You’re not “together.” You’re not “just friends.” You’ve always seen each other as no-strings-attached sex partners – but lately you’ve had those inevitable feelings that you’d rather be no-strings-attached sex partners who sometimes share a deep-fried Sampletizer. Here’s our guide to navigating the murky waters of meaningless intimacy so that you can take things to the next level: all the way to Red Lobster Harbor.
1. Take his hints. In the afterglow of an emotionless romp in the sheets, does he stick around, dropping hints about potato skins and embarrassingly-named margaritas? Or is he immediately throwing on his clothes, mumbling how he’s “so full right now” and “why do they have to put cheese and bacon in everything”? If he’s making it clear he’s not interested, perhaps you should save your Macaroni Grill gift card for someone more deserving.
2. Know what you want. Chili’s? P.F. Chang’s? If you don’t know what you’re in the mood for, you can’t expect the guy who’s in your phone as “Dan/Dave Tinder” to take you there.
3. Be honest, clear, and direct. If you want to go to T.G.I. Friday’s, don’t just sigh dramatically and hint, “Out here… it’s Monday.” Instead, try, “I love meeting sporadically for sex, but lately I’ve been hoping we could get serious on some jalapeno poppers.” Trust us. He’ll get it.
4. Plan for the future. It’s just good sense! Applebee’s, for example, often serves large groups, and there’s nothing more frustrating after a hot, no-eye-contact hump sesh than being crowded into a loud lobby and waiting to be seated for 45 minutes under a vintage canoe. You know what you want in the long-term, so call ahead and avoid that wait.
5. Don’t expect him to change. There’s no dress code at Outback (don’t let the elegant lamps fool you!) And also don’t expect his personality to suddenly change, just because you’re in a nice place. Just because your relationship has gone from “keeping it casual” to “casual dining plus commitment-free sex” doesn’t mean you should make him your emergency contact – remember, once you leave the Olive Garden, you’re no longer family.