Ask a Former Stress Addict: Screwing in School

Dear Fiona,

For a while when I first got to Lawrence, I was in a long distance relationship with someone I knew from high school, so when my friends had hookups and felt weird about it afterwards, I always dismissed it. I’m single now, and I’m starting to get why they felt so weird after sleeping with someone on this campus.

OK, let me give you a scenario: I meet someone at a party. I’ve seen them around campus and thought they were cute, but never really thought about them that much. Suddenly, they’re standing in front of me looking all gorgeous in the crazy light of the party, and all I can think is that this is going to happen. So we hook up. We hook up a couple more times after that, but it fizzles out fairly quickly.

I just want to move on with my life, but I keep seeing them everywhere I go! It’s not a big emotional thing, it’s just that I can’t go anywhere on campus without them being there, and it’s awkward! What do I do? I never realized how small this campus was until I had sex on it.

–  Perturbed Paramour


Dear Perturbed Paramour,

That really sucks, but it is a common problem for students on small college campuses. You sleep with someone, and regardless of the feelings involved, it’s weird when it ends. This is the same reason that people discourage workplace romances. It’s not that you can’t meet someone at work that you want to have sex with, it’s that you have to keep working together once you stop having sex. This is basically the same thing; you have to keep going to school together once it’s over.

Unfortunately, there’s also no real solution to your problem. It’s not like you can just make a rule for yourself that you’re not going to sleep with anyone who goes to the same college as you. OK, I guess you could make that rule  —  you are a human being with free will, after all  —  but I wouldn’t recommend it. This is just something you’re going to have to learn to deal with.

I know that moving on is hard when you can’t seem to escape your past, but you will get better at this. It’s going to be weird for a while, but if you start to move on internally, it will be less awkward when you see that person again around campus.

People grow and change a lot in college, and it’s a reasonable assumption that in about a term, you will both be completely different people, and what happened between you won’t really be relevant to either of your lives anymore. Just concentrate on other stuff until then.

The “other stuff” in your life right now is also really important! Concentrate on your classes, work, friends and student organizations, etc. This period of embarrassment and awkwardness will pass; you just have to wait it out.

–  Fiona


P.S. It also doesn’t hurt to cultivate an air of not giving a crap.