How To Go From Booty Call To Bae Without Freaking Him Out

Whether you’re into the guy you’re seeing or your mom’s just been pressuring you to settle down and give her grandkids, you’ve decided you’re actually going to date someone and do the whole relationship thing for once. Rather than going on a dating app or god forbid putting yourself out there, you’ve decided to go after the guy you’re already hooking up with. Just because you started as a late night hookup doesn’t mean you can’t transition to brunch date in a chill way. It doesn’t have to involve a serious talk and it definitely shouldn’t involve going through his Instagram DM’s. Here’s how to get him to boo you up without freaking him out.

1. Stop Responding To Late Night Hollers

They say dress for the job you want, but in your case, text for the relationship status you want. There’s nothing wrong with meeting up late at night if you’re both working late or if it “works with your schedule”, but be honest with yourself when it comes to hanging out drunk past 2am. If you’re actually compatible because you have crazy schedules, you can still enforce an initiate before 10pm rule. If he doesn’t text you before 10pm to make plans, he hasn’t thought about you before 10pm. He’s keeping you as a last resort.

If you think you might want to date him more traditionally, just stop responding to any late night texts no matter how bad you want to see him. If he texts you “where you at” at 11pm, just wait until the morning to respond. If you’re really chill, you’d wait until after 11am, so he knows you were out late and not in bed early. Keep your responses short and simple and let him offer to make a plan if he really wants to see you. For example, if he says “wanna come over and watch a movie” and it’s clearly a last minute booty call, text him back the next day “sorry I missed this. next time!” Skip the “let me know earlier” or “maybe if you make a plan” because he’ll just read it as bitter. If he’s not an idiot he’ll figure it out.

Katy Perry

2. Don’t Play Games

Okay, you can play some games. But we’re talking about games where you leave Tinder open on your phone so he knows you’re not exclusive—don’t do that shit. If you act like he’s a fuckboy, he will gladly accept his fuckboy role. Aren’t men just the greatest?? Just because he hasn’t had the exclusive talk yet doesn’t mean you need to shove it in his face that you’re dating other people. You can say yes to other dates if you want to say yes to them, but don’t go out of your way to prove a point. Petty games leads to a petty relationship, but most often, no relationship at all.

3. Cook For Him

You’re already attracted to each other and he’s already hooking up with you, so show him what it might be like to date you during daylight hours. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t already do, but if there’s a breakfast you always make for yourself, make it for him when he stays over. Or if he hits you up after work, ask him if he wants to come over for the casual dinner you’re already making. Keep it casual and comfortable, as opposed to making a big deal out of a fancy meal you never even cook for yourself. Basically, the easier you make it for him to fit into your already chill life, the more likely he’ll just accept that you’re dating. Any extravagant effort to prove yourself is just going to make him wonder what you’re trying to cover up. Your fear of being alone, duh, but he doesn’t need to know that.


4. Don’t Offer To Meet Up Unless He Asks You

If you’re already out having a chill night with your friends and he hits you up, don’t invite him to come through unless he asks you to hang out. Unless you’re at the coolest party ever and you think he should be there, you should communicate that you’re chill enough to have your own life outside of a relationship/your booty call. He’s obviously interested in you if you’re hooking up, but most guys are afraid of relationships only because they don’t want to uproot their life just for another person. If you’re organically hanging out when you’re both free instead of dropping everything to run into each other’s arms, he’ll feel that your relationship (and your emotional state) is balanced enough to keep seeing you.

5. Be Honest About What You Want If It Comes Up

If he asks you what you’re looking for, be as honest as you can. Playing the chill girl card will only make him think you’re cool with just hooking up. If you are looking for a relationship in the long run, mention that. You don’t have to make it specific to him, but you can tell him you’re hoping to meet someone and date more seriously down the road if he asks you what you hope to get out of dating. If he’s really into you, he’ll want to lock it down before you find what you’re looking for somewhere else.


6. Watch A Show Together Or Share A Routine Only You Two Have

Sharing something together that’s not just your bodily fluids is a way to see if you two get along outside of sex. Start watching a show together or share a routine that’s unique to you, and I don’t just mean the 30 seconds of Netflix you put on right before he starts kissing your neck. That way when something that reminds him of the show (or your book club or whatever the fuck) comes up, he’ll think about you in a non-sexual way. It’s like classical conditioning and he’s the Pavlovian dog (see dad, my Bachelors degree in psychology totally paid off). 

