“You’re the devil, Genevieve,” I whispered to his crazy cat as it annoyingly gnawed at the hand that peeked out of the blanket burrito I had created to clothe myself.
And her owner was equally annoying this morning. “Guess what I’m doing in an hour?! Going into the office!” he shouted from the kitchen as he cooked and cleaned. How was he functioning?
“You’re such a psycho,” I muttered back as I pulled the blankets over my pounding head and reached for my phone to request an Uber home. Waiting for my ride, I attempted re-clipping my hair extensions. Only one had remained intact. The car arrived too soon though. I looked like a hot mess.
“Bye, love,” he said as I beelined for the door. “Bye!” was all I managed back. I didn’t want him to look at me too closely. As I safely slid into the car waiting for me downstairs, my driver couldn’t help but laugh at the state of my appearance. He assured me it wasn’t the first walk of shame he had witnessed. Oh, good. And still feeling pretty intoxicated, I decided to spill the details of the night, hoping to provide him with some morning entertainment.
To start, this wasn’t an accident; it was premeditated. My girl friend had planted the idea in my head when she recently found the perfect Hookup Buddy. After what I like to call ‘Goldilocks Syndrome’ (too big, too soft, you get the idea), she had found the one that was just right.
What makes a good hookup buddy?
You obviously want them to be attractive. When it comes to real dating, great looks don’t necessarily rank highest on the list of desired qualities; however, if you’re simply hooking up with someone then the hotter, the better.
2. Emotionally unavailable – or some other fatal flaw that makes them undateable.
Because attraction and oxytocin are involved, it’s easy to get attached. This is why it’s critical that there is a dating deal breaker, such as being douchey, slutty, “Cave Man” (guys who are intellectually lacking) and/or relationship-phobes.
Anonymity is definitely a plus. You don’t want them broadcasting the affair across town… or all over the internet. (Obviously, I suck at this one.)
After picking my brain for potential candidates, and turning down Tinder dates (the idea of being intimate with a stranger still seems weird), I remembered who it could be.
We hooked up a year ago. Just twice. I mistakenly associated that, and light hanging out, with the start of a relationship. However, after acting sad and dramatic that this wasn’t the case, followed by a Cooling Off Period, we became friends. He’s my book recommender, philosophy guru and our few recent hangouts have been purely platonic, from hiking to reading by the pool. One day, while teaching me chess, we started discussing recent dates and our shared preference to canoodle with friends. Which is why I wasn’t surprised by the text that followed later that afternoon, asking me not to take offense to the fact that he would like to hookup and watch movies sometime. The former sounded fine, and no offense was taken. I explained that, similar to chess, I could use some lessons, and I would let him know when I was ready.
Well, being the asexual, workaholic, scaredy cat I am, I wasn’t feeling it for a couple months and avoided contact. But somewhere between tales of my girl friend’s recent rendezvous with her booty call and Mr. Potential’s departure to Europe for two weeks, I reviewed the three criteria and realized I was ready:
1. Hot: Yes. His Type-A personality means a crazy clean diet and insane gym attendance, leading to a body far better than mine. It’s lovely.
2. Emotionally unavailable: Extremely. He’s a self-described nihilist who is the same person who taught me the difference between romantics and sentimentalists, as I described in the New Year’s Eve blog post where I quoted F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The idea, you know, is that the sentimental person thinks things will last–the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they don’t.” While I struggle with my sentimentalism, he’s a romantic through and through.
3. Private: He has a cat named Genevieve. Enough said.
And the Universe listened.
His first text to me upon his arrival in the U.S., included news that he had a secret to tell me that could only be delivered in person. It was bait that I was more than willing to take. And when I ran into him at a club the next night, I felt like fate was tapping me on the shoulder, telling me, “Here you go, Princess.”
Drinks led to dancing which led to catching up at the bar where he spilled his secret: He’s moving to Spain in 9 months. My drunk self was telling him in a high-pitched squeal, “Oh my gosh, that is so great!!! It’s exactly what you need. I’m so happy for you!” Meanwhile, a little voice in my head was telling myself, “Annie, there’s no time to waste. You’re getting in his cab.” So I did just that.
After a fun evening, there I was in a cab the next morning, kind of drunk and kind of dying. But this time there was no moral hangover. Just the good ‘ole alcohol-induced headache, free from anxiety over what happened the night before. Similarly, there was no text from him that day, and that was perfectly fine. I wasn’t obsessively checking my phone, and I wasn’t drowning my sorrows with the beer I later drank. I was cheersing myself.. and texting with other guys.
One of my New Year’s resolutions had been to be more romantic. Some may not think that a drunken night of friends with benefits is the definition of romance. But I’m finally starting to realize what my hookup buddy has been trying to teach me over the past year. Sometimes it’s the brevity of experiences that make them sexy. It forces you to enjoy the moment without expectations or wondering what it means for the future. And some may feel unfulfilled by a relationship with someone who doesn’t want one. But the beauty of never “having” him is that there’s nothing to lose.