How To Tell Someone You’re Only Interested In Hooking Up

People tend to think that wanting to hook up and nothing more means being dishonest, sneaky, and manipulative. You’re not going to want something serious with everyone you meet and that’s okay. Being interested in only casual sex is valid, but you need to be honest and upfront about it so they know what they’re signing up for and can manage their expectations accordingly. However, it’s still a sensitive topic, so how do you go about communicating what you want from the relationship?

Be clear about your intentions. In situations like this, honesty truly is the best policy. If you’re prepared to only have a relationship that involves sex and nothing more with them, just come right out and say it. Leave no room for them to assume your intentions because that’s how people end up getting hurt. Just tell them that you think they’re amazing and you want to keep seeing them, but you’re not looking for something serious right now. Your directness will be appreciated.

Don’t make them feel they’re to blame. It’s okay that you’re not interested in a relationship. You can just say that without making the person feel like a “with you” is implied. It’s not their fault that you’re where you are right now, so just focus on expressing your own desires rather than making them seem inadequate. Be mindful of the words you use. As long as you don’t hang the blame for your feelings on them, you’re more likely to avoid upsetting them.

Avoid leading them on. To make it clear that you’re only interested in hooking up, try to avoid behaving like you would in a relationship. You can treat them cordially and respectfully like you would a friend, but put a lid on all the lovey-dovey, moon-eyed stuff. You can be affectionate and considerate of their feelings without doing super romantic stuff. Don’t make promises or suggestions you have no intention of keeping or you could end up giving them the wrong idea.

Treat them with compassion and respect. Not wanting a serious relationship doesn’t reduce the humanity of the other person. You still need to be kind and respectful to them. The truth is there’s a chance that you might upset them by admitting you only want casual sex. But the chances of that will get lower when they see that you don’t see them as a sex object. That you genuinely respect and admire them, you just don’t want a deeper level of commitment.

Tell them what your boundaries are. One of the ways to ensure that your partner is on the same page as you about hooking up is to lay down some boundaries and respectfully stick to them. Don’t say you want to “see where things go” or “take it slow”. That will only make them think that your encounter might someday become something more. Unless you’ll be fine with that outcome, don’t sell that dream. If you feel them doing or saying things that could blur the lines of the hookup, take a step back and remind them that you’re not looking for a relationship.

Pick a right time and place. Don’t wait until you’ve shared months of hooking up, going on dates, and doing couple-like activities to tell them that you only want to fool around. You probably also shouldn’t scream in their ears that you’re not interested in a hookup right after introducing yourself, nor should you announce it in the Uber on the way to their place to get freaky. But the first neutral opportunity you get is a good time to let them know your intentions. Just make sure you talk about it before you start seeing each other or interacting regularly.

Ask them what they’re looking for. You can also start by figuring out their intentions for the encounter. Say something along the lines of “I think you’re amazing and I’m having a lot of fun with you, and I’m just wondering what you might want out of this.” Tell them that they don’t need to answer right away, but that you’d like to discuss it before things go too far. If you can, try to have this conversation over text, rather than in person so they don’t feel pressure to respond one way or another. And they can really think about their answer before they respond.

Let them know it’s about you, not them. Whatever your reason for not wanting a relationship, it has nothing to do with them. It’s important to make that clear. This is about your choices and your desires. It’s better for them to hear that you don’t want a relationship at all, than that you don’t want a relationship with them specifically. Don’t make it personal and try to use humor to ease the conversation.

Be forthright about safety. Once you confirm that they’re on the same page about the hook up, it’s time to bring up the topic of safe sex. Ask them what they like or dislike in their sexual encounters. Find out how often they get tested for STDs and whether they’re being safe with their other partners. Talking about practicing safe sex can also help drive home the message that you’re not interested in a monogamous setup.

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