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.
She has had several Friends With Benefits, but says she has decided to draw a line under them because she feels they are hindering her from being in a committed relationship.‘All the moments you enjoy in a friendship — feeling relaxed in their company, not caring what you look like, baring your soul in the pub, admitting to all kinds of disasters and having a good laugh — are complicated if you start sleeping together.
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.
I enjoy her company, and I love being with her — I just don’t want to go out with her. She seems to understand me in a way that a lot of women don’t.’‘I have a feeling I’ll meet a woman and know she is perfect for me, but that hasn’t happened with Lucy.’ The fact he is risking their friendship by treating her with so little respect seems not to occur to him.
She explains: ‘Young people today, male and female, pretend sex is no more important than a handshake.
That is certainly the view of Rachel Morris, a psychotherapist specialising in sex and relationships, who predicts an unhappy outcome for Lucy and Doug — and for any other friends in a set-up likes theirs.