Always The Hookup, Never The Girlfriend: How To Change Your Game In Love

After years of one-night stands, doing the friends with benefits things, and being the perpetual hookup, sometimes a woman wants something a little bit more substantial. This isn’t to say that NSA sex isn’t substantial in its own way, but it is to say that maybe she wants something that lasts more than a few hours.

It’s easy enough to find guys to have a no strings attached relationship with if that’s what you’re after, but long-term relationships are harder to pin down. If you find that you’re always the hookup and never the girlfriend (and you actually want to be the girlfriend!), then you need to make some changes to the way you approach sex, love, and relationships. Here’s how you’re going to do that.

  1. Stop making it so much about sex. While sex is awesome, actually beyond awesome, especially with the right partner, by showing the people you’re in interested in that there’s more to you than your libido you’ll start moving things in another direction. Besides, your brain is just as sexy as any part of your body anyway.
  2. Ignore drunk texts. If you get a drunk text from your hookup, it is paramount that you ignore it. Even if you’re aching to get laid, just don’t do it. Show some restraint, as difficult as it might seem, so you can make that person really get the memo that there’s more to you than sex.
  3. Don’t send drunk texts. Easier said than done, yes, but if you can get out of the habit of drunk texting (implore your friends, if you need to), then you can also get out of the habit of being the perpetual hookup.
  4. Go out on actual dates. It might seem weird at first to transition from bedroom romps to events that involve other places in the world, but that’s how relationships start. Go to dinner together, have lunch in the park, or see an outdoor movie – anywhere you can go where you can’t get entangled in each other’s limbs.
  5. Have meaningful conversations. When we’re forced to see the other sides of people, then we’re able to see them in their entirety. You’ll realize he’s more than a penis once you hear about his relationship with my his parents, where he grew up, and all about his first dog, Spike, who was the love of his life.
  6. Be vocal about what you want. No woman ever got anywhere without vocalizing what she wanted. People aren’t psychic, so if you want to evolve into something more than just a hookup, you need to use your words and say so. When you meet someone awesome, be upfront that you’re done with being just casual and are looking for something more.
  7. Create a challenge. Quit being too available! Have a life aside from the person you’re interested in and don’t be afraid to occasionally not respond to a text right away. People love what they can’t have and in creating a challenge, you’re making yourself even more irresistible.
  8. Pace yourself. Although society has instilled in us that having sex on the third date is the way to do things (society, man), do things on your own time. If you’re not ready to have sex until date 10, then do that. If you’re ready to have sex on the first date, then go for it. But no matter what you choose, adhere to your own inner clock as to what feels right and won’t jeopardize your chances at making what you have legit.
  9. Put your foot down. If you keep finding yourself with people who don’t want anything but a hookup, then, “Bye, Felicia.” You need to stand up for what you want and not float along hoping things will change on their own.
  10. Don’t compromise. Once you put your mind to something and the necessary changes it takes to accomplish it, don’t settle for anything less than your goal.
  11. If he’s not into you, move on. If you stumble upon someone who’s not down with your game plan to move from hookup material to girlfriend material, then bail. You don’t have time to waste on people who are only lukewarm to the idea of being with you for real, especially since you know anyone who’s lucky enough to call you their girlfriend has pretty much hit the jackpot.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.