“Friends with benefits” is theoretically an ideal relationship setup for those who are into each other but don’t want any ties to one another.

As many people can attest, it can work well. Or, it can be an utter mess. Nonetheless, people choose it for a sense of freedom, for a fear of commitment and, sometimes, for no reason at all besides the sheer fact that it just feels right at the time. And, while the arrangement can sound enticing, recent research has found otherwise.

A survey of 1,000 men and women, by the online medical source DrEd, polled people about friends with benefits situations; it discovered that 52 percent of men develop emotional attachments in a friends with benefits situation. This is compared to just 44 percent of women who felt the same way. Such findings are likely shocking to those who believe the stereotype that women take the cake for being stage five clingers.

The thing with friends with benefits is that, while it may sound all well and good, we’re only human. When we make connections, it’s certainly difficult not to want to explore deeper—which is exactly what a FWB relationship is not about.

Still, people seem to hold onto the hope that it can be exactly what they assumed it would—nearly 60 percent to be exact. Likewise, 17 percent of American men say they’re currently in a FWB situation.

As the poll also points out, FWB isn’t just about sex. Many men and women revealed that, along with having sex with their FWB partner, they also cuddle, talk about friends, family and work, as well as spark up conversations via text to catch up and keep up. This multidimensional FWB situation is so common that only six percent of men and 15 percent of women reported that their relationship was strictly sexual.

So what does this mean for your FWB situation? It means proceed with caution.

Photo: Getty Images/nd3000