Monday, November 2, 2009

Not Looking for a Boyfriend? Think Again

“I’m not looking for a boyfriend.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that sentence. At work, on the metro, in the bars. But the women who say it aren’t seeking sexual liberation. They’re not trying to eliminate distraction while they focus on their jobs, careers, or education. They’re not even girls who’ve tried dating and realized that it’s not for them. No, here’s the monologue they always give in defense of the single life:

“So, I’ve been hooking up with this guy, you know? And not, like, every night, but, like, every night he’s drunk, for sure. And not because he, like, doesn’t like me or anything, it’s because he’s too nervous to make a move when he’s sober. He told me that once when he blackout. It was really cute actually. Anyway, so, like, I texted him last night, and he wasn’t responding. Like, I sent him, like, three texts. And, like, I know he always goes to McFadden’s on Friday nights with his kickball team. So I decide to just show up. And I get there, and he’s making out with this blonde chick! Like, I assumed we were exclusive after that one night he called me to come pick him when he was puking on U Street. So, whatever, I’ve just realized that… I’m not looking for a boyfriend.”

Really? That’s the conclusion you’re drawing from this situation? Let’s leave that for now and talk about what this denunciation really means.

These girls aren’t swearing off men all together. Instead, they want to “keep things casual.” That means they want to continue to hook up with guys, but they’re not going to expect or pursue a relationship. So they’ll still send the 3 a.m. booty call text. They’ll kick him out right after climax. They’ll send even more shameless (and desperate) e-mails and texts because, “I don’t wanna date him, so I don’t care what he thinks.” And then when they see him sucking face with that blonde, well, who cares?

Except that they always do care. And why shouldn’t they? These girls are, essentially, being rejected, because their FWBs could be making out with them right now, but are choosing to swap spit with someone else instead. The guy wants to kiss the blonde, and, sadly, he doesn’t want to kiss you.

And that can make you think, “Well, what was I to him?” To answer that, let’s think about what he was to you. He got to have sex with you, if not every time he wanted it, at least 50 percent of the time. He maybe got to take you to a few office happy hours and birthday parties when showing up without a date meant showing up and spending the whole night being introduced to 40-something singles. But he never had to take you out to dinner. He never had to call and check in with you. He never had to do anything that required going out of his way at all. Maybe he never even had to make the trek over to your place to get a blowjob.

Most guys know what they want when it comes to girls, especially the fratty bros who seem to immigrate to DC each spring right after graduation. Above all, they want sex. A relationship’s fine, as long as it doesn’t require too much work, but they almost always require more work than not being in a relationship, and when they can get sex without having to buy flowers, well, why not save $12.99?

Girls don’t tend to think the same way. For them, sex is like a belt on an outfit: a relationship’s no good without it, but other things are more important. They want someone who will come to the happy hours, meet their friends, and change their flat tires. But they’ll settle for just sex because it’s better than nothing.

More simply put: even if a girl says she’s not looking for a boyfriend, if the man of her dreams showed up on her doorstep one morning and got down on one knee like the guy in the Taylor Swift song, she wouldn’t say, “Um, actually, I’m not looking for that right now.”

And so a hook-up buddy basically turns into a boyfriend who’s allowed to treat you like crap and still get the thing that’s most important to him.

When a girl says, “I’m not looking for a boyfriend,” usually what she really means is, “I’m not looking to get hurt again.” But when a guy figures out he can blow you off and you’ll still blow him, what’s the incentive not to hurt you?

This doesn’t mean you should tell guys that you’re looking for a relationship (in fact, never, ever do that), but it does mean that you shouldn’t let things get to that point.

This brings us back to the initial misread of the situation. Instead of blaming the blonde on relationships, blame it on the lack of a relationship.

And, above all, stop telling yourself that you’re not looking for a boyfriend.


  1. aaahhhh second paragraph: I lol'ed

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  3. "I'm not looking for a boyfriend" to me sounds more like either a variation of "we're too good of friends," or a cheap line to turn down a guy who, wanting to be our boyfriend, has proposed the notion, but to us is barely good enough to hook up with, let alone being good enough to be considered our main squeeze.

  4. Good point Ana. There are times when girls use "I'm not looking for a boyfriend" to let a guy down easy, but I'm talking about the girls who use it as a defense mechanism, who constantly tell themselves (and all their friends) that they're not looking for a boyfriend, and use this as an excuse to act in ways that make it easy for them to get hurt.