Beyond the hookup

Joey Garcia

I hooked up a few times with a girl, mostly because she offered it. I was never interested in her. I never took her out. I would just go to her apartment sometimes, and I never stayed the night. Last weekend I was out with a girl I like, a girl I could see myself with. The girl I hooked up with saw me and flipped out. She yelled that I was cheating on her. The girl I was with got upset and almost left. How do I convince the girl I like that this other girl is a liar?

Let’s reset your emotional GPS. There’s no evidence that the woman you had sex with is a liar. She may be poorly educated about relationships. She may have been socialized to believe that sex implies a commitment. You may have said something that her mind translated to mean you were her man. Or she may be living in an alt-reality, like a lot of people who equate sex with love. Stir up some compassion for her. It’s painful to be shaken awake from a fantasy.

The one thing you must avoid is trying to convince your crush that the other woman is a liar. I understand that you want to restore the image your crush had of you. But your effort will likely backfire, and you will look desperate, even manipulative. Your crush might wonder when you’ll turn on her, too. That’s no way to begin a relationship.

Here’s what you can do: Be your best self. Proceed as a man who experienced an unfortunate communication snafu with a woman. Make a commitment to yourself to behave differently in the future. Then do it. Like this: Accept that casual sex has consequences that can include heartbreak and public drama. Not always, but, as you learned, it’s one of the risks. So if you have casual sex repeatedly with the same partner, state clearly that you’re not interested in anything except sex. Yes, it’s possible a woman won’t want to have sex after hearing your terms. But at least you know you’ve become an honest man.

What strategies do you use when you know you’re fighting the good fight but you’re up against a Goliath? Asking for a friend.

I remind myself that when Goliath rises, so do I. The appearance of a crisis or opponent who seems larger than life invites me to expand to match. I might initially cry and feel like a failure or act like a victim, but if I’ve been taking care of myself, I can shift quickly into a hero. Here’s what taking care of myself daily looks like: sleeping (8-10 hours), eating well (no processed foods, no soda, no smoking, no drugs, lots of fresh veggies, very little sugar), exercising (yoga and long walks), journaling, meditation and convos with friends whose advice I trust. When Goliath confronts me, I ask for help from people who can lend a hand. Or I hire the people I need to assist me, like a life coach or attorney. That way, I’m not just fighting the good fight. I’m evolving into the next version of me.

Meditation of the week
“I want to do with you what Spring does to the cherry trees,” wrote Pablo Neruda. Imagine that line as spoken from your soul to your ego.

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