Research Shows Awesome News About One-Night Stands

by Sara Levine

You've always heard that one-night stands never lead to something more--"why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free," or some equally misogynistic baloney--but it turns out, that misogynistic baloney might be, well, just baloney. That's because new research reveals more one-night stands are turning into something more. This is especially great news considering it's Saturday, so tonight you can go out, find a hot person, and take them home with no regrets! Get it!

Anthropologist Helen Fisher and her colleagues at conduct a study every year called Singles In America (you can guess who the study targets), and this year, they found that of the 66 percent of single men and 50 percent of single women who have one night stands, 27 percent of survey respondents reported that a one-night stand turned into a committed relationship, and 28 percent said that their one-night stand turned into a FWB situation that turned into a relationship (and no, I'm not really sure what difference the distinction makes, but there you go). So just because you jumped into bed with someone doesn't mean you can't find something serious with them in the future. And I thought our generation's "hookup culture" was eroding the concept of relationships as we know it and our very society at its core. Hmm.

In her essay for Nauticus, Fisher wrote that this new trend could be a part of a larger shift in dating in general. She writes:

So I have come to believe that—motivated by romance and afraid of what sociologist Andrew Cherlin calls the marriage-go-round—today’s singles are ushering a long pre-commitment stageinto the courtship process. Fast sex is part of the package. Couples want to get to know everything about a potential life partner before they tie the knot. Welcome to the age of slow love.

I mean, it makes sense: we have the time and ability to get to know a person completely before committing, so why wouldn't we? Given that 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce (according to the APA), what's the harm in being extra cautious in choosing a partner?

What's more is that Fisher argues that getting to know someone in the biblical sense before you commit is actually making for better marriages and relationships. Basically, our brains are wired for what Fisher calls "slow love"--in other words, it takes time to form a deep attachment to someone (duh). Doing the whole "one-night stand, then FWB, then dating" thing actually aligns with how our brains naturally want us to form relationships, and leads to happier relationships. Tell me again how bad the hookup culture is, and how much millennials suck.


Images: ANG SHERPA / Flickr; Giphy