Sleeping Together But Not Dating: A Really Good Idea or a Bad One?

Have you ever been in the situation where you’re sleeping together but not dating? Did it end well or did you end up heartbroken? It’s a tricky situation. 

Sleeping Together But Not Dating

These days, we have far more options when it comes to dating. If we want to date, go for it, if we don’t, so what? But, what if you have needs? This is where the grey area of sleeping together but not dating comes into play.

If you’ve ever had a friend with benefits, or perhaps a hook up buddy, you will have either embraced the situation for everything it was, or you might have walked away from it a little emotionally bruised. The reason? Sleeping together but not dating is dangerous. Emotions usually get involved on one side. And, if the feeling isn’t mutual, the friendship can be damaged.

Of course, it’s not always like this. There are some men and women out there who are perfectly happy to enjoy the benefits of a hook up, with no feelings involved. If that’s you, we salute you. [Read: 16 hush-hush signs your friend wants to sleep with you]

An ‘arrangement’ such as this, e.g. when you’re sleeping together but not dating, usually comes around for one of two reasons:

1. Firstly, you simply want to enjoy the fun of sex without having to deal with a commitment. You’re not in a place in your life where you want a relationship.

2. Secondly, one of you has secret feelings for the other, and having this sex without strings idea seemed like a good one at the time.

One option is a good one, the other is not. [Read: Sleeping with a friend – A no-regrets guide to being perfect sex buddies]

What exactly does sleeping together but not dating mean?

It really does what it says on the tin – you’re having sex on a regular basis but you’re not dating. You’re not committed to one another, you’re not in a relationship, and you’re not dependent upon each other for anything. It could also be that one or both of you is seeing someone else. This type of relationship doesn’t have to be exclusive, but it depends on the people involved.

For many, this type of arrangement isn’t a good idea. Why? Because feelings often become involved. Whenever sex enters the equation, emotions aren’t far behind.However many other people find confidence and happiness from this type of set-up, provided their feelings remain unattached. That is the crux of the matter. [Read: 15 signs you’re more than just friends with benefits and starting to get attached]

Not everyone wants to be in a relationship right at that moment. Hell, not everyone wants to be in a relationship ever. We’re all different, and we all have different preferences. Gone are the days when it was socially expected that you had to find a suitable partner, get married, have children, and live with a white picket fence.

We don’t have to have that now if we don’t want to. Instead, we can focus on our careers, our hobbies, travel, and if we want to find love we can. If not, no problem.

That doesn’t mean that people don’t have sexual needs however. We are all human at the end of the day. A good way to have those needs satisfied is to be with one person who you trust. So, you can see that sleeping together but not dating with one specific person is actually a far safer option than heading out on a Friday night and meeting a random person for the same purpose.

Of course, there is always the risk of feelings becoming involved. [Read: The NSA relationship guide and 15 must-follow rules if it has to be a success]

The importance of honesty from the start

There is only one way to ensure that sleeping together but not dating doesn’t end in tears. Honest and open communication from the very beginning.

When you decide you’re going to have a relationship based on hook ups alone, you need to be clear about what you both want. Do you want a relationship in the future? Do you just want no-strings fun? Be very honest and clear. Do not say what you think the other person wants to hear just because you want a little fun!

By keeping that communication going throughout the time you’re together, you’ll be sure to avoid any pitfalls and always make sure that nobody ends up getting hurt emotionally. If you start to develop feelings, talk about it, and if you know there is no hope for anything more, make a mature, grown up decision to walk away. Don’t stick with it. If you do, you’re going to be devastated when you see them with someone else – because let’s face it, they’re still single, as are you. [Read: Do guys get attached to their friends with benefits partner? How to know for sure]

Sleeping together but not dating does not imply that you are together in any way, shape, or form. You are sharing a bed, or whatever else you use to do whatever you do. You’re not sharing your lives, you’re not sharing your secrets, and you’re not going to be together forever, unless you both make an honest and open decision to do so. If you respect someone else to sleep with them, respect them enough to be honest about your own feelings.

The rise of the hook up arrangement

Of course, if you’re sleeping together but not dating someone, you’re certainly not alone in this type of arrangement. We’re steering clear of using the word ‘relationship’ because we don’t want to confuse matters or bring any ambiguity into proceedings. In some ways, this is a relationship of sorts, but not the type you automatically think about when you hear the word. You’re in a sexual relationship, not an emotional one. [Read: Can you have meaningless sex? 12 signs to know if you can handle this]

Despite that, this is a type of situation which many people enjoy nowadays, usually on a temporary basis. The reason it is temporary could be because one partner meets someone they click with on an emotional basis and they choose not to sleep with the other one anymore. It could also be that it just doesn’t bring them joy anymore. Our feelings change on a regular basis and sex is so powerful that it’s impossible for things to remain the same over the long-term.

