To Hook up or Not to Hook up
Dating can be complicated, but the special arrangement known as Friends With Benefits (a.k.a. FWB/casual sex) is an emotional labyrinth all its own.
For some women, they don’t mind to waking up next to an attractive stranger they met at a party the night before. Having a no-strings-attached situation works for them.
Other women however, didn’t think their FWB experience was all that great – they’ve described it as “getting burned” and said they “felt used.”
But it’s all about perspective, I say. People are simply hardwired to have different needs, so they do what they think that suits them best.
And that begs the question: Do you really stand to benefit from a FWB relationship, or are you better off looking for something long-term?
A Double-Edged Deal
With an FWB setup, the dividing line comes down to its potential for causing either exceptionally high OR low levels of self-esteem and overall well-being.
For one thing, women who are open to hooking up find that the spontaneous casual encounter is just what they need to release pent-up sexual tension. This includes those who came out of a rough breakup or women who are too busy for a long-term relationship.
As far as they’re concerned, they’re getting the sex they want minus the headaches of a regular relationship, like arguing about the position of the toilet seat, remembering anniversaries and so on.
On the other side of the coin, the FWB setup can also put a lot of stress on both parties involved, specifically when they try to hash out their feelings about their relationship or where it’s headed.
Carlos Cavallo, Dating and Attraction Adviser
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For some people, getting into the whole “Where is this going?” discussion raises the stakes of what was supposed to be a low-stakes arrangement.
Then there’s the ultimate litmus test of being casual: being cool when your friend with benefits is also seeing someone else.
A lot of women thought they could handle an open arrangement until they find out there’s another “beneficiary” in the picture.
How To Know For Sure
Ok, so it’s time for a little soul-searching to settle this matter. The most important thing you should ask yourself is whether or not you’ll actually enjoy this arrangement.
At some point down the road, being noncommittal to a certain person might start to feel like a chore rather than something to look forward to. If this applies to you, then you’re probably not meant to be in a FWB setup with a guy.
But maybe you haven’t crossed the FWB line yet, and you’re still curious about the possibility…
If your cultural upbringing (or some other aspect of your personal background) is causing you to have second thoughts about casual sex (e.g. possible feelings of post-hookup guilt), you’re likely not to get a whole lot out of it.
Also, if he’s making you wonder what it would be like to have him in your life indefinitely, it could mean you’re not interested in just having sex with this person.
Be honest with yourself – if you’re starting to see him as more than just a casual friend in your heart of hearts, you need to be upfront with your guy.
As early as possible, lay down your expectations on the table. If the hookup doesn’t materialize because you wanted different things, then it’s probably all for the best.
In the end, I can’t tell you whether or not going down this road is good for you.
There are a million factors involved with how you’d fare with a casual sex setup – mainly because you have a unique set of values, principles and sexual needs.
Once you’ve given yourself a chance for some introspection, you can make a clear decision about hooking up with a guy…or not.
But if it’s something long-term you want, all you need to do is uncover the one key to connecting with a guy.
It’s his Connection Style, and learning about it will yield plenty of benefits like keeping him from pulling away and committing to you for good.
Yours, in Perfect Passion,
– Carlos Cavallo