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In most cases, sexual attraction within a friendship is seen as more of a burden than a benefit, the study finds."I think men and women do want to be friends, they do want to engage in platonic friendships," said study researcher April Bleske-Rechek, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire."But the data I've been collecting suggests that attractions can get in the way."Friends without benefits Friendship is an interesting area to study because it doesn't have obvious reproductive advantages, Bleske-Rechek told Live Science.Evolutionary psychologists often focus on sexual relationships and familial relationships, under the assumption that humans evolved to pass on their own genes to the next generation.But friends don't share genetic ties or offspring, and yet they still help each other out.I learned this lesson the hard way when I started dating a friend in high school.Not only were we good friends, but our families were also extremely close and had been for years.Kelly: I believe we handled the evolution of our relationship very consciously.Nothing felt weird to me, but the transitions didn’t just happen on their own.
First, they recruited 88 pairs of opposite-sex college-age friends to fill out questionnaires about their friendship.
To discourage pressure to share the answers later, the researchers instructed the friends to keep their answers confidential, even after the study.
The results revealed that men are more attracted to their female friends than their female friends are to them.
The researchers had pairs of friends come in so they could be sure that each member of the pair agreed that they were in a friendship, preventing one-sided relationships from muddying the waters.
The participants separately answered questions about their friendship, including their levels of attraction to one another.
Ashley: We hooked up for a semester in college, then spent about two years being mostly just friends again while he did an internship in NY (I was still based in Indiana) then moved to Seattle.