Our busy lives have led this type of arrangement to be more common than it ever used to be. It used to be frowned upon in a lot of ways, but not anymore. That’s a good thing, because if two parties are consensual and want to enjoy each other’s company in a simply sexual way, so what? It’s nobody else’s business but theirs. What there needs to be however, is dialogue. [Read: How to end a friends with benefits situation and remain friends]

How does this type of arrangement begin?

It’s often the case that it just happens, and then it happens again, and it keeps happening, and before you know it, you’re Netflix and chilling most weekends. You know you’re not together in the traditional sense, but you’re not sure what you are.

This is where the problems start. Always be honest and talk about it, that’s our advice. If you’re mature enough to have sex, you’re mature enough to talk about it, as your mother probably told you! [Read: How to start a friends with benefits relationship the right way]

We’re by no means telling you to avoid these types of hooks ups and we’re not telling you to do it either. We just want you to know what you’re getting yourself into. Don’t stick with some unknown situation if you’re confused by it. The chances are the confusion will just continue. Say the words ‘what are we doing here? What is this exactly?’, and a conversation can start. From there, you can draw lines that are suitable to you both.

Signs your hook up is heading for heartbreak

It’s important to keep an eye on your emotions and the situation around you. If you just carry on blindly, you could end up in a situation that pushes you towards certain heartbreak. It’s a good idea to be aware of the signs that it’s about to go spectacularly wrong beforehand, so you can abort mission and get out of there pronto. [Read: Infatuation symptoms you can’t miss: 15 Signs you’re sick in love]

1. You start to get butterflies whenever you’re due to see them

And no, we don’t mean the sexy kind. If you start to look forward to meeting up with your hook up and it’s not about the sex, that’s red flag. It means you’re starting to develop feelings and if they don’t feel the same, that could spell disaster.

2. The green eyed monster comes out to play

If you start to feel jealous of the people your hook up is spending time with, ask yourself why. You’re not committed to this person and vice versa. Most arrangements such as this aren’t exclusive. [Read: How to deal with jealousy in a relationship & learn to overcome it]

3. You’re waiting for them to want more

Be honest. Do you really want more with this person and you’re sticking with a sleeping together only situation for the time being? Are you hoping that they’ll change their mind? You’ve caught feelings badly and you’re sticking with a situation that’s going to cause you heartbreak. Talk about it or move on.

4. You’re exclusive with them, but they’re not with you

If you’re not sleeping with anyone else because you’re sleeping with them, but they are, what does that tell you? If you’re going to be exclusive, you both need to be. The fact that you’re only with them but they’re with more than you shows that you’re trying to push the situation-ship towards something more. [Read: What does exclusive mean? 20 Ways to know if you’re ready]

5. You’re starting to become needy

If your clingy side is starting to emerge that means that your feelings are involved. Sleeping together but not dating only works well when you’re totally detached emotionally. When you become needy or clingy, you’re trying to get their attention in a different way. That is not going to end well in this type of situation.

6. Your friends are worried about you

Have your friends expressed a worry about the type of arrangement you’re in and how it’s affecting you? That’s not something to ignore. They’re not being difficult or trying to affect you’re happiness. They care about you and they know you better than yourself right now. [Read: Good friends are like stars: 18 Ways to build lasting friendships]

7. You pass over opportunities with people who want the same as you

If deep down you do want a relationship and you’re sleeping with someone casually, it’s a problem. However, if you’re passing over dates and opportunities with people who like you and want the same as you, you’re heading for heartbreak. You’re only going to look back on this and regret the time you lost.

It’s not all bad …

It’s important to end this on a positive note. As long as you can keep your emotions out of it, sleeping together but not dating can be a good situation. The moment you start catching feelings however, that’s when things change. If your casual partner doesn’t feel the same as you, the only outcome is that you walk away. There is no other option that doesn’t leave you heading towards heartbreak. [Read: 10 Things to do if you catch feelings for someone you don’t want]

If you’re a busy person who doesn’t have the time or need for a relationship, but you want your sexual needs taken care of, this is an arrangement that might just suit you!

[Read: 25 friends with benefits rules both of you must follow completely]

Sleeping together but not dating can be the ideal addition to a busy man or woman’s life. Provided both parties are on the same page, and feelings and emotions don’t become involved, there’s no harm in it, and a lot of fun to be had!

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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