How To Avoid The Hookup Buddy Trap

Have you ever found yourself trying to properly date a guy and make him your boyfriend but you ended up just being hookup buddies? It’s a total buzzkill but usually totally avoidable if you know what you’re doing (and if the guy you’re seeing isn’t a total loser). Here’s how you can avoid falling into the hookup buddy trap with the guy you like:

  1. Don’t reply to his obviously booty call texts. Just ignore them. You can talk to him in the morning about whatever’s on his mind. If he has nothing to say the next day or doesn’t seem all that interested in talking now that his chances of getting laid have passed, that pretty much tells you all you need to know about him.
  2. Ask him out on non-sexual dates. If you want to date him but are worried about being put strictly in the FB zone, start asking him out on dates that obviously won’t end in sex. Tell him that you want to get a morning coffee together or want to go for a hike — stuff that’s not going to end between the sheets. This not only keeps things out of the bedroom but gives you both a real chance to bond in a neutral setting.
  3. Be frank with him. If you’ve got crazy chemistry with him but he’s obviously just looking for a casual (albeit fun) romp in the hay, you need to be frank with him. Sit him down and tell him that you’re focusing on finding a long-term relationship and know that being friends with benefits will only get in the way of that. Then buy him a beer and either decide to be friends or cut your losses. It’ll be much easier to do it now than later.
  4. Make sure you’ve got other stuff going on. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. Make sure that you’ve got some other stuff going on that has nothing to do with him. Keep dating if that’s what you’re into, and make that you’re not free every single second on the weekends for him. It needs to be clear to both of you that you’re independent of him. That way, when you start pushing for more or pull back because you’re too involved, you’re not emotionally sunk.
  5. Make sure you’re always having fun. If your relationship with this guy isn’t any fun for you anymore, then you need to get out. It’s time to either push it further or pull back. There should never be a point when you’re compromising your own happiness for a situation you’re not happy with for the sake of keeping him in your life. If you want more than sex, either demand it or move on.
  6. Tell him what you want. If there’s genuine confusion over what you want and what he wants, then you can’t really blame him for seeing you as just a hookup buddy. The best way to avoid being a casual hook-up when you want more is to tell him what you’re after. He might not like it, and I’ll be honest — you risk sending him running for the hills. But you’ve said your piece that at least puts you on the same page, which is the most important thing.
  7. Ease him into a relationship. If you want to be officially dating but he hasn’t quite come around to that way of thinking, one way you can get around it is to just ease him into it. Slowly start doing more relationship-y things and becoming more emotionally integrated with his life. Soon enough, he’ll start to see you as the emotional anchor that you are and you can begin to shift gears from FB to GF.
  8. Please don’t go for Netflix and chill. I promise you that he’s not hanging out to watch reruns of The Office (although if he is, respect). By Netflix and chill, he really does mean have sex. If you get that text from him every Tuesday, you’re definitely headed for FB-ville. Next time he does it, suggest you go somewhere public instead. If he’s interested in you as a potential girlfriend, he’ll get the picture soon enough and shape up his behavior.
  9. Help him visualize you as his girlfriend. Part of the problem with being a hookup buddy when you want more is that you’re going to struggle to be seen as anything other than that. We men love orderly categorization, so if we’ve got you mentally in a FB box, it’s going to be hard for us to see anything else. You need to help us move you to the girlfriend box by beginning to fill those specific emotional, social, and intimate roles.
  10. Just relax. There’s no formula here. For some, a casual, friendly friends with benefits relationship will burgeon into something real. For others, it won’t. If you want more but are still testing the waters before you make your move, then just relax and roll with the punches. Your own feelings will sort themselves out soon enough – just hang on for the ride in the meantime.
Spencer is a freelance writer who loves writing articles that are fun to read and easy to understand. When he's not writing, he's usually listening to podcasts and traveling the world searching for the elusive perfect croissant.