When Can a Booty Call Work?

Name: kinlah | | Location: Islip , New York |Question: When does a booty call get old?  I have been seeing this guy on and off for the past five years, and although this relationship is very convenient, it also is getting kind of old.  He is now 49 and when we first met it was amazing, now time is kind of playing against him. Plus I want more in a relationship, more than the relationship can ask for.  And although the only option right now is to leave, I seem to keep going back. So at this point I question whether I am attached to the man. Or using him as a way to not pursue a real relationship?  |Age: 32

If you want more, and you know this guy can’t give it to you, then you have to make a concerted effort to find someone who can. That is, if you really want such a relationship. If you keep going back to this guy and aren’t actively trying to meet available men, then I question of you really do want something “more.” So you’re first step is really figure out what it is you want, and what you can handle. Because you can have one of these relationships in your life and want to find a mate. It just takes some compartmentalization in your head. You have to be able to turn off any thoughts off this other guy. You have to be able to pretend that this man does not exist in your life save for the times you and he get together. What you do with this man should not factor in to how you interact with other men. If you can’t do that, then get out now.

Let’s approach this from a different angle:

How do you know when you’re getting too attached to or using a casual relationship as some sort of placebo or excuse for not engaging in a real relationship?

Well, here are some ways you can tell: (Note: You can be attached to the situation, and not necessarily the man or woman you’re sleeping with.)

1. You know you’re getting too attached (or got too attached too quickly) when your mood is dependant on whether or not you see or hear from your lover.

2. You over-analyze everything they say

3. You question the validity of their reasons for why they can’t get together

4. You get hurt when they tell you that, at the end of the day, they are moderately interested at best, have met someone, have a date, etc.

I’m someone who, dependent on where I’m at in my head, can take a huge hit to my self-esteem by getting involved in these situations. When I do, at least now, I know that the fact that I am doing it means something is off with me. And instead of pursuing these arrangements, I should go to an ashram somewhere and meditate on why I feel I need that.

The worst time to take part in these NSA/Casual whosidoos is when you’re already vulnerable. Like you’re fresh off a break up, or feeling not good enough, or had a string of rejection in the form of Match.com dates. This is why I urge people to take a mini-break if they have gone on more than 2 unsuccessful first dates from any online dating service in a six-week period. Take. A. Break. Regroup. Do something that makes you feel good about yourself or at least happy. Consistent rejection or disappointment just is not good for the psyche, ladies and gentleman.

What’s an ideal casual/NSA arrangement? How do I find someone who isn’t going to treat me like gum on the bottom of their shoe?

Well,  here’s the kicker. Nobody can make you feel anything. So the first thing to do is  plug-in to yourself and make sure you’re truly comfortable and confident enough to engage in this situation. If you feel like gum on the bottom of someone’s shoe, regardless of how your lover treats you, you’re going to perceive things in a certain way and assume they are treating poorly.

As for how to shop for someone who would make a fun, yet respectful, casual sex partner? I don’t think there is any way to know who is going to show you courtesy and be honest and who isn’t. That’s what makes these situations so messy.

I was having a similar conversation with Tad, a man I’ve known for about 8 1/2 years. We were talking about how neither of us (well, let’s face it, me) have ever gotten attached to our on again/off again “arrangement.”  The key, I think, is that he never  we genuinely got along and had things in common. We also kept conversations and interactions limited and contained. While sometimes we’d meet out for drinks, for the most part he’d come over, we’d hang, we’d have a couple of drinks and then do our thing. He’d stay for a little while. Then leave. I always knew what I was getting and where I stood. But that didn’t happen the first few times we hung out. We had to establish a baseline with each other to gauge what was each other’s normal. Once we did that, it was smooth sailing. We developed a genuine friendship over time, which tends to help avoid the gum on the bottom of the shoe stuff. There was a point where I felt I was relying too heavily on him, and I had to cut him out. I was starting to question him, and that’s a bad sign, as these situations really don’t have much room for that. Time went by when we didn’t speak. Then we got back in touch again, and things have been even better only because we’ve become real friends without (much) sex. We’ve hung out plenty of times where there has been no physicality. So, while I don’t know if booty calls can lead to real relationships, I do believe they can blossom in to genuine friendships. But if you think or feel or hope that this person you’re casually sleeping with “could” be something more? Don’t do it. Meaning…don’t engage in a casual situation. Either tell them upfront how you feel and see if there’s promise or avoid, avoid, avoid.

Will casual sex interfere with my desire to have a real relationship?

