Last weekend, I made attempts to get in touch with two old flames. What a let down.
I was bored and I wanted to go on a date, so I decided to contact the only people I know who I like enough to date again. But both of them were busy.
For singletons in London like me, it's important to have people you can fall back on in this way. If there's no serious dating going on, then the next best thing is a friendly ex or agreeable guy who you may have dated a few times but never got serious with.
But it doesn't have to end there. OK, if you are looking for a serious boyfriend, he won't be the one for you in the long term, but who's to say that you should never see him again? If you have fun when you see each other, why not?
People stay single now for longer than they ever have done before, and we all know that life isn't easy for singletons. So teaming up with another single from time to time to provide some moral support has become increasingly common.
Of course, it doesn't always work out. If either of us were to meet anyone new with whom there might be the chance of a relationship, we would have to sideline the casual fling. And sometimes that's not welcomed by the spurned one, who might be relying on you to get through their dry spell.
It can work against you too. After a few happy dates with one guy we both figured that neither of us wanted to get serious. This went really well until he asked me out on a date only to inform me that he had started seeing someone, and thought it best if we didn't see each other any more. The thing that most annoyed me was the fact that I had so looked forward to our night out.
But under the right conditions, these casual relationships can work well for months. My housemate Kat maintained a long-distance, minimal contact with one friend of this sort for over a year. I think the key is to realise the boundaries.
Some people can handle it and other people can't. I'll admit, it's only in the last few years I have been strong enough to avoid getting attached. Because there's nothing that would kill the casual relationship faster than getting clingy.