This is a follow up to our piece ‘How to have a one night stand (in Metric)’. For those of you who somehow missed it, we provided a tried-and-tested plan of action designed to get you laid after a night in Metric. This plan was meant to get you in and out without leaving any trace. But expectedly, you failed. We know that some of you followed our ‘foolproof’ guidance, but now you’re starting to be concerned that you may be feeling something more than just carnal desire. Call us jaded, but we think that falling in love is overrated. There’s nothing like a bad case of The Feels to hold you back when you should be writing that coursework or revising for your finals. We don’t think the expense, time sink, and eventual inevitable heartbreak is worth it, so here’s a handy guide to not falling in love with your one night stand.

1 | It wasn’t a one night stand

So you had your one night stand, but clearly you fucked up along the way because you’re still in contact. Stop, before this goes too far. Put your phone down and think about what you’re doing. Avoid excessive texting. Communication should be solely for organising sex. You’re literally just here for the orgasms. And if they’re being thirsty and texting you all the time, don’t reply right away. You’re not there to meet their every need for validation. Give them your therapist’s number. Or mine. Mine is great. We slept together last August and we never fell in love. He’s a professional. You can be one too.

2 | Dehumanise them

They’re just a piece of meat. Don’t save their number. That would imply commitment. So what if now you know their name, if you do need to save it for whatever reason, don’t use their real name. Instead, use a code name, or a vague description of the circumstance in which you met, for instance, “Halloween ACC #2”.

3 | Metric comes first

So, you’ve arranged to see them again. Don’t cancel plans to see them. You have your life, banging them is a pleasant extra. Like guac on your burrito, but it doesn’t cost 75p. You do it after you’ve done whatever else you were doing, or on Sundays when you’d just be lying in bed watching TV anyway (and by that we obviously mean masturbating).

4 | Just say no (to emotional blackmail)

You’ve successfully booty called them. Do not be convinced to have unsafe sex. It’s just a trap, and they just want to be exclusive with you after they pass on whatever niche strain of HPV they’re carrying. Sexual exclusivity is just a pretence, what they really want is emotional exclusivity and the corresponding emotional blackmail that comes along with it.

5 | There’s no ‘us’ in ‘friends with benefits’

Make sure you bring up your fear of commitment and your complete inability to form permanent bonds with humans, not just the first time you meet up with them, but every time you meet up with them. This manages their expectations, and stops them falling in love with you. There is a possibility that this will backfire. (Did I mention I’m in love with my therapist?) There is a high proportion of your sex-friends who will just want you more, by virtue of not being able to have you. (But it’s cool, we’re just friends. I don’t mind. Honestly.) Play by ear, and proceed with caution.

6 | There’s no D in frienship

So you’re spending three nights a week at their place. Don’t forget though, you’re not there to make friends. Steal the milk, make snarky comments about the decor, and never flush the toilet (only if you’re doing a number one, if you don’t flush a number two, you’re an animal and as a serious high-profile publication we can’t be associated with you). And don’t introduce them to your friends. If you happen to run into them, immediately pretend to answer your phone. “WHAT?! MY DOG IS ON FIRE?!” or similar will do the trick nicely. Now run away. That’s good. This is why you’ve been hitting the gym all year. That cardio’s doing you proud.

If you can’t make an excuse, do not refer to the time you spend together as anything other than hanging out. Yep, just hanging out. Nothing suspicious going on here. Make sure you make it explicit that you’re just hanging out. You may need to repeat this a few times so that people really know.

7 | No sleepovers

Okay so you’ve failed at this one already, but you can start fixing it now. You get what you want, and then you get the hell out of there. Okay, we understand. They live in Acton, you live in Shepherd’s Bush, it’s cold outside this time of year. If they live more than 3km away, you’re going to be inclined to stay. You just had sex, no matter how short it was, so you’re probably feeling a bit fatigued. Stay there but DON’T leave a toothbrush. You leave no trace, like a ghost shit. (Where did it go?! I heard the splash!)

8 | You’re nobody’s snugglebunny

Cuddling is okay, but only as long as it feels good. Don’t put up with Dead Arm Syndrome – you’re here for you, not for them. It’s still “me-time”, even if you’re spending it with someone else.

Avoid affectionate nicknames. Don’t by any means call them babe or honey. Do call them dude, man, or pal, regardless of gender. Pet names are the first step to emotional attachment, and after emotional attachment comes codependence, and we all know where that leads. Prison.

9 | Avoid prolonged eye contact

As it is commonly known, gazing into someone’s eyes for longer than five minutes (cumulative) means you’ll fall in love with them. It’s like your annual radiation dose, once you’ve reached your max, you need to end it. Immediately. You know you’re in deep shit once you know your fuck buddy’s eye colour. It’s also common knowledge that during prolonged eye contact sessions, you lose control of your mouth, and are liable to blurt out something like, “I really like spending time with you”, or, God forbid, the L word (and we don’t mean lesbian). If you find them about to say something sappy, simply place your finger on their lips. “Shhhhhh…”

10 | So you fucked up. You’ve been dating for a month and you didn’t have a clue.

You realised because you were just grabbing a post-coital snack in the outside world (risky), and you ran into their friends. For some reason, they ask how long you’ve been seeing each other. HOW DID THEY KNOW? Was it something you said or did in the moment? Did you refer to them as babe? Or has your sex-friend been spilling the beans? Was this all planned? Maybe this wasn’t a chance encounter! You’re getting paranoid. You’re sweating. All of these thoughts occur in your brain in a millisecond. Scenario 1: Abort mission Before you have a chance to think, you blurt out, “We’ve been hanging out for a week! Just hanging out. HANGING OUT!” You turn your head, only to witness the twinkling light of hope depart from your sex-friend’s eyes. You know it’s over. Damage control success? Congrats. Scenario 2: Go all in You hear your sex friend say, “we’ve been seeing each other for a while,” and for some reason, this doesn’t make you panic. Your chest fills up with this fuzziness. Are you having a heart attack? No, it’s lurrrrve. This sudden surge of emotion is getting you hard. Is that a rocket in your pocket? NO! It’s a diamond ring! Boom. Wait, what? How? You find yourself on one knee. Maybe it was a heart attack and now you’re just keeling over. You decide to just go with it and propose. Damage control… success? Congrats.