Many older divorced or widowed men and women are in the same boat. You're probably not desperate enough to stalk your neighbors, or to go looking for friends with benefits in all the wrong places (bars come to mind).

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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.

Intimacy generally refers to the feeling of being in a close personal association and belonging together.

It is a familiar and very close affective connection with another as a result of a bond that is formed through knowledge and experience of the other.

While the term intimate relationship commonly implies the inclusion of a sexual relationship, the term is also used as a euphemism for a relationship that is strictly sexual.

Intimate relationships play a central role in the overall human experience.

" 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?

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.

Genuine intimacy in human relationships requires dialogue, transparency, vulnerability, and reciprocity.