Keeping It Casual

My mom called me the other day to say that she had read my blog and thought it was fabulous and asked me about the men in my life. I immediately put her on “limited profile on Facebook and asked her politely to please stop reading it ASAP. There are just some things you do not want your mom to see no matter how close you are, and this post is one of them.

Friends with benefits, f*ck buddies, situationships- the media has normalized these types of relationships within the realm of hook-up culture. Some people choose to incorporate casual sexual relationships as a part of their lifestyle, while others prefer the monogamous route. There is nothing wrong with either, but I think its a good idea to know what you are about to get into should you find yourself agreeing to a casual set up. Over time I have learned that there are actual levels to the game, and I have talked to my fair share of ladies on their take on these relationships. Note: if you are offended by women being real (surprise, we like sex too!) or just can’t handle the truth stop reading now.

1. F*ck buddies: Perhaps you met at a bar, club, or online. Your daytime conversations are far and few between, unless you’re arranging a meet up later that day. You probably don’t talk about anything too substantial when you are together, and that’s either because they are boring, vapid, or you’re deliberately trying not to bond so you do not get attached. Maybe you are keeping them on the back burner until another relationship is on the road to becoming serious. Unless you can handle the after-sex intimacy, its recommended that you do not stay over. And since you probably do not talk about other people you are dating/hooking up with/etc., you need to be using protection.

Time limit: This type of situation can be extremely satisfying for months or even longer, as long as you make sure this is not the only person of the opposite sex you are communicating with. Please let that sink in because if you do not, you may start thinking “what if…” and imagine this person as more than your dick supply. Hopefully you have had a few conversations about the criteria of your relationship and you are completely on board. You cannot delude yourself into thinking you are “chill” with this arrangement: you either are or you’re not. Any change of heart needs to be discussed sooner rather than later before anyone gets hurt.

2. Friends With Benefits/FWB: In this relationship you can actually be friends who just happened to fall into bed together after a few too many tequila shots or just be acquaintances and enjoy each others company/have semi-deep conversations/maybe kick it outside of each other’s bedrooms. This dynamic can be more or less successful depending on the amount of feelings are actually invested in the friendship. Because you are not complete strangers who only communicate about sex, it could probably be easier to fall for or get rejected by someone who you care about as a friend and could make the friendship temporarily awkward as shit.  As with f*ck buddies you should steer away from talking about the other people you might be seeing and enjoy the moment in the present with them. Also, if you are in the same friend group please keep it as discreet in order to avoid any potential messiness for as long as possible.

Time limit: This is tricky, but I would not put a time stamp on this one. It really depends on whether romantic feelings develop or not, if one of you meets someone else, or one of you gets tired of explaining the situation to mutual friends. Luckily I have yet to want to bang any of my male friends so I never had this problem.

3. The Situationship: Ah, the situationship. Probably the most confusion of the three, because as the title implies you are not exactly in an official relationship but you are certainly involved in some capacity. One or both of you are likely straddling the fence of full-on relationship behavior: you have been hanging out for months, stay at each other’s homes and often take things public and meet family and friends. Hell, in 2015 children may be involved. When people ask who you are to one another, however, suddenly “its complicated.” This is the most discouraging type of relationship because someone on Twitter decided that “a bond is stronger than a title” and ever since then women have been losing. If after 4 months you are saying “he/she’s just not ready for a relationship yet,” you are likely in a situationship.

Time limit: One month-forever. If the less-interested party plays their cards right, the situationship can literally last forever. Waiting for the one party (typically the man) to decide you are actually in a legitimate partnership is the equivalent of thinking the world is going to end in 2012 according to the Mayan calendar: its fucking stupid. Unfortunately once a situationship reaches a certain stage the person who is more emotionally involved has probably developed a certain level of dependency on the other. This is all well and good if both parties are fine with this arrangement, otherwise it inevitably spells disaster for at least one person involved.

Many people try to bring science into this and say women release bonding hormones during sex, making them unable to handle casual relationships. This is bullshit as I know many women who can and sometimes do it better than the boys. These are women perhaps who do not want to date at the moment, but also don’t want to live the life of a nun. I truly admire these women who pull this off, because being able to separate sex from emotions can be incredibly difficult for some – I personally have been able to exist in these types of relationships for only short periods of time and try to be clear with anyone I am involved with.

Whether casual or not, the most important elements of any relationship are communication and trust. It is not even just about being honest with the other person, but also with yourself – because this “buddy” is not really yours, you have the freedom to walk away whenever you feel like the relationship has reached its end. This could be any number of reasons such as you are bored, you want to take things past the casual stage, or you simply begin to feel uncomfortable. While many say that one person is bound to develop feelings, these types of arrangements can be the best situation for some – perhaps not for the long haul, but at least for the moment. Proceed with caution.

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New York based blogger in love with self-care, wellness and love itself. Always moving and striving to help women be their best selves. @soellaquent

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