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Part-time love? There's a dating site for that

Part Time Love insists that it caters to those who want romance. Just not all the time.

Can we negotiate our way to happiness? Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I need to tell you about my dishwasher.

Sometimes it washes every dish, giving me a radiant feeling in several places. On other occasions, it spits, pouts, and leaves red plates brown.

There seems no reason why. It's just like that.

If it was a person, my dishwasher would be on Part Time Love. This is a dating site with an alluring promise: "Meaningful romance without everyday commitment."

In some circles, they call that a market gap. In others, they call it having your gateau and then having another gateau.

The site, though, insists it caters to "singles looking for regular partners with mutual attraction, genuine friendship, respect and a magical spark but whom have no expectations of moving in after three months and value their free time and independence."

But just in case you think this base, sleazy, or easy, Part Time Love hisses: "We are not a no-strings website."

It's more of a hanging-by-a-string Web site.

The creator is author Helen Croydon, who sounds like she's lived the life before launching the site. Her latest book is called "Screw The Fairytale," a title with far more connotations than the average double-entendre.

I quote from her Web site blurb: "Helen found thousands of single people desperate for love but put off by the demands of modern relationships (do you really have to share a bed and go on every single holiday together?)."

Of course not. But can you ever build up enough trust to feel sure that your part-time lover isn't so part-time as to part with credulity?

The Daily Mail tells me that Croydon spread her dating wings by first participating in a sugar daddy site.

"My dates compensated materially for what they couldn't offer emotionally. In that context, being paid a monthly allowance didn't seem shocking to me," she told the Mail.

It doesn't seem shocking to me either. What also doesn't seem shocking is that the experience made Croydon think a little about life and relationships.

She said: "What I didn't see as I was tottering out of five-star hotels in Louboutin heels with more cash in my purse than I knew what to do with was how these experiences were warping my view of relationships."

So now she wants the honest, the truthful, and the frustrated to unwarp themselves and be who they really are: part-timers.

I wonder how many people will be willing to admit that they aren't wholeheartedly into an old-fashioned idea of love.

I suspect many will still prefer to lie, cheat and, um, nuance their way through.

After all, the worst thing ever is needing to rely on someone and suddenly to discover they're not there when you need them -- because, well, this is their week off from the relationship, isn't it?