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Getting cuffed or getting back out there: how to handle a changing hookup relationship

October 22, 2021

This piece represents the opinion of the author .

Editor’s Note, Thursday, August 25, at 7:15 a.m.: Another student from the Class of 2022 contributed to this column, but their name was removed from the by-line for extenuating circumstances. If concerned, please email orient@bowdoin.edu. 

Sophie Burchell

So you’ve been getting down and dirty with one of your fellow polar bears for a few weeks, but your relationship is now going one of two ways: 1. You’re looking to break things off entirely or 2. You want something a little more serious. Yet again, the Love Doctors know exactly how to help you … probably (if things go poorly, please blame someone else because we cannot lose our precious, yet artificial, credibility).

If your casual hookup is no longer doing it for you or someone else has caught your fancy (maybe it’s one of the guys on the frisbee team because I saw them playing last weekend, and damn are they fine*), it looks like it could be time for you to say “thank you, next.” This may seem like an intimidating prospect, but just remember, Pitbull has been there and done that so you can definitely handle it (dalé).

While concise, simple and cliche enough that everyone knows what it means before the sentence even ends, “It’s not you, it’s me” is just not going to cut it. So what if this is actually the case and you need time to ‘work on yourself’ (even if ‘working on yourself’ means that you need better sleep than what you’re getting in someone else’s twin bed that barely fits one person to begin with). You owe it to your friends with benefits to be a little more clear and honest about why things need to end. Find a good time to meet with your soon-to-be awkward hello-on-the-quad buddy and let them down quickly and easily. Here are a few things to keep in mind while doing this: 1. Give this conversation your full attention, and don’t be doing something silly like folding your laundry, 2. Keep it short and to the point—no one is going to enjoy this and 3. Remember to politely ask for any clothes or childhood stuffed animals back before leaving. If you do a good job, maybe you’ll be able to look this person in the eye again, but either way you will officially be back on the market.

Ending your situationship can be tough, but suggesting that you take things to the next level can make someone turn you away faster than that drunk football player saying “who do you know here,” when you try to get into the party at Yellow. Once you’ve decided that your casual hookup has the X-factor, it’s time to take the leap and tell your partner exactly how you feel. However, remember to take this process step by step. It turns out that honest and open communication is the only way to get through these tough talks (wow, it’s almost like that’s going to be the trend between all of our columns). If it goes well and they are on the same page, great! You’ve officially escaped the infamous Bowdoin Hookup Culture™, leaving behind your remaining single friends who still have to pretend that neuroscience research is cool just to go home with someone. If it doesn’t go quite as you planned and they break things off instead, just know that the best cure for rejection is a one night stand with two fine fellas named Ben and Jerry. Fortunately, there are plenty of fish in the sea so you’ll be fine. Whichever option you choose, you have our full support, but that probably doesn’t mean much to you. If it all goes well, let us know because that will warm our sweet little hearts. If it doesn’t go well, really let us know because that is much funnier. Good luck out there!


Gossip Girl(s)

*Note from the editor: Spencer Follett is indeed a member of the men’s ultimate frisbee team and is also indeed hot so the trend checks out.


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