How Young Women Who Want Love Settle for Casual Sex Instead

Below is a recent correspondence I’ve had with a new reader. I think it’s a good illustration of what a lot of young women experience when they get to college and attempt to conform to the prevailing hookup culture there.

I want to clarify one thing. You will see from my response to her that I do not advocate chastity or refraining from sex. Neither do I promote hooking up. I am interested in supporting young people who want relationships, who must run the obstacle course that is hookup culture in order to get them. I do not concern myself with those who want casual sex, except to help my readers identify and filter them. In other words, no judgment.

Sometimes the process begins with breaking through the misconceptions and self-defeating strategies that so often lead to heartbreak.

F-buddy Expectations

F-buddy Expectations

April 29

Dear Susan, 

I’m at the end of my freshman year in college and I’ve reached a point in my life where I am highly considering starting a F-Buddy set-up. At first, I was opposed to this and considering I’m still a virgin, I thought I’d wait til I was in some form of a committed relationship. However, after this year of flirting and going on a few dates with guys and just having a lot of time for self introspection, I learned a lot more about myself.

For one: I’m actually more horny than I am lonely. Even though flirting is fun, I don’t have the drive or energy to be emotionally invested in anyone and I get really bored in set-ups where we text everyday and spend time together nearly all the time.

I just want someone I can have a passionate time with (in that moment) and then focus on other things and myself. 

My only problem (and main question here) is how do I go about this? There was one guy who I had amazing chemistry with and who of all the guys I met, did things that made me think about having a relationship with him. Anyways, long story short the highlight of our brief dating went: 8 hour first date (movies, IKEA, eating, bowling, and make-out sessions), 2nd “date” – me volunteering to hang out at his place in which we watched movies and TV and ended up both having oral sex.

He walked me to and from my dorm to his place that night even though I offered to take a cab and held my hand on the way back as well as sent me text saying he “had a great time and he hoped I did too”. However, no contact for 3 weeks after and then when I message him he ends up telling me he’s not looking for anything serious right now. I told him that since I was looking for something more we should end things there. After that, he pretty much said that “if” I wanted to hook-up he’d still be around and about a week later, he proceeded to ask me twice if I would like to hook up one weekend and spend the night.

I ignored his texts though and as of today (3 months later) of still no contact, I’m starting to really toy with the idea of contacting him again . Would this be a smart idea or am I better off finding someone else or just not doing this altogether? I’m not going into this “hoping” for something more and to be frank since he already basically told me he only see’s me as being something casual, he’s not long term material for me anyways.

I’ve researched a lot of the Do’s and Don’ts of casual relationships and I think that I can handle it (but please feel free to share your insights if you see any red flags). The only major concern is emotional attachment since I see on nearly every blog there’s at least a few women who got attached and ultimately hurt. In my case though I will say that it’s easy for me to cut off contact with someone and stick with it if a situation permits so I don’t think I’d have that problem. What are your thoughts? 

Curious College Girl

April 29

Dear CCG,

I write a blog specifically for girls and guys who want relationships. My readership (female especially) does not want no-strings arrangements, so I’m the last person who would advise you on how to go about that!

I hope you get everything you want.

Susan

April 30

Hey Susan,

Can I truly apologize for what I sent last night? I ended up reading a few articles on your site and basically did a -palm face- and cringe at what I wrote. I started reading your articles on why casual sex isn’t good for anyone (with an increased risk of negative mental health problems as well as other things- especially on women) and after that I realized I just need to not let my hormones get the best of me and not get into a situation that has more odds against me than in my favor.

If I’m being honest with myself, I think that my behavior is more of a defense mechanism of acting like I don’t care, when in truth, I still do (and am not over this guy at all even though it’s been 3 months).

I have done fine vetting and cutting ties with guys who were just looking for “fun” but I guess after meeting and having experienced what I did with B (guy in my last post who I actually thought was relationship material) I’ve literally just started to not even get bothered with anyone past a flirting stage and I don’t even make an effort to pay much attention to anyone of the opposite sex anymore (*red flag again for not being over what happened with B).

So, with that said and after writing this, it’s safe to say that I still have issues that I need to work on within myself and in concerns to relationships and that I need to let go and not close myself off from every guy due to that. And, I just need to keep be patient til the right guy comes along.

CCG

May 5

Dear CCG,

I’m really glad you wrote back to me to explain a bit further. Your second email gives a very different impression from the first. The most glaring difference is that in your first email you portray yourself as a woman who is not very emotionally inclined – you find emotional intimacy boring and too much work. You mention wanting to have plenty of time available to focus on yourself and other things rather than a relationship.

This sentiment is commonly represented in the media as typical of young college women, and no doubt you’ve heard your friends saying the same thing. I do believe a minority of girls in college really feel this way. The problem is that a lot of girls who really would like to fall head over heels in love at college are embarrassed to admit it. They feel pressured to focus exclusively on achievement: studies, career, and independence. That’s what we (your parents’ generation) expect of young women today. We want you to be successful, because we worked hard for equal opportunity.

You were relying on this script to justify reconnecting with a guy who you know just wants no-strings sex, portraying yourself as someone very unlikely to catch feelings in the process.

In your second email it’s clear that it’s far too late to prevent that. After hanging out twice and getting physically intimate, you can’t get this guy out of your mind. You were so desperate to be with him again that you were ready to do it on his terms. This would be self-destructive and most likely end very badly for you. Inevitably, you would want more emotional intimacy and then more commitment, and he would wind up calling you a clinger and disappear.

You felt intense chemistry with him, and that chemistry was more than physical. You wanted to spend time with him. You were pleased when he held your hand, and when he texted to make sure you’d had a good time. He also felt chemistry, but it was entirely sexual.

It’s clear that he feels no sense of responsibility for your feelings. He knew you wanted more, yet he continued to propose casual sex. I’m sure he would say, “She knows the deal.” It’s not his problem.

You do know the deal. He is not the guy for you. He is probably not the guy for anyone, actually. He has nothing to offer, and you can’t change that. You saw this guy so little that getting over him shouldn’t take long once you accept it. All you can do is drive on and be open to meeting new people. As a freshman in college, you’ve got lots of opportunities for that.

I encourage you to keep reflecting on this experience, and why you responded the way you did. Why you decided that a f-buddy arrangement might work for you. It can take a while to meet the right person, but you are still very young. Going for casual hookups now would not be easy to walk back from. There are lot of risks, as you’ve learned, to your mental health, your emotional health, and your physical health.

Very few women are cut out for casual sex, and I don’t think you’re one of them. Wanting a real connection, a relationship, with someone is nothing to be ashamed of. When you meet the right person a relationship won’t feel like a burden, it will be something you enjoy and look forward to every day.

Stick around HUS and join the conversation. We have a lot of women here of all ages wrestling with the same issues. You are not alone!

Best,

Susan

What constructive advice do you have for CCG? (No judgy comments please!)

Have you been in her shoes? What might she do differently next time?

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