Auntie SparkNotes: I Want a Relationship, But He's All About Hookups
I'm a freshman in college and NBK, but I feel that I am ready for a relationship and I have a major crush on a guy in my friend group. The problem? He's into hookups, not relationships. So are pretty much all the other guys I know!
He is very conscientious about it and makes sure all the girls he sleeps with know that he doesn't want anything serious, and I don't judge him for his actions, but it just makes me sad that he wouldn't want a relationship with anyone, including me (we are friends, but he is unaware that I have a crush on him).
My older sister and some of the upperclassmen I know tell me this is a phase that a lot of freshmen go through, but please tell me if they eventually grow out of it? And should I say anything about my feelings to this guy? And if we even did get together, will he expect me to be willing to have sex right off the bat since so many other girls have done that with him?
For starters, Sparkler, take heart: the fact that none of the guys in your immediate social circle want relationships does not mean that nobody does, or that they never will, or that you'll be doomed to spend your college years in a state of eternal boyfriendless yearning. As dating desires go, college is just like anywhere else: you've got your commitment-phobes, your serial monogamists, your happy couples, your celibate loners, your casual daters, and your people who like to meet up once a month wearing lucha libre costumes and have wild'n'crazy sex in a tub full of pudding in front of an audience of creepy dolls.
...Uh, you know, among others.
And at some point, the vast majority of these people—from the commitment-phobes to the creepmobiles—will become part of a couple. Which is to say that yes, people grow out of the hookups-only phase, and some people never enter it to begin with. But for a lot of people, college is the first chance they've ever had to mix, mingle, and do sexy things as independent adults—and for those people, at least to begin with, it's a lot more fun to splash around in the shallow end of the dating pool than to dive into the deep waters of romantic commitment.
Obviously, your crush is one of those people, at least for now. And while it may make you unhappy that you can't have a relationship with him, there's nothing inherently sad about the fact that he doesn't want a relationship at all. This guy knows what he wants, and he's being up-front about it. Don't make the mistake of thinking you know better, okay? This isn't a movie; he's not just saying that because he's secretly yearning, or scared of being hurt, or waiting for the right girl to teach him the true meaning of love.
That said, there's no harm in testing the waters. You can always spend more time with him, let your feelings show, and see if he starts showing interest. If he does, you can confess your crush and be honest with him about what you're looking for. And if he's amenable to seeing you exclusively, then that's when you talk about your desires, expectations, and comfort level when it comes to sex. What he's come to expect from previous hookups doesn't matter; a new relationship always means a new renegotiation of those boundaries, and it's something you'll both have to figure out.
But if he doesn't want a relationship, then please, don't try to talk him into one. Find someone else; there are lots of guys out there. And that's not because there's anything wrong with hooking up—it can be great fun, if that's what you're into. But if you're not, then casual hookups won't fill in for the companionship and emotional support of coupledom; they're two very different beasts. Whether you're into monogamy, multiple prospects, or banging everything in pants, the path to happiness lies in finding a person who wants the same things you do. And if what you want is a bona fide relationship, then that's what you should hold out for.
Relationships? Hookups? Pudding sex? Tell us how you roll! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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