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I’d always been attracted to mavericks, handsome men, who – after a year or so – made it clear they had no intention of settling down.

“Although I felt a bit of a loser, I joined an online dating agency.

One in five relationships in the UK starts online, according to recent surveys, and almost half of all British singles have searched for love on the internet.

They feel protective of their privacy and peace of mind, but they haven't become eunuchs or hermits. But offered a chance to reconnect with someone from your past — dinner with your high school steady, for example — you might just surprise yourself by winding up in bed.The next morning (or even that night) come the recriminations: Was it wrong to give that person the sexual green light when you had no intention of rekindling the emotional side of the relationship?Marilyn, a 57-year-old single colleague of mine, recently reconnected with someone she had worked with many years ago. "No," Marilyn said with a laugh, "it's better than that: I'm in like with him — and that's exactly where I want to be." She further confided that they planned to make their reunions "a regular thing — if four times a year can be called 'regular.' But I think that's about all I really want." Marilyn's casual approach to maintaining a friendship with benefits typifies the mindset of older folks who have reconciled themselves to having "great fun" even if it's "just one of those things." And episodic pleasure-seeking may be more common than you think: In The Normal Bar, a book I wrote last year with Chrisanna Northrup and James Witte, we reported that 61 percent of female survey respondents who had partners fantasized about someone they had met." At first, her disclosure strikes you as too much information.But then it gets you thinking: You're single, too — what could be so bad about a casual night in bed with someone you like but don't love?

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