No Strings Attached... or is it No Sex Allowed?? :)
This is one of my favorite topics in the sugar world and I’m sure everyone has an opinion about it. As I have said in the past, no strings doesn’t mean no feelings. When you spend enough time with someone then naturally some feelings are going to develop. The key is how you keep those feelings and emotions under control to make sure the relationship remains NSA. It takes experience and maturity to make it work and it’s not for everyone, and some are not able to handle NSA despite their best intentions.
Let’s compare NSA to regular dating and see what some of the differences are. For example, is there “love” and “commitment” that can lead to a future of happily ever after?? No, not in the traditional sense. By “commitment” I’m referring to the longevity and exclusivity of a relationship. Do you meet each other’s friends and families and talk to them about the relationship? For the most part, no. Do you go through the usual courting rituals before having sex? No, not necessarily.
NSA could mean different things to different people as there are many shades of grays, and some people may consider certain aspects of NSA more important than others. What NSA should be… when you’re together you enjoy each other’s company to the fullest, and when you’re apart you have your own busy lives. There are feelings when you’re together and you can certainly care for each other. But there shouldn’t be symptoms of emotional attachment when you're apart, such as being insecure, clingy, possessive, etc that can lead to all sorts of drama.
How easy it is to end a NSA relationship can depend on how long you’ve been together. Obviously it can be more difficult to end a relationship after a year or more compared to one that lasted only a few months. Some have mentioned the three month “curse”, and as I’ve said in the past, in general I don’t consider anything less than 3 months as an “arrangement”. It’s more like an experiment that didn’t work out. I’d consider six months and longer as “long term”. It also depends on whether it’s local or long distance. Long distance one’s usually don’t last as long due to the time, distance, and logistics involved.
My #1 rule for NSA arrangement is “don’t get emotionally attached”, and #2 rule is “keep the relationship simple”. If you find it difficult to end a relationship then chances are there may be some emotional attachment and the relationship is no longer simple. But NSA is still NSA, you can mutually agree to end it and you both move on. That’s how it’s supposed to work but I know it’s easier said than done. As I mentioned before, during my first 3 years in the sugar world I had plenty of drama filled relationships that ended in train wrecks and explosive break ups. But since then I’ve learned my lessons and had much more enjoyable sugar relationships that lasted longer and still kept them NSA.
When you apply NSA to regular dating then it’s basically casual dating, and I think we all know what that is as we’ve probably all done it before. What makes it different in the sugar world is of course the sugar, or the arrangement aspect. The arrangement in a sugar relationship helps to keep it NSA by establishing clear boundaries and expectations that you normally wouldn’t have in regular dating. That’s why sugar and NSA usually go hand in hand together. Without the sugar you’ll likely slip down that slippery slope into… gasp… the drama of regular dating!! :)
Coming up, Part 2 - The NSA Paradox