I’m just going to say it. Relationships when you’re in your 20s are totally messed up. If you aren’t in a committed partnership, you’re probably in an utterly confused limbo. It’s that, “What are we?” state of being that seems especially unavoidable in your early- and mid-twenties. If you didn’t meet someone in class or at work, you probably met them at a bar. Because, unless your life is like a Katherine Heigl movie, nobody meets in a Starbucks line or at a gym in real life. Maybe you did meet someone (at the bar, you can admit it.. no judgement). You “hang out” a few times a week or a few times a month. But what are you?
1. You always hang out at someone’s house/apartment.
If you don’t ever leave the bedroom, you shouldn’t even be reading this because you know that it’s just sex. If you don’t go out to eat or to a movie or out for coffee, you can’t really be anything. Sure, you talk and laugh when you’re together. But when was the last time you just hung out (the kind that doesn’t require air quotes)?
2. You don’t know if you’re exclusive.
You don’t talk about it. Maybe he has other girls, but that’s okay because you have other guys. I mean, it’s not like either of you would care… Right?
3. You hide your phones from each other.
When you are together, your phones are expertly hidden in your pockets, only to be taken out when the other person goes to the bathroom or gets up for another glass of wine. There’s a difference between being considerate and being sketchy and you know that. If he tilts his phone away from you to check the screen, he’s probably got something to hide. If you’re confused, re-read point #2.
4. It’s been months and you haven’t met each other’s friends.
You’ve been seeing each other (can you call it that??) for a couple of months, and he hasn’t introduced you to a single one of his friends. In addition to that, you haven’t even thought about introducing him to your friends. They might know about him, but they only refer to him by a nickname you made up when you first met him. If this was anything other than sex, you wouldn’t be hiding each other from the important people in your life.
5. You don’t dare have a real-life conversation.
No way. Conversations are terrifying. If you’re too afraid to talk to him about your problems or if you blow him off when you’re having a bad day, it’s never going anywhere. Plus, conversations involve talking about real-life things (are his parents even alive? does he have friends? is he a hermit?). If you were on the road to a relationship, you’d be able to and want to talk to him about what’s going on in your life – the good and the bad.
6. Sleepovers are off limits.
This is possibly the most confusing aspect of being in a strictly hook-up situation. In general, sleepovers mean that he wants to spend time with you still. But if you’ve been drinking or if the weather is bad or (insert other variable here), you might end up deciding that a sleepover is the only appropriate option. If he leaves/you leave right away in the morning, though, it’s still nothing. If breakfast is involved, watch yourself but don’t get too excited because there’s a reason you decided to read this post in the first place.