I think that depends. It is very easy to become dependent on these situations. Especially if you truly want an emotionally intimate relationship. When that’s what you desire, then it’s hard to keep those feelings locked up or dormant. It’s highly likely, if finding a substantive and committed relationship is your main goal, that all those feelings and desires and longing is going to be projected on whomever you decide to temporarily share your bed. Where I think it really becomes an issue is when you engage in these situations in an ongoing fashion. If this is what you accept time and time again, and you’re going on dates and out meeting new people, and you’re always finding something wrong with the person or just not “in to it” (note I didn’t say “them”) then that’s a really good sign that you’re using these situations as a way to avoid real intimacy. You can get too dependent on these people who take up this fluid space in your life. It all depends on where you’re at emotionally and mentally. When you find yourself getting complacent about dating or going out, you have to fight that urge to just sit home and send a booty text. Go out, even if it’s for an hour or so, just to keep yourself in the head space of someone emotionally available.

 

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10 Responses to “When Can a Booty Call Work?”

  1. Saj Says:

    I’m not sure if the OP hasn’t had other relationships during the 5 years she’s known this person but it seems confusing on how someone can go without one for that long. It’s like being unemployed for 5 years. Either you just are really socially awkward or self sabotaging or you aren’t putting yourself out there to see what happens.

    If the OP isn’t feeling her f buddy situation anymore then what is she waiting for in trying to find something better? Get hungry and get out there. Take a 2-3 month break from this guy and focus your efforts on meeting new men. Considering the casual nature of your relationship I don’t think he will kick up too much of a fuss. With online dating you should be scoring one or two dates a month and pestering your friends to set you up. You never know unless you try right?

    If you are scared of trying then perhaps therapy can help you find out why your avoiding relationships that require a certain level of intimacy.

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  2. Vox Says:

    If you have to think about it, analyze it, or talk about it to outsiders (beyond “I had a hot night last week blah blah blah” to a close friend), a casual sexual “relationship” isn’t for you. If it takes more than one sentence to describe the situation with you lover, it isn’t casual in your mind. Be honest with yourself. Why is this so damn complicated for women? Stop believing the hype and just be true to yourself. If you can’t be true to you, why should anyone else?

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  3. Joe Says:

    OP, you need to define what it is you want from the relationship. Not easy, but essential else you end up back where you started. And you never know, perhaps your friend wants more too and maybe even the same thing!

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  4. dimplz Says:

    It sounds like the OP is just comfortable, because she’s known this man for so long. The arrangement worked well for her when she met him and was younger, but now she’d like more. If she’s seeking more, she should just start dating other men and cut the guy loose, at least until she meets someone she would like to get serious with.

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  5. Paula Says:

    There is lots I could say about this, but first I’d like to thank Moxie for responding honestly and respectfully — not judgmentally. Despite our differences on this subject, I thought this was a great response.

    I think long-term booty calls/FWB situations can work, but this one may have run its course.

    1. It sounds like the age difference is significant right now. If you’re 32 and want more, now is not the time in your life to be with someone who is probably not ever going to want more. You don’t want to wake up at 40, with him at 57, wondering why you still don’t have a committed relationship, or kids, if you plan to have them.

    2. If either party wants more, for whatever reason, despite what has gone before, there’s usually no going back — you can’t unring the bell. You’re just putting yourself in a position to get hurt.

    3. I don’t buy the “if you’re getting sex regularly, you’re not motivated to put yourself out there to find a real relationship” theory that we’ve discussed here before. But I do think that a situation can make you depressed enough or affect your self-esteem enough that you don’t try for something better. If you keep going back even though you know it’s not working, that could be a factor.

    I don’t know how often you see him, but try weaning yourself…don’t take his calls after a certain time of night; don’t see him without a certain notice period — eliminate the last-minute, booty call availability, and see if he goes away on his own accord. That was how I eliminated one of those situations that wasn’t working for me — I didn’t have to have a dramatic break-up like thing (since there wasn’t anything to break up anyway) — it just faded when I wasn’t so readily available to fulfill his fantasies on a moment’s notice.

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    • andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      Thanks for the comments, Paula. :)

      I think it’s important to also note that “wanting more” can encapsulate a lot of things.

      There’s “more” in terms of wanting a more meaningful relationship.
      There’s “more” in terms of wanting more time from them.
      There’s “more” in terms of wanting more courtesy or consideration.

      The really tough thing about these situations is that if you don’t choose your partner wisely, or don’t listen to your instincts or give the person more credit than they deserve, you’re doomed. You have to be sure you see this person for who they are, not who you think they have the potential to be. There is no potential. Who he or she is from the beginning is exactly who they will be in the end. So don’t be too forgiving, don’t think you’re different or that you and this person have some magical connection.

