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I'm not the sort of bloke who takes the lead, so I sat back while she went on various dates with other men.Secretly I hoped there might be a future for us, so when she proposed I couldn't have been happier – or more gobsmacked.' In her book, Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me, Lucia van der Post writes: 'All I know is that love comes out of the blue, sometimes when you least expect it, and that the key is not necessarily to go looking for it but to keep your heart and mind open to a wider horizon.' Yet, where friendship is concerned, the trigger that instigates a full swing into commitment is complex. Perhaps Sophie had tired of flitting through relationships and wanted someone more dependable?
'And there are certain people, friends or otherwise, who you could never imagine as a sexual partner. We unconsciously sum up this blueprint in another person, and if there is a "fit" we make an emotional connection.
Because long-standing friends have had plenty of time to develop this bond, they already know they have plenty in common.
Women in their thirties, who may be thinking about having children, may suddenly be more inclined to see the appeal of a devoted friend.
And often a crisis highlights the strengths of a person and renders them compatible (which is why some widows marry lifelong comrades because they've provided support in the depths of sadness).
Also, as you move into middle age, you start to consider the question, "Do I want to get old with you?
" If you have a trusting friendship, the answer will more likely be yes.' It was a breach of trust that made Natasha Miller, now 39, completely revaluate her approach to commitment.Subconsciously you're deciding whether you can take it further, from a friendship on to a more emotional and sexual level.' Of course, the overlap in what we want from both friends and partners is significant.In a poll conducted for the women's website 83 per cent of female participants believed that a purely platonic friendship could exist between men and women.But, when probed further, one third said they secretly lusted after their male friends.It seems that physical attraction is often a by-product of a cemented companionship.Their judgement tends to be more reliable.' Sophie and Simon have now been married seven years and have just had their first child, Maggie Mae. 'I truly believe that because we were friends first our relationship has always functioned on a much deeper level, which is actually quite rare among couples.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating