Doug says he respects me too much to lie to me and just isn’t ready to commit to a relationship.’So this is hardly a no-strings-attached arrangement.
But Lucy insists it’s the kind of relationship with which they are both happy. ‘When we met through friends, I wasn’t immediately attracted to Doug, even though he ticks a lot of boxes for me — he’s dark-haired, dark-eyed, university-educated, intelligent and funny,’ says Lucy.
The purpose of their meetings is purely physical, and neither harbours any expectation of commitment from the other person.‘I think I am more jealous of his other relationships than he is of mine, but we both know the score.
I tell myself I want him to be happy and meet the right girl, but when he’s dating I get confused about my feelings.
To a selfish man with commitment phobia, it might sound like the perfect relationship — a close female friend with whom they can enjoy companionship, shared holidays, a good laugh . There is even a term for it — Friends With Benefits — the supposed benefit being that the friends not only enjoy each other’s company, but sleep with one another, too.
For a growing number of young women, sleeping with a friend is no longer a taboo but a lifestyle choice.
They see each other and sleep together until one of them meets someone else, at which point the physical side of their friendship stops. ‘But we started teasing each other and there was definitely a spark between us.’‘One moment we are all lovey-dovey, the next we’re messing about like pals.
When we first met, I think Doug was more into me than I was into him, but now the situation has reversed and I don’t know where I stand.
All the benefits of a committed relationship, in other words, but with none of the emotional or practical ties.
If it sounds a recipe for disaster, that’s because it very often is.