Regardless of the type of sex and affection you enjoy, you no doubt enjoy yourself when you engage in it. While a random, one-night hookup can be a lot of fun, it’s also great to enjoy a casual, consistent hookup. These kinds of connections are often called “friends with benefits,” and can really be an enjoyable situation.
Regardless of how you personally enjoy sex, we can pretty much all agree that sex is fun. For the younger generations, this more and more seems to be casual sex without long-term commitments (which commonly result in no sex). If you’re an individual who falls into this category, it can be challenging to maintain these casual relationships, which is why it’s so important to understand how the whole thing is supposed to work.
How To Not Ruin A “Casual” Situation
So, just like a long term relationship, a casual sexual relationship needs a set of ground rules. Without these self-imposed boundaries, folks who are just getting used to seeing someone casually can get mixed up about what expectations might exist. Below, I outline some of the most important guidelines for maintaining a casual relationship.
Tell Them The Truth
Honesty typically tends to be the best policy if you want to keep your casual relationship healthy and consistent. Due to the lack of typical obligations, casual relationships often require a high degree of honesty and communication. Without this, your partner may fall prey to feelings of isolation or insecurity, because they perceive themselves as being victimized in some way.
Luckily, this set of potential problems is pretty easy to avoid, thanks to the more untraditional nature of the relationship. You can & should feel free to “think outside the box” when trying to come to a mutually agreed upon set of boundaries. And don’t forget that you’ve always got the ability to walk away from a casual relationship if your partner isn’t willing to provide you with the things you need.
Keep Your Cool
While communication is key in a casual relationship, focusing on emotions too much can end up ruining things for both parties. Emotions aren’t usually the focus for casual connections, as the whole point of staying casual is to keep things simple, and free of romantic “debris.”
In short, if you’re determined to keep things casual and “off the cuff,” remember that emotions can be the true enemy, save for passion. This is supposed to be about sex, first and foremost.
Be Real With Yourself
If you find that you’re the one in the relationship which seems to be “catching feelings,” remember that opening up about this new emotions can adversely affect things between you and your partner, sometimes even leading to conflict. If you’re coming to an emotional place where you aren’t satisfied, it might be time to cut ties and look for something more serious with an individual who wants what you want.
Stay Out Of Their Business
A key component to keeping your feelings under control (and out of your hookups) is to stay removed from your casual partner’s life. Try to keep clear of their social media, as this can often be a window into behaviors and situations that you just don’t want.
When interacting in person or on the phone, it’s best to keep things light. If they’re looking to share facts about themselves with you, that’s fine, as long as you’re comfortable with this level of closeness. But try to remember that any added depth regarding your relationship with this person can be a quick road towards developing romantic feelings, something you should always be trying to avoid.
if you’re unsure about where the boundaries are regarding healthy distance in a sexual relationship, it’s always best to just ask.
No Dates, Ever
This guideline seems almost petty, but it’s pretty important. Dates are reserved for couples who are looking to share social and romantic intimacy, not for folks who just love hooking up with each other. The whole point of planning these types of events is to foster closeness, something that you should be actively trying to avoid.
Bottom line: Don’t reserve that table for two at your local Italian eatery unless you’re trying to push the relationship into “long term” territory.
Let Them Reach Out
In 2019, texting is the preferred method of communication for a lot of us, but it can be used to your detriment if you aren’t careful.
When you’re excited about a new sexual partner, you may find that you’re driven to message them often, which may push them away. If your brand new “friend with benefits” is really just looking to keep things centered around your physical relationship, a slew of messages about your thoughts and feelings is the opposite of what they want.
It’s always fun to be excited about a new sexual partner, but make sure you aren’t blinded by the excitement, as it could lead to shooting yourself in the foot, romantically.
Respect, Respect, & More Respect
Casual daters can never be too aware of your casual partner’s needs and boundaries, and paying them the respect that they deserve can help maintain a healthy connection for both of you. This can be regarding sexual proclivities, frequency in communication, and anything in-between.
Just because the relationship is casual and based on physicality doesn’t mean that you need to treat the person as if they’re a possession. Maintain a respectful discourse at all times, and you’ll find that the relationship almost maintains itself.
Don’t Base Things On Intoxicants
This last one is something I’ve unfortunately had the experience of dealing with, and it directly related to my previous point.
If you’re only ever contacting your sexual partner when you’ve had a bit too much to drink, you’re showing them the opposite of respect. This is all too common, especially for younger folks in college, and it can really mess with a person’s self-worth. How would you feel if you only ever felt “desired” when your partner was blackout drunk? I guess it could be worse, it could be the crazy JetBlue lady I wrote about, lol.
What I Think
To be completely honest, this all boils down to thinking critically about your relationships and your conduct. It’s pretty easy to maintain a casual relationship, provided you and your partner stay open and honest about your wants and expectations.
Stay aware, remember to have fun, and give casual dating a shot. You may find that it’s exactly the type of situation you’ve been searching for!
Hey, if all else fails and you don’t see things working out the way they should, then just tell your “hookup partner” goodbye for good!