You’ve Fallen For Your Hook-Up — Now What?

What’s better than no strings attached love making — especially when it’s mind-blowing and available whenever you want it? You’ve got the perfect set-up. A hot hook-up who doesn’t want anything more than you in all your naked glory for a few hours at a time, but damn if your heart isn’t trying to ruin everything. Here’s how to tell that you’ve fallen for your hook-up and what to do about it.

Signs you’ve fallen for your hook-up (or are about to)

  1. You linger for longer after the deed is done. When you’re in a friends with benefits situation, the general understanding is that while things are chill between you when you’re not in bed, you don’t hang around cuddling and whispering sweet nothings to each other after they’re done having sex. If you find yourself wishing you could stay in bed just a little longer with them, you’ve fallen for your hook-up.
  2. You’re texting him more between get-togethers. You’re not in a relationship, you’re having casual sex. That means other than texting to make plans to get it on again, you shouldn’t really be chatting all that much. You know you’ve fallen for your hook-up when you’re constantly fighting the urge to text him randomly to tell him something funny that happened to you, to ask his opinion on something, or generally just to shoot the s–t.
  3. You’ve become closed off to dating other guys. When you first started sleeping with this guy, you were still pretty active on dating apps and might have even been chatting casually to a few different guys. That’s to be expected given that a no-strings-attached arrangement means you’ve both single and free to mingle. However, if you’ve basically abandoned dating other people and aren’t even interested in anyone but your hook-up, you’ve obviously fallen for him.
  4. You want him to be your plus-one to work parties, family events, etc. The first rule of a friend with benefits is that they’ll never be your stand-in boyfriend/girlfriend. That means they’re under no obligation to be your plus-one to events to make you feel less awkwardly single or to help you avoid questioning from your parents or nosy aunt. You’ve definitely fallen for your hook-up if you find yourself wanting him by your side at these events.
  5. You get jealous whenever he mentions other women. Your hook-up isn’t doing anything wrong by dating other women. In fact, that’s kind of the whole point of a casual relationship. He certainly doesn’t owe you fidelity, so you have no right to get up in arms when he talks about other women he may or may not be dating. If you’re jealous of your hook-up’s hook-up, you’ve fallen for him and need to get a grip.
  6. It upsets you when he has to cancel your nights together. Sometimes things come up and no matter how much he likes having sex with you, sometimes he just won’t be able to make it. It’s cool to be disappointed, especially if you were feeling really horny, but it’s nothing your vibrator can’t take care of. Getting legitimately upset to the point that you feel like crying about it or it ruins your whole night, on the other hand, is a problem.
  7. You get annoyed when he takes forever to text you back. You can pretty much guarantee that you’ve fallen for your hook-up when you expect him to be at your beck and call and answer your texts in a timely manner. While it’s rude to ignore anyone, romantic connection or otherwise, for hours or days on end, getting mad because he doesn’t jump to your messages within minutes shows that you’re obviously not quite as cool and collected as you pretend to be.
  8. You feel a little sick when you think about things ending. The thing with having a friend with benefits is that eventually, the situation will come to a natural close. One of you will get into a real relationship or will meet someone you actually like and can see yourself dating long-term and you’ll have to part. That, or maybe things will just naturally come to a conclusion after you’ve sorta worn out all the fun of the situation. You should be okay with knowing that day will eventually come. If you’re finding it hard to adjust or accept, you’ve fallen for your hook-up. Ouch!

What to do when you’ve fallen for your hook-up

  1. Ask yourself if it’s just about sex. Do you actually have a thing for him or have you just fallen for how well he treats you in bed? It’s more common than you might think. It could just be that you’re feeling lonely and having sex with him makes you feel beautiful and loved. Make sure you actually care about him and not just his body.
  2. Does he seem to have feelings for you? This is a hard one, but you should be able to notice subtle changes in how he acts. Maybe he holds you longer afterward or you end up talking about each other’s day. The “relationship” might seem more like a friendship than a casual hookup situation. The more involved he seems to be with you, the more likely he is to have feelings for you.
  3. Mention wanting to date someone else. It’s completely normal to talk about wanting to date someone. You’ve got a great thing going, so you want him to still be available if things don’t work out with someone else. See how he reacts. Is he jealous? Does he try to talk you out of it? Is he supportive, but acts kind of strange? Just because you’ve fallen for your hook-up doesn’t mean he’s ready to stop playing the field.
  4. Give the “relationship” some space. The more often you hook up with the same person, the better chance you have of falling for them. See how deep your feelings are by giving yourself some space from him. Do you miss him? Does he miss you? If you move on easily, the feelings weren’t real to begin with. If you can’t stop thinking about him, it’s time to have a talk.
  5. Ask him how he feels. Save this conversation for when you both have your clothes on. You need him focused on something other than your body. Tell him you’ve developed feelings for him and ask him how he feels. It might seem like the most awkward conversation of your life, but it has to be done. It’s the easiest way to make him see you’d rather be his girlfriend than his hook-up after you’ve fallen for him.
  6. Don’t keep it to yourself. If you don’t feel up to talking to him just yet, that’s OK. Just don’t keep the fact that you’ve fallen for your hook-up it to yourself or it’ll eat you alive. Talk to a friend about what’s going on. They’ll be your support as you figure out how to tell your hook-up that you’ve fallen for him and they’ll be there for you if things don’t turn out so well.
  7. Attempt a real date. Ask him out on a date. What guy doesn’t like to eat? Hell, you don’t even have to tell him it’s a date. Ask him if he’d like to meet you for dinner before hooking up. It’s a good way to let him see you in a different light and gives you a chance to build a real relationship.
  8. Don’t expect him to feel the same way. Rejection blows, but it’s a part of life. Cliche, I know, but it’s true. I don’t care how much you’ve envisioned him professing his love to you randomly, it’s possible that he might not feel the same way. Be realistic. Prepare yourself for the fact that he might never want more.
  9. Move on if he’s not into you. Don’t torture yourself. There are plenty of other guys out there. Hooking up with a guy who you’ve got a thing for is just going to make you miserable. All he’ll do is hold you back. You deserve better.
  10. End the “relationship” if he’s not sure yet. While it’s not technically a relationship, it’s still a vague form of one. It takes time, commitment, and energy. Why waste your time on someone who’s not sure how they feel about you? He either wants more or he doesn’t. If he gives you a no or maybe, end things then and there.
Crystal Crowder is a freelance writer and blogger. She's a tech geek at heart, but loves telling it like it is when it comes to love, beauty and style. She's enjoys writing music, poetry and fiction and curling up with a great book. You can find her on Twitter @ccrowderwrites or check out her other writing on Medium.