Dating an old friend
That doesn't mean all casual lovers feel emotionally bereft in the wake of a purely physical rendezvous, mind you.Many say they're getting exactly what they want and need.En español | You made the mistake of asking your adult daughter if that guy she went out with last night was "anything serious." She gave you a nonchalant shrug and smiled."Don't book the church yet, Mom — it was just a hookup!Can a casual sexual relationship exact an emotional toll?
Marilyn, a 57-year-old single colleague of mine, recently reconnected with someone she had worked with many years ago. "No," Marilyn said with a laugh, "it's better than that: I'm in like with him — and that's exactly where I want to be." She further confided that they planned to make their reunions "a regular thing — if four times a year can be called 'regular.' But I think that's about all I really want." Marilyn's casual approach to maintaining a friendship with benefits typifies the mindset of older folks who have reconciled themselves to having "great fun" even if it's "just one of those things." And episodic pleasure-seeking may be more common than you think: In The Normal Bar, a book I wrote last year with Chrisanna Northrup and James Witte, we reported that 61 percent of female survey respondents who had partners fantasized about someone they had met.What if I told the handful of guys I had a crush on in my 20s that I used to like them?Why not come clean so that I can spend my 30s knowing I've made amends for my heart?Sixty-something sexologist Joan Price, for one, endorses "gray hookups," but with a couple of strong caveats: The people involved must be emotionally capable of handling their status as noncommitted bed partners, and they must protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases.In a national study conducted in 2012, the Center for Sexual Health Promotion found sex partners over 50 twice as likely to use a condom when they regarded a sexual encounter as casual rather than as part of an ongoing relationship.Plus, I was really bored and wanted to potentially stir up some drama.Again, it was Friday night, and I was alone watching Here's what happened when I mustered up the courage to reach out to babes I used to crush on hard, but who never had any idea.He also had a reputation of being a little bit of a player who was always dating a new girl. We didn't touch, kiss, or even sit on the same side of the bed.I kept a distance from him so that he wouldn't see me as just another person who adored him. When he left that night, I realized, It was annoying when I admitted that I liked him that he said he liked me, too.(By the way, I stopped talking to each guy after I sent my crush text.It felt awkward to continue on.)Right after I graduated college, I met this guy who was the weirdest person I ever met. I admired how he said whatever he wanted, dressed a little funky, and made me laugh by saying the strangest things about common objects like faucets, street signs, or jello.