Posted February 24, 2016 by Cooper Point Journal in Letters & Opinion

Body Party

Advice on Sex, Relationships and More

Dear Body Party,

Help, I’m cold and I want to make out. I have a crush on this person, which is great, and I think they may like me back, which is also great—but the problem is, they’re not the only person I like, they’re just the person I like who I think is the most likely to want to kiss me back. Is it bad to go out with them—despite the fact that they are number three or so on my list—just because I think I may have a slight opening? I’m not really looking for something serious, but I want something—is it rude or mean or unfair to drag them into this? Is it worth my time?

It’s mid February, we’re just coming off of Valentine’s Day, it’s 40 or so degrees outside—we all want something or someone to help us ward off seasonal affective disorder. You’re not the only one, and you certainly aren’t ‘bad’ or ‘mean’ for wanting to date someone despite maybe being more invested in someone prettier, more interesting, or less self obsessed. Many an Olympia couple, I’m sure, has rode of into the sunset simply because this town is small enough to make dating around exhausting—I recommend you make like a small town prom queen and settle.

There is nothing wrong with wanting something in particular from a relationship, even if it’s not what a couple decades of rom coms have told you you are supposed to want. I promise you, in the big bad real world, nobody will really fault you for dating someone you only sort of like just because they’re respectful, like the same shitty music you do, or enjoy your company.

Relationships, after all, are not built on mutual likes but on mutual agreement. As the laws of social exchange theory dictates, everybody wants something out of their particular relationships; security, affection, sex, a Hulu subscription. Arguably there is no wrong kind of want. Even in a perfect idyllic situation, where affection is easy to quantify and the two of you like each other an equal amount, there is no way to say that you lie each other for the same reasons.

Rarely do any two, or three, or five, or eight people all want the same things, and yet we hang out and fuck anyways. Sometimes the differences are big—one of you may be enamoured and the other may be just looking to bang, and sometimes, like in your case, you may both like each other, but one of you is a little more distracted by their other options. The key to healthy, happy, unbalanced relationships is not the unobtainable balance prescribed by many a sitcom couple but honesty, with yourself and your partner(s).

Here kids, is what separates the sophomores from the seniors: a willingness to be clear about what they want. Relationships are not card games—although keeping your hand hidden may give you the illusion of control, the pursuit of control or ‘winning’ in a relationship is a toxic force sure to poison and hope of peace or sanctity. Honesty isn’t just beneficial to the sanity of your other half, or helpful at keeping the mass of anxiety that lives in your stomach at bay, it (according to many studies, my old therapist, and my mother—a chronic monogamist) is the key to relationship longevity, feelings of fulfillment, and good sex.

It may be that mystery is romantic but honesty is sexy. Your situation may be particular in what you need to be clear or honest about, but the truth is universal—if you want someone to make you happy, you need to tell them how, whether you’re making out under a street lamp or under the covers. You seem to know what you want, so go get it!

Stay Safe & Have Fun,