"We didn’t ask them to make decisions about whether or not they would approach someone with the intention of asking them out...
The same study revealed 11 percent of survey respondents were in a sexual relationship that did not involve cohabitation.
Can a casual sexual relationship exact an emotional toll?
In some instances, making a decision that was not favored by the group could have meant death.
Mate-choice copying is an extension of our psychological tendency to take other opinions into consideration when we make a decision, and this is not the first study to identify mate-choice copying in women.
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.