A one night stand is a hookup between people who aren’t in a relationship together. This can be with a casual friend, someone you met out or on a dating app, or even a stranger you click with. Even if one night stands come with no strings attached, it doesn’t always mean there are no feelings involved. Having no strings attached means that the people having a one night stand or hookup usually don’t have any expectations for continuing into a relationship after. Whether you feel sad, confused, or even empowered, any emotions you feel are okay after a one night stand!
Why do I get confusing feelings after a one night stand?
Sometimes, how you feel after having a one night stand or a hookup is clear to you. You might feel empowered and confident, or not feel any specific way about it at all. Other times, though, we can feel confused, upset, or guilty after having a one night stand or hookup. If you find that your approach to casual sex isn’t working for you, it can help to start by trying to understand why it’s not working for you. You can start by asking yourself some questions that could help you figure out what’s got you feeling the way you are. For example:
- Am I having as much sex as I’d like?
- What kinds of sex do I want? Is that the kind of sex I’ve been having? Am I getting what I want to get out of it?
- What kind of relationship would I like to have with my sexual partners? Fuck buddies? Near strangers? Romance?
If you’re having trouble deciding what might make you happiest, you can talk to someone about it. Asking a trusted friend about your situation might help you see things from a different perspective. Tel-Jeunes is a helpline that’s open 24/7. You can call them (1 800 263-2266) or text them (514 600-1002) for support or if you just need someone who’s great at listening. You could also try going to a guidance counsellor at school. Most high schools, CEGEPs, and universities have professionals there who can help talk you through any emotions you might be feeling. If you’re 14 years old and over, what you say to them is confidential. The only time they may be allowed to contact your parents is if they believe you are going to harm someone else or yourself.
Talking about it
Before you have sex, it can be good to talk about boundaries. Boundaries are what’s you’re comfortable with and what you’re willing to do. Talking about sexual boundaries before you have sex makes sex safer and more fun for everyone! It’s also important to agree on emotional boundaries. It can be uncomfortable or confusing when one person’s idea of “no strings attached” is different from their partner’s. When everyone agrees on what they want and expect, hookups can be much more fun. Remember, everyone has the right to set their own boundaries and to say “no.”
How can I feel better now?
If you’re feeling down, there’s lots of things you could try to help you cope with the way you’re feeling. You can try:
- Boosting your morale by writing down a list of your strengths. What do you absolutely love about yourself? Writing and then going back to read over your list can help remind you of what makes you so fantastic.
- Pumping up your energy levels with exercise. Some people find this can be a great way to make them feel energized. Other people might appreciate taking a walk to help clear their mind.
- Occupying yourself with a hobby or doing something you enjoy. This can be things like music, cooking, watching a good movie, or reading. Try finding an activity that makes you happy and enjoy!
- Catching up on some rest and relaxation. Often, just taking time for yourself to relax can help you to start feeling better.
You can check out some of our resources below for more ideas and tips.