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      • Paula Says:

        I agree with everything in this comment, too…the planets must be in some sort of strange alignment.

        However, it’s probably wise to not see “No Strings Attached” right now, as it will make you think that it’s possible for someone who wants just sex because they’re emotionally impaired can be fixed and change their mind.

        Although, that probably only happens in Hollywood, and/or when Ashton Kutcher is involved. God knows I’d repair any issue out there if his current cougar isn’t working out and I had a shot…

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  6. Saj Says:

    Paula :
    There is lots I could say about this, but first I’d like to thank Moxie for responding honestly and respectfully — not judgmentally. Despite our differences on this subject, I thought this was a great response.
    I think long-term booty calls/FWB situations can work, but this one may have run its course.
    1. It sounds like the age difference is significant right now. If you’re 32 and want more, now is not the time in your life to be with someone who is probably not ever going to want more. You don’t want to wake up at 40, with him at 57, wondering why you still don’t have a committed relationship, or kids, if you plan to have them.
    2. If either party wants more, for whatever reason, despite what has gone before, there’s usually no going back — you can’t unring the bell. You’re just putting yourself in a position to get hurt.
    3. I don’t buy the “if you’re getting sex regularly, you’re not motivated to put yourself out there to find a real relationship” theory that we’ve discussed here before. But I do think that a situation can make you depressed enough or affect your self-esteem enough that you don’t try for something better. If you keep going back even though you know it’s not working, that could be a factor.
    I don’t know how often you see him, but try weaning yourself…don’t take his calls after a certain time of night; don’t see him without a certain notice period — eliminate the last-minute, booty call availability, and see if he goes away on his own accord. That was how I eliminated one of those situations that wasn’t working for me — I didn’t have to have a dramatic break-up like thing (since there wasn’t anything to break up anyway) — it just faded when I wasn’t so readily available to fulfill his fantasies on a moment’s notice.

    I think every individual (can’t speak for men but for women) has their own attention well that they need filled. For some just some sex every so often is enough to keep them content enough with the status quo and for others they need sex and validation and commitment and ect ect ect. Actually this probably fits in with those people who even in a relationship needs to flirt all the time because they have a really deep well of validation that they need.

    Perhaps the OP has a fairly shallow well so her needs are being met just *enough* to not really want to do anything more and figuring it might be easier to try to turn this guy into something then start from scratch and not risk going without “anything”. By getting rid of that little bit of attention she might be motivated to replace it with something better.

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  7. saywhat Says:

    This idea that she can ‘have something more’ is a moot pint if she is not happy or doesn’t know what she wants with herself. Lets just say hypothetically she did find Mr. right, got married, had kids. She still has the ability to have a FWB guy on the side and actually, it would probaly work more to her benefit… One thing checked off the list, ‘ Met nice committed guy’! It would be one less thing for her to worry about but eventually as Moxie says, you will fall back into unhealthy patterns if you don’t know who you are and what makes YOU tick. Remaining in empty FWB patterns is only a distraction from not doing the work which is necessary for youself to have the goals you want to set forth. All the thinking and wondering on this situation is wasted time. Time wasted toward the things you really want. Maybe it’s not even to settle down, maybe it’s to take up a new career, or explore your creative side. And any of these things would be ok, but only if you’re honest with yourself and take the time to figure it out.

    No body can make you feel anything but this statmentment is not entirely true. Another person does consist of YOUR reality. So while they are not you they are part of your life. The events which happen to us with or without someone does provoke our feelings, thoughts, and actions.

    I do agree she needs to figure out who she is. It’s sounds like she thrives off of either attention, or the convenience of it. Whatever it is she needs to figure it out. Raw honestly with oneself matters. It is easier to have a thought about a person or thing than it is to live the reality of it. What makes YOU happy? Some people like to have the idea of what a great life is and may even preach it to others that it’s the life they want but realistically they only care about the validation they get from others. Maybe that’s a good place to start. Write a lists. Ask yourself why is it you want a committed relationship or any other primary goal you have in mind set for th for yourself and does the the FWB provide any support towards that. If you can’t come up with anything then maybe you have your answer.

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  8. sarah Says:

    when can a booty call work……try never……someone (usually the woman) wants something more. if it hasn’t morphed into more by now, it is never going to. these two are in entirely different points in their lives. Unless you enjoy being someone’s sperm receptacle without any effort towards you on their part (maybe he does the pity date after and buys you dinner after you screw,which totally is not any effort), and the health risks of not knowing who else he may be sleeping with.

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