Everyone knows the story about boy meets girl, they fall in love and have 2.5 children plus the white picket fence. Everyone also knows the story (thank you, Taylor Swift) where boy meets girl, uses girl and breaks her heart. The fact that these are the two most prevalent stories today in terms of entertainment and media is a little troubling. What about the open marriages? What about those who are just looking for a “no strings attached” or NSA relationship?
The idea of no strings attached relationships have been growing more popular in recent years with movies being made about couples who were in open relationships or were in sex buddy relationships, but the film industry being what it is this either ends up in tragedy or a quirky love story. What about that in between though where people are able to casually hook up without getting their hearts broken or even their feelings bruised?
We all know that we’re not going to fall in love with everyone that we sleep with, but there can be bad blood between one night stands if you go into these meetings with unrealistic expectations. You need to step back and take a look at what it is you want and compare it with what they want. With relationships, you have an initial period where you’re able to feel the person out and figure out if they are what you want. With a no strings attached fling, the amount of time that you have to know a person and their intentions is limited so it’s more important than ever to communicate.
You do not want to chase after and sleep with a guy who only want sex from you when you want a relationship and conversely, he probably wouldn’t want you to chase after him if you wanted more than a few casual hook ups. Unclear expectations or mismatched expectations can be stressful on both parties and there are few people who would willingly add on that stress or go out of their way to hurt someone in this manner. So communication, as always, is the key.
So don’t try to fool yourself into thinking that you can do this casually if you already have feelings for someone.
Another good piece of advice is not to think too deeply into the actions of your partner. This is true in any relationship, but even more true when it comes to no strings attached relationships. Often you will not know this person well and to analyze how they’re talking to your or treating you will just end up with you thinking about them too much which can easily lead to developing feelings for them. If you enjoy their company and how they treat you, that’s enough. If you don’t enjoy it, then wash your hands of them and move on.
Do not try to use a no strings attached relationship as a stepping stone to a more formalized relationship. If both of you go into this with the expectations that it will be no strings attached, suddenly changing the end goal is not only unfair to your partner, but to yourself as well and can sour what was initially a really good time. If you’re hoping for a normal relationship when going into a no strings attached one, just don’t do it. Back away because the sex isn’t worth the heartbreak and if you do get hurt in this instance, you won’t have anyone to blame but yourself.
Lastly, if you do develop feelings for someone while in the midst of a no strings attached arrangement, the best thing that you can do is be honest with them. You need to be very clear about yourself and your expectations in terms of a no strings attached relationship because it’s your body, your emotions and if you’re not comfortable with something then it is your responsibility to let it be known. Most of the time people will be accepting of your honesty and even if they don’t give the response you may be looking for, at least neither of you will be fumbling around in the dark.
A no strings attached arrangement is a way to get a need satisfied without having to go through a long dating process or deal with sticky emotions, but it begins with yourself. Know what you’re looking for and your expectations are and you’ll have a great time.
If you go into this without thinking even a little bit, the chances of you getting hurt rise exponentially.