If you want love, don’t settle for friends with benefits

Hooking up can be fun and liberating, and there’s nothing wrong with it. If you’re up front and honest with the people you’re having sex with, then you’re free to do whatever you want. But if a committed relationship is ultimately what you’re after, then embrace that. If you don’t, that’s when hooking up can get complicated. Our generation falls into this emotional trap far too often.

It’s as if we millennials are in a contest of who can care less than the other person.

In our modern hookup culture, we’ve embraced an “I don’t give a f*ck” attitude even when we really do care. It’s easier to say “I’m not looking for anything serious” even when we really are.

It’s more acceptable to say “We’re just having fun,” even when you’re secretly jealous that he posted a picture of him with another girl on Instagram last night. The truth is, he’s probably not trying to make you jealous. You told him you were okay with just hooking up and he believed you. That’s why when you start acting like a disappointed girlfriend, it’s confusing as f*ck and it sends them running. Guys are literal like that. You can’t expect them to read between the lines.

Being ready for a relationship doesn’t make you any less sexually empowered or independent. So when a guy is up front about not wanting a relationship and you continue to see him, you revoke the right to be upset when he doesn’t change his mind. And he probably won’t. When he says he doesn’t want a relationship – believe him.

How does Friends with Benefits turn into heartbreak? Well, it’s complicated. Some of these might sound familiar.

You don’t have feelings for him, at least at first. So initially you really are okay with just hanging out or hooking up. But over time feelings sneak up on you. This doesn’t necessarily mean you were lying to yourself from the beginning. Sometimes people accidentally grow on us as we spend time together.

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That’s why I find it interesting that we use the term “catch feelings” like it’s an STD.

There are mixed signals. As casual as the term “hookup” sounds, it often comes as part of a package deal that includes good morning texts, Netflix marathons, and sometimes even cuddling.

I tend to think hooking up and cuddling should not co-exist unless you’re really sure about where you each stand. It can send mixed signals. You may not even really have feelings for each other – but the act of cuddling that can make you think you do. It’s like some voodoo ninja sh*t that it does to your brain.

In this situation, the person who catches feelings first loses.

You like the challenge. A man who pursues you is less appealing than one who is seen with different girls every week. So you go after the unattainable, thinking you’ll be the one who’s so amazing that you’ll actually change his mind.

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You have sex too soon. When you first start seeing someone new, it’s easy to go with the flow. But if you skip straight to the hookup before you even have a chance to find out what he wants, you may find yourself at a dead end months later. In the days of traditional dating, it was safe to assume he was looking for a relationship if he asked you out. But dating has since been replaced with talking or “hanging out”. That’s why even if someone messages you regularly, it takes time to figure out what they want. You should take that time.

You think this is the best you can get. With prior heartbreaks, it’s easy to become jaded. We lose hope that quality people even exist anymore.

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You think you can change him. This one is perhaps the most frustrating of all. I cringe when my girlfriends start a story with “Well he said he didn’t want a girlfriend…” Because months later, it usually ends with tears, empty bottles of wine, and a bit of Instagram stalking his new girlfriend…

Because how could he say he didn’t want a relationship when he clearly has a girlfriend now? In the end it doesn’t matter. You are in control of setting the standards you will accept. Besides, you should never have to convince anyone to commit to you.

If you are looking for a relationship, stop hooking up. You may love being with him and he may make you laugh – but that’s all the more reason to take your time.

Author:
Mariela De La Mora, Neqtr Marketing Manager (based in London)
Originally published on the UK Daily News Service

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