Recently, I heard “If I’m Not Your Lover” by Al B. Sure!. Listening to it now, the lyrics resonate more then back when I first heard it in the late 80s:
If I’m not your lover
If I’m not your friend
Tell me, baby
Just tell me what I am
The song reflects the role confusion of what many dating singles go through. Since there are many more types of relationships than before, figuring out where one stands is more challenging. Recognizing the terms of a relationship can help keep expectations realistic and in turn keeps you in control. Below are my definitions of some relationship patterns. By no means are these descriptions definitive.
Calls and texts are confined to a 24-hour time limit. After sex, cell phone connectivity seems to peter out.
Situational factors such as weddings, recent breakups, traveling, and out of town visitors have a profound influence on initiating a one-night stand. The relationship is brief and intense. Attention is focus on the moment.
As the name designates this is a one-time thing. Therefore, having sex again after the 24-hour period would change the relationship into a different type. Common feelings associated with a one-night stand are “Wanting to get it out of my system”, “I was so trashed”, “Why not”, “It was just on”, and “Everything just fell into place”.
Text messaging is the preferred mode of communication because of its conciseness. Calls or texts are often initiated around a bar’s last call. Chitchatting is avoided and instead there is a quick exchange of necessary details like:
– Can you meet up later?
– Whose place?
Time spent predominantly engaging in or preparing for sex. There is no dating or hanging out. Rarely do you see booty calls spending time in public together. After sex, spending the night is not obligatory and often discouraged.
You’re on the same sexual page. There is an understanding that each person is in the relationship for just sex. Booty calls are not interested in a romantic relationship with each other. Therefore, dating other people is acceptable and each other’s dating life is usually kept private. To keep the relationship on a sex-only level, getting to know one another on an emotional level is avoided. Depending on the terms of the relationship, if one partner has sex with someone else, then terms of the relationship may need to be renegotiated.
Calls or texts are initiated to see what is happening that night or around town. Calls are usually focused around the social scene and whether paths will cross during the night.
Fuck buddies are able to be with each other in public. They often bump into each other at the same parties, bars, and clubs. Fuck buddies will seldom make plans with each other. Meetings are usually more spur of the moment or if there is nothing better happening. Fuck buddies can meet at the venue where the other fuck buddy is at and then go home with each other, whereas, booty calls will usually just meet where they will have sex.
Fuck buddies are social play friends. The relationship is built on fun, casualness, and sex. They may be actively dating other people and are not interested in dating the other fuck buddy. Fuck buddies will usually only hang out if sex will ensue afterwards. Depending on the relationship, sex could be exclusively with each other or open to other people. This type of relationship ends if one of the members starts to seriously romantically date another person. However, if that partner returns to single status, the fuck buddy relationship can be reestablished.
Friend with Benefits
Will call to just talk or make plans to hang out.
For the most part, these two people are friends. The big difference between their other friendships is sex. Friends with benefits have the ability to go out on date-like activities, which is useful for formal parties and weddings. However, real dates are not initiated because there is no romantic interest between the partners. The intention of hanging out is because they enjoy similar activities and each other’s company. Sex is an optional part of the relationship. If one partner has sex outside of the relationship, it does not end their friendship. Instead, the sex element is taken out of the relationship and they continue to be friends. Sex can also come back into the friendship when both parties are ready for it.
This relationship is primarily about friendship. Friends with benefits care about the other; however, they are not interested in romantically dating each other. They are able to have sex with each other without it being awkward because they either have a good foundation for their relationship and/or communicate really well with each other. Since friendship is more valued than sex, sex is often sacrificed for the sake of the friendship. Friends with benefits are also able to talk about each other’s dating lives.
Calls and texts include all of the above calling patterns. In this relationship type, calling frequency also facilitates maintenance of the relationship. Content of conversations spans a much larger topic area.
Both parties are comfortable openly expressing their affection towards one another. Each person publicly acknowledges this type of relationship to others. Dating and sex are mutually exclusive.
There is a high level of exclusivity that does not exist in the other relationships. Both people agreement that they are a “couple”. There is a mutual understanding that this title involves social prioritizing and commitment. The couple will agree with the unique rules that determine their relationship.
These are only a few basic relationship types. Many of these types have different names associated with them. However, the name or the description is not of highest priority. The important point of defining your role in a relationship is to be able to get your needs and wants met. By communicating with your partner, one is able to better function within the relationship. Games, manipulation, unrealistic expectations, and jealousy can be somewhat avoided if each person is clear with what they’re looking for. Then more energy can be spent in getting the most out of the relationship.