So maybe you and your crush have flirted a bit, maybe you've slept with them once or twice. Or you've met someone off Tinder or Bumble, you've been on a few dates, and you're really feeling them. But there's a catch: You get the sense that they're more into the idea of being f*ck buddies, than, say, committed romantic partners who hold hands, go on brunch dates, and post cute bae-cation pics on IG. It can be extremely frustrating when you like someone who only wants to hook up. On one hand, you might feel like, "Yes, it's nice to be physically desired!" On the other hand, you're like, "OK, but what about the rest of me, outside of all the spicy stuff?"
Apart from wanting more because you genuinely like your crush, you could also be in place where you're ready for a committed romantic relationship and are done with casual dating. If you're over waking up to take an Uber instead of to eat breakfast in bed, that's super valid. So is your pang of wistfulness when your crush talks about all the other people they're seeing who aren't you.
Irene Fehr, a sex and intimacy coach, says that this scenario is both common and volatile. "Left unaddressed or not spoken about, this disparity can create misunderstandings and hurt feelings," Fehr explains. "Which is why addressing it early on is important."
Fehr's advice? "Take the guesswork out of the equation." Go into your date or adult sleepover with a few key questions in mind. It can be a serious sit-down conversation or a light one. Fehr lays it out like this: "You can ask them what sex means to them. If you stayed together for a year, where would they see themselves with you? What kind of relationship are they seeking and are open to now, in a year, in 10 years?"
It's important to make the distinction between what your crush wants and what they're actually available for. Your potential bae could be on the fence, especially because they like you back — but they might not actually be in any shape to pursue a romantic relationship. "Many people say they want a relationship, but at the same time, they're not actually available to invest in a relationship emotionally or with their time," Fehr explains.
There are loads of reasons why someone would be more suited to hookups over relationships. Your crush could possibly be starting a new job or school again — both require a lot of time, attention, and energy. Perhaps they just finished up a serious, years-long relationship. They might need time to work on their mental health. They could be moving! It could be anything, but you won't know until you ask.
Even if you've been in a situationship with someone for months, know it's never too late to figure things out. "Broach the conversation to understand where your partner is with curiosity, asking the same questions you would early on," Fehr advises. "And listen intently. It's easy to hear only the answers we want to hear because they'd confirm our own desires for a deeper relationship."
That's why it's important to be direct about what you want with them, too.
“There are three dating purposes: Fun, self-exploration, and relationship,” relationship coach Laurel House told Elite Daily. "Oftentimes, new daters date in the style of fun for fear of appearing too serious, scaring someone away, or coming across as needy." So with your current crush and all future folks you set serious sights on: Be upfront about exactly why you're going on dates. That tends to weed out people whose dating purpose don't match up to yours. You can even put it in your dating app bio, for an extra layer of vetting.
Don't be worried about scaring potential catches away or coming across as needy. Brutal honesty now (and later!) will save you so much confusion and anxiety.
"Most relationships where people are not on the same page in this way end up being volatile and emotionally draining," Fehr explains. Not only is it draining because you want more and you're not getting what you need — but the other person can often sense that and often pulls away because of that.
At the end of the day, see your upcoming conversation with your crush as a way to clear the air. Even if your relationship doesn't work out and there's only a slim chance of that in the future, the convo still would have been for the best. You want to be in a relationship where you and bae are equally interested in being together, and can both give your best to the joy of being together.