Why You Need To Stop Caring About Cuffing Season

Dear Wannabe Cameron Diaz in The Holiday,

Is there something in the air? Have the fumes of over-priced pumpkin spice lattes and faux cashmere gone straight to your head that you’re about to set sail on a journey of desperation for extra likes attention this holiday season just so you can make your summer fuckboy jealous mom proud of you with an annoying as fuck “sitting-by-the-tree-with-bae-wearing-fugly-sweaters” boomerang? Like, I’m all for wanting to settle down (lol, who am I kidding) but whichever one of your delirious friends gave you the green light to hunt for seasonal sausage needs to be cancelled stat.

I have v strong opinions about the way you’re choosing to spend your winter, but can we first just take a second to talk about where the term “cuffing” actually stemmed from—the county jail? BDSM? Giving up my first amendment rights that have something to do with freedom? Case in point, none of those things sound pleasing in any sense, so for the sake of sacrificing what little dignity the human race has left, how about you first stop equating the act of courtship to a fucking prison sentence?

And since when was it a thing that your relationship status had to change according to the weather? Sure, there are tons of reasons why I’d want to sell my soul and commit to someone—free meals and effortless starfish sex, to name a few—but a change in climate shouldn’t be one of them, so because I’m such a good friend, I’m about to tell you why your plan on “cuffing” up a fuckboy is about as satisfying as week-old grocery store sushi.

Because I’m the prestigious journalist that I am, as a general consensus, I’m just curious to know if any of the following statements sound appealing to you:

-an extra blanket when indoor temps reach subzero
-an extra shot of Bailey’s to spike an extra glass of hot chocolate
-the freedom to ugly cry during Love Actually—and replay it a second time, judgement free
-being able to blast “All I Want For Christmas” three months early, judgement free


If you answered no to any of the above, feel free to exit the premises pretending like you’re about to enjoy sweating your balls off being little spoon from the coming months of October to February. But if you’re still not convinced, just be prepared to abide by an unspoken set of cuffing guidelines.

There’s already general “frowned upon” rules you’re supposed to follow in a normal relationship, like not drunk texting your ex or agreeing that his mom is great, but when it comes to seasonal dating, you’re treated to the shitty “almost, but too soon” rulebook. In order to abstain from developing feelings (gross), invisible boundaries have to be set. For instance, PostMates = acceptable. All you can eat breadsticks at Olive Garden = the line has been crossed into dating territory.

This in turn, causes you to continually wonder why you’re not dating considering the twice-a-week sex and weekly text convos, and I didn’t go to school for that kind of next-level therapy shit. Speaking of crazy, the gray area that is cuffing season will force you to hide your crazy because you’re technically not dating-dating, and you’re not allowed to go agro on him for forgetting about your dumb Secret Santa party. And we all damn well know that the only thing more crazy than girl who expresses her crazy is a girl who lets her crazy internally build until it explodes like North Korea’s nukes.


All in all, you’re just allowing yourself to settle for some pity right swipe, or the guy from college you put off dating for three years whose only talking point is how tight he thinks he’d probably be with Dean from The Bachelorette—like on the one hand, same, but on the other, it’s called ESPN.

I get that every girl dreams of being whisked away in a winter wonderland in a cozy cottage as a hot stranger knocks on your door. It might’ve worked for Cam, but let me tell you something: At the end of the day, you’ll come to find out that your kinda-sorta-idk-boyfriend has some secretive past with like, two kids and a neurotic sister with the hots for Jack fucking Black, and in reality, you’re so much more than that.


Oh, and might I save my best argument for last? On top of the emotional and mental roller coaster you’re about to embark on, it’s not like you’re gonna get any sort of last season Michael Kors or a wine tasting Groupon out of this. You’re not dating-dating, remember? In that case, the only “gift” you should be expecting is an added 3-4 pounds dangling from your waistline from all the stress he caused by not texting you back. Ew.

So before you resort to playing whatever the fuck psycho revenge album Taylor Swift’s about to drop on repeat once Black History Month rolls around, save yourself the Halo Top binge and just RSVP to your family Christmas bash as a party of one this year. You’ll thank me later when you and your drunk uncle are lit off your asses with no judgements, and most importantly, no strings attached.

Yours truly,

Too selfish to share my new Costco fleece blanket this winter.