Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,
How do I tell my freshman hook-up that I want to move on from being just a hook-up? I really like her and I don't know how to start that conversation post-coitus/bring it up anytime.
— Hooked on a Feeling
p.s. I bought her something at Homer's once.
The sexual and romantic jungle of Reed can sometimes be hard to navigate — are you hooking up? Exclusive? Dating? In an open relationship? In a com- mitted relationship with more than one person? In a relationship with your thesis desk, but seeing other people? Undefined? All of these options are viable, so the first thing you should decide (before you go and talk to your sweetie) is what exactly you want. “More than a hook-up” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, especially at Reed where people are a lot more open about their non-normative relationship preferences than at somewhere like, say, BYU.
You know you want something different than what you and your sweetie have now: do you have any sense of what that is? If not, think about it. If your dream is to be able to hold hands in Commons and bake pies on Tuesdays, that’s rad. If you want to hold hands and bake pies but not only with her, that’s important to know! It’ll keep you from being frustrated and unhappy down the line (and bonus: you’ll have more pie). If you like lists, maybe make a list of the things you want in your perfect relationship.
Next is the tough part: actually talking to another human being. First you’ll have to make eye contact, which is sometimes difficult for Reedies. If you’re in- timidated by this aspect of the conversation, try making eye contact with your reflection in the mirror for one-minute-long stretches at a time. You will have to maintain at least one minute of eye contact to have this conversation, so it’s important to start training now. Second, actually beginning the conversation. You can do this in many ways, but if my advice means anything (which it obvi- ously does, since you’re writing in), this is not a conversation to have post-co- itus. If everything goes well and you guys are totally on the same page about the state of your relationship, you can go have celebration sex. But if it’s a little awkward — which it almost certainly will be, because talking can be difficult — at least you’re not naked. Maybe get your sweetie a hot chocolate at Paradiso and talk to her then, or take a walk around campus. Tell her what you’re feeling and what you’d like out of a relationship with her. Then go bake a pie.
Thinking of pie, Miss Lonely Hearts