Am I thinking too much of the contact I'm keeping with past hookups?
November 18, 2012 9:58 AM   Subscribe

All my past hook-ups (ex-bf included) are proactive in keeping in touch with me long-distance, and it makes me feel so giddy inside! BUT...should I think anymore of it, or is just it a thing people do?

Ever since a rather dramatic breakup with my boyfriend a year ago, I had surprisingly done a good job getting over it over time and generally just having fun being almost done with school and having a lot of friends in the same neighborhood. Along the way, I dated around a bit and reconnected with some past hookups that I always had an amicable relationship with. We would go out for drinks, mini-trips, dinner dates, concerts, the beach, etc.. They were great people and got me to really enjoy casual dating again. In fact, I was in such a good place in life that the ex and I even reconciled and dated for the remaining time that I was in the city!

However, after graduating 6 months ago, I moved 8,000 miles to go home (where I had been away for 8 years to study abroad) for a job that seemed like a good start for my career. So, with the most bittersweet feelings I had to part ways with everybody in town, at least for the short term, for the professional opportunities back home. While I had expected my friends to stay in touch with me, I am pleasantly surprised by the contact I have been keeping with the hookups and the ex-boyfriend! We would email/gchat/skype 1-2 times a week, where we would talk about work, family, and life in general. Occasionally, we would get into "deeper" stuff like where we think our lives might be heading, or what our goals are, and admit to miss each other...I'm even entering a professional competition with one of them who is in the same field with me!

So I guess to frame the question: The kinds of talk that I've maintaining with these guys have made me realize that they are people I truly enjoy being with, and want to keep in my life, and it also got me fantasizing about perhaps developing a real monogamous relationship with any one of them. However, although I already made plans to visit soon, I think I'm likely to stay in my home country for another 1.5-2 years before I move back for another degree/job. Additionally, I've been meeting new people here back home, and it seems silly to hold back from potential relationships just because I'm talking weekly online to people I used to see...all in all, I just think that I'm held back by the fact that I don't know where I'll be geographically for the next 3-5 years of my life, and it's really screwing with my head right now because I do feel ready to be in a committed relationship! So should I think nothing more of the correspondence I've been keeping with the guys from town (while still maintaining it), and just focus on the life I have right now? Or do you see any potential in suggesting to them that I am interested in a more serious relationship? And finally, is this kind of continuous online contact just very common among people in non-platonic relationships these days? (Thank you for your answers in advance!)
posted by 01080591 to Human Relations (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Focus on the life you have now. The impediments you see to having a long-term relationship today are ones you are making up. A relationship can run its course in that amount of time; so can two or three. Anyone sticking around after 3 years may want to move with you, and if not, you'll be at the exact same destination as if you'd seen nobody in between at all.

And to answer your original question: it's a thing people do. I only hook up with people I like. I do not stop liking them when they get in my pants. I am friends or friendly with or at least fond of everyone I ever got naked with who I can actually still name.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:20 AM on November 18, 2012 [7 favorites]

I certainly maintain this level of contact with long-distance hookups whom I respect and like. I consider them friends. If a bunch of things changed, perhaps we would date or perhaps we wouldn't. You have to do a lot of mind-reading to really figure out what these people would possibly want should the situation be different. I don't know if even they would know.

So should I think nothing more of the correspondence I've been keeping with the guys from town (while still maintaining it), and just focus on the life I have right now?

Either? It's up to you. I personally don't really feel happy in monogamous long-distance relationships so I would probably try to focus on life that is within hook-up distance, but that's just me.

If there's someone you want to be with long-distance and that kind of relationship would work for you, then I guess you could talk to them about it. Keeping in touch doesn't mean they want a relationship, though.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:22 AM on November 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

It seems to me that you're trying to keep them all on the hook and/or deriving some affirmation from this. Which is fine, I suppose, in some contexts. But they're not located where you are, so they're not actually available, and they won't be for several years. And you want a real relationship now. So, I think you're holding yourself back there.

The other thing is, let's say you move back in two years. They easily could be in another relationship by then. You could be in a relationship with someone else, or get in a relationship with one of them to the exclusion of others. There's a high potential for hurt feelings, I think, if feelings are actually involved (and if they're not, why are you doing this if you want a committed relationship?).
posted by J. Wilson at 10:23 AM on November 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

While I had expected my friends to stay in touch with me, I am pleasantly surprised by the contact I have been keeping with the hookups and the ex-boyfriend!

It sounds like you put people in two, non-overlapping categories: people you've slept with, and friends. It's totally possible, and quite normal for lots of people, to be Just Friends with people you used to have sex with. Maybe not all of them, and maybe not right away after the sex-having part of the relationship has ended, but it's not weird.

So maybe many of them think of you now as just a friend. They liked you enough to hook up, and presumably many of those qualities are things they value in friends, too.

Tl;dr: live your life where you are now, stay in touch with old friends wherever they are.
posted by rtha at 10:38 AM on November 18, 2012 [5 favorites]

There's a reason they're called friends with benefits.
posted by buteo at 5:38 PM on November 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have several ex-girlfriends I'm close with, and several previous "hookups" as well.

You're not weird or alone, and there's nothing wrong with you. Au contraire: there's something wrong with someone who can do nothing but loathe all the people they once considered lovers.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:10 AM on November 19, 2012

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