And now that I was partnered, I had a hard time imagining what I'd get out of drinking alone.
I'm a feminist, and believe that everyone should be allowed to do whatever they want, whenever they want.
Decades later, now grown up into an introvert with a "colorful" personality, I do tons of things alone.
I eat out alone, go to the movies alone, and I once traveled to Austria alone.
A few weeks later, she joined him for "a wonderful weekend" in his home state. (For men, the figure was 90 percent.) And should they be propositioned by someone they found attractive, 48 percent of the women (and 69 percent of the men) said they would be tempted to have sex outside 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.In fact, I met my boyfriend of four years while alone at a bar ... But even when it was a regular part of my life, I had never really enjoyed doing it.I always saw it more as a means to an end than anything else.Can a casual sexual relationship exact an emotional toll?For sure, people who associate intimacy with commitment are ill-suited to sex that's as meaningful as a summer breeze; for them, the FWB arrangement would be a bad idea.For 50-plus types unwilling to walk — possibly rewalk — the path that leads to romance, rings and relocation, the prospect of a "friend with benefits" is looking less and less like a millennial indulgence.After all, it gets awfully lonely waiting around for "the one." Perhaps you've decided that what you need at this point in your life is someone to talk to and laugh with — someone with whom you can share the sheets, but not the tax refund.Is that a deplorably manipulative state of affairs?Possibly — until you stop to consider how many of us are comfortable with being unpartnered but how few of us are willing to remain untouched.Her name was Lydia, and her drive for companionship seemed to make her a bit of a pariah among the singles mixer crew (all of whom were legit looking for second husbands like it was their second job).How could I tell that Lydia was "desperate," as my mom often described her? "That's just trashy," my mother had told me nonchalantly, the hidden meaning obvious even then to my My Little Pony-loving self: Lydia was a slut.