It's actually incredibly common. I know on Gag everyone are virgins and traditionalists ( not that there is anything wrong with that but it skews the kinda replies you get) but in the real world, no one really adheres to dating rules and etiquette, they act on instinct, take risks, do what feels right. So plenty of people sleep with a person before coming to the decision to date exclusively.
Some end well, others don't but that is true of relationships regardless of how they begin. I can personally attest to countless stories of friends who have hook ups that became relationships, engagements, and marriages. That said there are still some people who develop relationships in a more traditional manner and find love that way. But come on there are more "rule" breakers than there are "rule" followers out there. So the former is more common than the latter.
Each path has its pros and cons. Depending on your personality and values one approach may be better suited for you. The choice is yours. I'm not not going try to convince you to go one way or the other. Just thought your question deserved an honest answer.
No. I don't think so, at least. To me it always seems like friends with benefits situations end up with a shit ton of drama, because one person ends up having feelings for the other, who's not interested.
I've never seen any meaningful relationships like that. The ones I know of always either end badly, have constant drama, cheat, have a superficial relationship and sometimes even have all of those combined in one crappy relationship. There's just less substance.
I have heard of others that ended up in good relationships that actually lasted. But I've never seen one.
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