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Sometimes, in the midst of a particularly hectic time in life, all we want is the consistency of a regular hookup without having to put in the effort that comes with a long-term relationship. This is where a friend with benefits conveniently comes in.

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'friends with benefits' is simply a cover-up for women who long to be loved

The latest trend for uncommitted singles is to be a 'friend with benefits. One in three women are supposed to be doing it, if the latest survey is to be believed. Put bluntly it is sex without strings. It wouldn't do for me, I'm afraid. At the risk of sounding completely out of time I'm an old fashioned girl who is still looking for a soulmate.

No string sex: According to the survey, one in three women are supposed to be doing it.

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Let's face it sex is a high risk exercise these days when the presumption is everyone will say yes rather than no. Because one or other of the couple who start out in a casual relationship is nearly always bound to get in too deep and take it more seriously than the other.

And I am sorry if this goes right against the feminist grain, but it is nearly always the woman because that's the way we are made. We can drive tanks, we can become astronauts, but when it comes to the opposite sex, a whole half century spent trying to still our beating hearts by succumbing to every temptation hasn't worked at all. In fact it has only made us confuse sex with love and yearn for fidelity and loyalty quite as much as any 19th century heroine. What a brave new world we thought it was going to be when in the Sixties we decided to do away with courtship rituals on the basis that anything men could do women could do at least as well and that included serial sex.

Fortified by the Pill and a brand new philosophy which damned everything that had gone before as bourgeois hypocrisy, we experimented with all sorts of new permutations only to finally come full circle and realise that mother knew best after all.

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Emotion: One or other of the couple who start out in a casual relationship is nearly always bound to get in too deep. Listening to the experiences of some of the girls who have been trying to find the benefit in open relationships lately, many seem to be stifling their true feelings in the hope that one or other of their casual lovers -there is always a favourite - will suddenly see the light and march them up the aisle.

Not a chance I am afraid, especially when their caddish menfolk are saying things like 'I know there is someone for me out there somewhere and I'll recognise her when I see her, but it isn't Maisie or Dolly or Sally -I just sleep with them.

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Even if that doesn't make a girl feel used, oh the agony when she gets it wrong - when she thinks she has found Mr Right and he can't understand what on earth she is talking about. Given all the pitfalls attached to a life of multiple partnerships who are a girl's 'friends with benefit' likely to be? Someone you wouldn't look twice at when sober?

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Someone whose genuine friendship you risk losing because of that awkwardness that immediately descends on a relationship the minute sex is in the offing? Someone who is so not your type that your heart remains intact to the point you ask yourself what's the point? Or maybe someone who is already spoken for so the limits are set before you've even got as far as the boudoir. Delusional: Many seem to be stifling their true feelings in the hope that one of their casual lovers will suddenly see the light and march them up the aisle.

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If he is someone else' s man forget it. I long ago tired of leaving snatches of Oh Sole Mio on someone's answerphone when I was in the mood for love and he was spending quality time with his ificant other. It isn't only sex one wants from a partner, one wants a partnership.

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And what if he's the one who starts taking things seriously when you made the mistake of having a frivolous lapse and then thought better of it? Perish the thought he should start talking divorce and a new life together when you have just come to your senses and seen him in his unappealing true colours. No, reluctantly I came to the conclusion long ago that it is far better to read a good book than risk the frustrations of recreational coupling with people who either aren't available or are determined not to be.

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But how is one to find a man of one's own I hear you say. There are few available men around and certainly none who want to commit as long as this romantic friendship thing is in the offing.

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It is certainly as true as it always has been that a good man - or a good woman - is hard to find, but think what fun there is to be had in looking and imagining, and hoping -and finally succeeding. Or breathing an almighty sigh of relief when, after several chaste dates, you are miraculously set free by the sudden realisation that the despicable bounder isn't the one for you after all and you have emerged with your heart not to mention your health intact.

Read Glenys Roberts' RightMinds blog here. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Argos AO. Privacy Policy Feedback. Call me old-fashioned, but 'friends with benefits' is simply a cover-up for women who long to be loved By Glenys Roberts Updated: BST, 15 November 10 View comments.

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Call me old-fashioned, but 'friends with benefits' is simply a cover-up for women who long to be loved

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