Premature eagerness. We’ve all felt it before.
Last month I “hooked up” with a friend. I really hate that term because it’s so ambiguous. What does “hooked up” even mean anyway? Is it just making out? Is there actual sex involved? But since I’m looking to keep the details hazy, “hooking up” is actually very appropriate for the purposes of this post.
There are a couple of details that I will divulge, though:
- He’s nearly three years younger than me.
- He’s more of an acquaintance than a friend.
It’s also worth nothing that we attended the same college, though he’s already graduated. That’s how we know one another. We lived in the same on-campus residence for a year and on a few occasions we had some pretty involved conversations. Because I have eyes, I’ve always recognized that he’s attractive. He also struck me as a pretty worthwhile guy overall—genuine with a good sense of humor, and the kind of person who would get along with nearly anybody. However, I never thought of him as more than a friend.
At the end of the school year he graduated and moved out and I hadn’t seen him since. Every once in a while I’d see him pop up in my Facebook or Twitter timeline, but that was it. Then, this past May he randomly texted me, asking “What’s new?” I didn’t think much of it. It’s always nice to hear from old friends, even though he was more of an acquaintance. Besides having a few conversations and seeing one another in passing, we never actually hung out. Friends really get to know each other. Friends spend quality time. Friends are safe spaces. He was still, in many ways, uncharted territory. Regardless, it was nice to hear from him.
We chatted through text and he invited me out one night. Maybe I’m naive, but at this point I still wasn’t thinking beyond friendship. Here’s the part where I leave out more details. Let’s just say that a few days later we got together at his place, one on one, after midnight. Nothing happened but during my 4:30 am cab ride home, I remember thinking, “I’m pretty sure he was flirting…” There was definitely some sexual tension.
Fast forward three months. I’m back in Chicago after an extended stay in Virginia. Long story short—he asked if I wanted to come over, I went, shit happened, and the next morning I woke up in his bed with a stupid fucking crush that I did not want.
I didn’t even wait ’til I got home to call my best friend. The people on the bus probably had some unsavory thoughts about me as I attempted to divulge details in a hushed voice into my iPhone. But giddiness and hushed voices don’t go together, so it was probably more like lowkey squealing.
Fast forward again to the present.
I’d love to report that things went really well, but alas, that ain’t what the fuck happened. Things didn’t quite fall to shit, but I’ve been reminded of a few things.
- I’m not a fan of casually sharing my body with others.
- “Hooking up” with friends is a bad idea unless you’re willing to lose a friend.
Before the night we hooked up, it had been over four months since I’d even kissed someone. There were nights when I was lonely, but for the most part I was cool. My last situation with a member of the opposite sex was with an actual friend and things were lovely at first, then they got messy. Luckily, we’re still friends, but I told myself that I wouldn’t cross that friendship line again, mostly because I love my friends and I don’t want to lose them if a romantic/sexual relationship withers and dies damn near as quickly as it bloomed.
This most recent situation is totally different, though. For starters, it happened way too quickly. I know so much better. I knew it was a bad idea to let him kiss me like he did, yet I kissed him back. I knew I shouldn’t have let him hold me and touch me like he did, but it felt good so I went with it.
The irony of it all is that before things got physical, we’d been talking and I said flat out that I wasn’t interested in a casual sexual relationship. Do I miss sex? Duh. Do I miss the companionship and affection that come along with being romantically involved with someone? DUH. But I don’t want to waste anymore time. Just hooking up and hanging out was fine for a while, but I’m at a stage in my life where I’d prefer to date. This isn’t to say that I’m looking to jump into a relationship tomorrow. But it would be nice to, ya know, actually go on dates. I’m 25 and I don’t think I’ve been on more than five real dates.
I know what I want. I know what’s in my best interest. But I’m also not afraid to admit that sometimes I crave male attention. In the past this craving has led me to settle for less than what I want and deserve, and last month I let myself get caught up again. When things didn’t play out as I would have liked, I found myself feeling disappointed. Rejected? Kind of. But mostly just disappointed because the entire situation could have been avoided if I had chosen not to settle.
I want something real. Something genuine and lasting with a man who has taken the time to know me well, enjoys who I am, and thinks highly enough of me to make me an important part of his life. I was eager to explore the situation with my Nameless Friend, even though all of my common sense told me that if things got physical they wouldn’t end favorably. I knew it. I knew and still know that he’s not what I’m looking for, but I took the bait anyway. As a result, I suffered the consequences of my actions for about two weeks afterward as the typical, “What happens next?” thoughts ran constantly through my mind. But the writing has been on the wall the entire time: If he wanted more than sex, he would make that clear. Period. It’s simple. But when the simple answer is not what we’re looking for, we have a tendency to complicate things in hopes of getting a different result.
I’m still confused about the kissing thing, though. I even texted him like, “dude…you’re not supposed to casually kiss people like that. It’s dangerous.” I fell for the gotdamn oxytocin okey doke.
It’s whatever, though. Life is good. Upward and onward. Keeping my clothes on and my legs crossed.