I‘m worried that my attitude to casual sex is becoming a little too … casual. After a few years swimming in the dating pool, I feel my approach is more like blokes I used to moan about. You know, happy to drag someone back to my lair for a night, but I’m keen to keep it all no-strings. I sometimes swap numbers with no intention of further contact, but more often, I’ll be willing them to leave and I’ll barely give them a second thought once I’ve waved them goodbye. It’s been a few years since I’ve had a serious relationship, and anything that’s happened since then has been pretty superficial. I think I’m finally ready for a real relationship, but how do I stop channelling Samantha from SATC and will myself to explore more meaningful emotional terrain? Heeeeeeeelllp! Anon
Dragging spunk rats back to your lair for some no-strings lovin’ has its place – especially when you’re a single lady, don’t want anything more and are able to keep it in perspective. But when you’ve been on your own for what feels like forever, with more rejections under your belt than Jennifer Love Hewitt and enough bad date stories to pen your own self-help book – well, that’s when one-nighters can start to feel kinda empty and not so fun anymore. Experts link a recurring need for casual nooky to a fear of intimacy. You know, the kind of intimacy that comes from letting yourself fall in love and letting another person in (to both your heart and your knickers).
I reckon today’s dating world is partly to blame for enabling our intimacy terror. Online dating makes it super easy to juggle three people at once, which can keep the ever-looming loneliness at bay, sure – but it also helps you procrastinate, feeds the misguided belief that there’s probably someone better around the corner, stop us taking any real chances, and so the wheel turns. Could some of the blokes you’ve boinked been relationship material? Maybe. You’ve got to stick around to find out, though. And it takes guts to stop the cycle and vow to get to know someone, finding out if you click personality-wise rather than just horizontally.
It’s about shifting your mindset. So by all means, get their number – and give them yours. But if you want to find something meaningful, I’d hold off on inviting them into your lair until you know them better and have a hunch you’re both on the same page about what you want.
Love, reality chick
Manswers Man DrPhil says… Tricky one – changing a habit like this is hard. But once your outlook has changed, which it seems it has – I would say it really comes down to the type of person you are meeting. In order to give a sh*t about someone I think there has to be a connection with them. Are you meeting a guy of a certain type? e.g. party boy / himbo etc? That’s all very well for a one-night stand but you’ll need to go out of your way to meet someone with whom you have common ground, e.g. laugh at similar things, or have similar goals in life. To break out of the rut (no pun intended) perhaps you need to consciously go for a different type of guy? Try taking a genuine interest in what a bloke is saying (if he’s got something interesting to say!) rather than treating the conversation as a means to an end. It’s hard for me being a guy to actually say this, but you don’t have to end up in the sack on the first rendezvous – give yourself some breathing space to see if there’s anything worth pursuing!