“‘Friends with benefits’ is now apparently accepted by the general public,” said sociologist Janosch Schobin from the University of Kassel about the notion of sex outside of a romantic relationship.
Schobin used the English phrase, which is also known as “Freundschaft Plus” or “Sex unter Freunden” in German.
The study was conducted ahead of the “International Day of Friendship” on July 30th, and asked 2,045 Germans their opinion about all aspects of friendship.
A full 60 percent of those surveyed said that, in a friendship between a man and woman, there stands a “risk” that one of the two will seek more than just friendship. About 20 percent of those surveyed said that a pure friendship between men and women simply is not possible.
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Yet the majority had an open attitude towards friendship between the two genders, with 50 percent of respondents under the impression that a good friendship with an ex-partner is possible.
The average German has a total of 3.7 close friendships, according the study, with a further 11 people who are part of their circle of friends.
Making friends in the first place
Most Germans make friends through their jobs, according to the survey, with 45 meeting them at work. This was followed by secondary schools and university (around 20 percent) and hobbies (21 per cent).
As a young adult, Germans acquire the most friends from school, says Shobin. Until the birth of their first child, the number then slowly decreases, because it then increasingly focuses on partnership and family.
Every tenth person now meets friends via social networks. Although many Germans spend hours each day on Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms, 75 percent think they can only make real friendships offline.