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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.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.

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Though it can be very tricky to navigate the territory between friendship and courtship, if you follow a few basic rules, you can have a no-strings-attached relationship where no one gets hurt.

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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.

She says: ‘Most of the women in these cases are seeking a proper relationship.

In a way, it’s likely the man in this relationship is being quite callous.

The emotional consequences are huge — and someone is going to get hurt.’‘Now, I think it bothers her more than it does me.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., Tinder is the harbinger of today's hookup-fuelled "dating apocalypse." But the truth of the matter is, hooking up isn't anything new (and may in fact be hardwired into our genetics).And as for Tinder, sure, it can be used for swiftly finding a one-night stand, but there are plenty of other apps that are better suited for that task.As the forthcoming Hollywood film Friends With Benefits reveals, a no-strings relationship often leaves at least one half of the couple — and usually it’s the woman — feeling confused, unsatisfied, and wholly unconvinced by the ‘benefits’ they’re supposed to be relishing.

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