I’m in the middle of a fight with a sex regular via text message and everything each of us is saying seems to make it worse. I’m tempted to just block him and never answer any of his calls again, but I’m worried I might be misinterpreting his words. He’s being really passive/aggressive, but accuses me of labeling him that way to make myself the victim when I point it out.
What do I do?
We’re going to talk a little bit about expectations and communication compatibility.
While I’m not intimately familiar with the term “sex regular,” I’m assuming this means that the person you’re involved with has consensually agreed to a casual, hook-up based relationship with you that does not involve the dressings and obligations of a committed partnership.
People engage in casual sex relationships for all types of reasons. Perhaps you just got out of a long term committed partnership and want to get over your ex by “getting back on the horse.” Maybe you’re coming out of a mental health crisis or recovering from past trauma, and you want to test the sexual waters first without opening up vulnerably to another person just yet. You could be single or non-monogamous and blessed with a high sex drive that’s only satiated by entertaining multiple casual sex relationships. Your busy career might not allow for a full-blown partnership, so you pick up situational intimacy in your spare time with folks you fancy. Etc., etc., etc.
Point being, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting some on the side, as long as both individuals are on the same page. The problem is, we often don’t do our due diligence at the onset of such relationships in ensuring that we are on that same page. Without knowing much about your situation, perhaps the challenges you’re facing are a result of differing communication expectations.
The first thing I’d do in your situation – if you haven’t already – is to sit down IN PERSON with your “sex regular” and provide him with your own definition of what this means to you, then ask him for his own definition. Casual sex can come with different expectations for different people. For you, a casual sex partner may still be expected to communicate with you and/or show up for you with some consistency outside of the explicitly sexual nature of the arrangement.
For him, a casual sex partner may only be expected to occasionally show up for explicit sex when the timing works out for both parties. If we don’t initiate these types of open, honest, nonjudgmental expectation dialogues at the start of any relationship, we’re likely to build up resentment towards the other person down the road for not meeting our (silent) expectations, and that’s not fair to them.
Another thing that could be going on is that you and your sex regular may just not be communication compatible. Despite your sexual chemistry, you may naturally have dramatically different communication styles that don’t translate well for the other person. I myself have a super hot casual sex partner who is on the Aspergers spectrum; as such, we interface significantly better by communicating via text and email as opposed to in person (particularly when it comes to serious topics). In contrast, many folks communicate more successfully in person than via text or email because it’s virtually impossible to accurately read things such as tone and inflection when you’re studying words on a screen. Analyzing the ways in which different communication styles work (or don’t work) for you and your sex regular and coming up with alternative communication strategies together may very well fix the problem!
Finally, if all of the above fails and you’re still pulling your hair out over these communication mishaps, it may be time to throw in the towel and find another sex regular (or five!).
Best of luck to you!
If you have your own questions about sex, love, relationships, or any of the moving parts involved therein, drop Andre a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to use the subject line "Ask Andre," so we know where to direct your thoughtful questions.