I think I’m a pretty rational person. I mean, I’m an accountant, and I think most things through before I say them, and right now, the thought of being in a serious relationship makes me want to sprint out the door. It’s a mindset I’ve found to be pretty normal for recent grads. So what’s our option for general companionship, entertainment, and having someone to text when it’s 3 a.m. and you must be lonely? Obviously, a casual sex affair (CSA). With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I thought it might be useful to remind everyone (re: ME) to reflect on what that really means.
The problem with the CSA is that there’s an ever-present clock. It can only last for so long before you have to cut ties and move on. You know a CSA is in its prime state when both of you pretty much only think of each other when you are actually physically together, or when you’re talking about when you’re going to be actually physically together. But then, something changes, and it starts when you start to wonder about how that person is when he or she isn’t with you. Honestly, if this is where you’re at, I would get out now. From here, it just gets embarrassing and awkward and it’s probably not worth the trouble. But truthfully, I would never do something that made so much sense, so keep reading.
Reminder #1: When you do start to feel something, it’s really not your fault. It’s not his either. It’s just human nature. You can only sleep with someone so many times before you start to feel something. But more times than not, what you’re feeling is just him getting better at fucking you, which is unfortunately mistaken for a “connection.”
The second you start to wonder what he does when he’s not with you is also when you start to think (and by think, I mean overthink) about how he’s been with you.
Reminder #2: Just because a guy talks to you about his family or his feelings after you’ve had sex, it doesn’t necessarily mean he likes you. You just had sex. That’s one of the most vulnerable states a person can be in. If he’s anything like you, he doesn’t have a significant other to share those thoughts and feelings with, so he talks to the person closest to the pillow. If he’s never told you anything like that when the sun’s up, it’s almost like he never told you at all.
Then you find yourself talking to your friends about this guy, and not just in the “oh my God, he did this flip thing and it was amazing” way. Instead, it’s in the “we talked and then fell asleep holding hands” kind of way. Talking about things ruins everything. Just don’t do it.
Reminder #3: Guys like to cuddle, too. Most guys are not assholes who don’t have feelings. They like hugs. They like feeling like somebody wants them. Cuddling after sex is also usually a sign that the sex was pretty good, and I’ve never met a male ego that didn’t like to think he was good in bed.
After you start talking to your friends more, you may go into a social media stalking phase and that can get pretty dark, especially if you allow alcohol or pharmaceuticals into the picture. You’ll probably start talking more, which at first isn’t that big of a difference. I mean, if he’s responding to all your texts, maybe it’s okay, right? But how often does he text you first? And does he answer if it’s a call instead of a text? Have you stopped telling your friends when you drunk text him because you’ve already told them that too many times?
Reminder #4: Even if he tells you he likes you, he may not like you enough to date you. If he’s only said it once, if he’s only said it months ago, or if he’s only said it before, during, or after sex, then he may not even really like you in a “more than a friend” kind of way — during the other twenty-three hours of the day, that is.
You’re probably really likable with good friends who would do anything for you, and I say that with zero sarcasm. But not everyone is going to like you enough to date you. Everyone probably knows this at this point in life and has accepted it. The tricky part to accept when you’re having these casual relationships is that one of these people who doesn’t like you enough to make it FBO could be the one you’re sleeping with. In a way, it’s actually kind of mind-blowing that this is the world we live in and that this is acceptable, but it is.
Reminder #5: You’re not going on dates. Seeing each other at a bar you both frequent is not a date. It could even be an accident. If he doesn’t even take the time to answer the phone or if you know he only texts you when he’s not with other friends, you’re probably not worth it to him to interrupt his life. It’s harsh, but it’s true. There are basically no rules anymore for relationships. This sounds cool in theory, but in reality, it can leave you with feelings and no logical or real explanation for them.
This is kind of a make-or-break point in a CSA, where it either moves to something more or it’s just over. And if it’s over, you probably won’t ever really talk about it. Maybe you’re the one who caught feelings this time. Whatever, last time it was the other way around. It’s just the nature of these casual relationships, and there’s not a lot to be done about it.
You have to be rational about these CSA things, because it’s irrational in nature to be vulnerable and intimate with someone you may not know very well or see a future with. But you can still keep a little bit of optimism. For example, realistically, you know you won’t end up with the guy you fucked last alumni weekend, but it would be a pretty funny or epic story if you did. It’s so easy to fool yourself into thinking these CSAs are more than they are, but it’s a mistake that ends up hurting you more than anyone else. I am a perfect example of that.
Reminder #6: Don’t forget why you didn’t want a relationship in the first place. You’re too busy figuring yourself out to really care for another person, and you’re having fun doing that more often than you’re not. When it’s good, it is so good, and you can leave in the morning for brunch with your friends without feeling guilty. Just keep the casual sex affairs short and maybe you can avoid these problems (AKA feelings). Regardless, if this describes your situation at all, remember the real point of this article: Don’t expect a date on Valentine’s Day. When the timing is right, maybe the right CSA will turn into something more. Until then, I’ll just keep quoting probably the most relevant romantic comedy ever: He’s Just Not That Into You..