday is reporting on a study about how casual sex doesn’t ruin the prospect of long term relationships.

People who “hook up” for casual sex can have as rewarding a long-term relationship as those who take it slowly and establish a meaningful connection before they have sex, says a new study.

University of Iowa researchers analyzed relationship surveys and found that average relationship quality was higher for people who took it slowly than for those who became sexually involved in “hook-ups,” casual dating, or “friends with benefits” relationships.

However, having sex early on wasn’t the reason for this disparity, according to UI sociologist Anthony Paik. When he factored out people who weren’t interested in getting serious, he found that those who became sexually involved as friends or acquaintances and were open to a serious relationship were just as happy as those who dated but delayed having sex.

The study analyzed a survey of 642 heterosexual adults in Chicago. To measure the quality of the relationships, people answered questions about how much they loved their partner, their level of satisfaction with intimacy in the relationship, the future of the relationship, and how their lives would be different if the relationship ended.

“We didn’t see much evidence that relationships were lower quality because they started off as hook-ups,” Paik, an assistant professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said in a UI news release.

“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,” he added.

I know that personally, most of my relationships grow out of the “casual dating” arena.  I know lots of girls think that having sex with a guy too soon will make him lose interest in her, but I’ve never found that to be the case.  If the guy is only interested in sex in the first place, then he probably will lose interest after getting what he wants (then again, he’d lose interest if it takes too long to get what he wants as well!).  But if a guy is open to having a relationship, and sex happens quickly, that can actually speed up the process by which he’s willing to be in a relationship.

So this study isn’t really that surprising to me.

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