For many, exploring the world of casual dating and casual hookups can be so fun and liberating. For some though, it can be pretty anxiety-inducing. This can look like feeling unsure about where you stand with the other person, or it can be issues around your own self-esteem. You may even feel regret. To help us work through those issues, we spoke to Spicy Mari, CEO & Founder of The Spicy Life. As a Relationship Expert, Spicy Mari has dedicated her life’s work to encouraging singles and couples to communicate and connect more effectively by incorporating passion and adventure back into their interpersonal relationships.
For members, The Spicy Life provides self-improvement through effective communication and relationship building and Spicy Mari develops easy to apply strategies and methods known as Spicy Tips. Here, she shares her thoughts on how to move past post-hookup anxiety.
The Two Elements To Sex
“This is a constant every day subject that I’m seeing with my clients. Every woman has experienced post-hookup anxiety at some point,” says Spicy Mari. “When you decide to give your body to someone, you’re making a conscious decision in that moment to trust that person. Whether that trust has been established or not, you’re making that decision.”
Spicy Mari says though, what happens when you haven’t established the emotional intimacy, and you skip straight over it to physical intimacy is that we can feel some disappointment the following day because “we haven’t established that bond, to walk away confidently knowing that you’re going to hear from them the next day, that they are interested in dating your or that they see you as more than just sex.”
When you have sex, you want to find that there’s two elements to it. That you both consent to the sex, but that also have the same intentions. “When you have sex without having the same intentions, a foundation of intimacy and trust, you’re going to find you’re anxious the next day.”
Swimming In A Pool Of Anxiety
Spicy Mari works with her clients on being able to find a balance between trusting their emotions and their logic. “So, how much time have I invested on an emotional level with this person before we go into physical intimacy?”.
She says that we’re often “swimming in a pool of anxiety, by ourselves”, when we don’t know if the other person is into us. You may have a past history of not being called back, or someone not reciprocating your feelings, and you don’t want this to happen again.
So, how can we avoid that feeling of the unknown and feel more confident with our decisions?
Spicy Tips for Post-Hookup Anxiety
#1 Practice Self-Regulation
“Think to yourself, in this moment, I might be feeling this emotion, for example passion, excitement or spontaneity. So, can you take a beat and ask yourself, how can we do the best behaviour that’s going to serve my ultimate goal? If the goal is more than just sex, you need to make sure that you’ve invested enough in the emotional intimacy and that you know where the other person stands, before you deep-dive into the sex.”
#2 Ask What Value We Put On Ourselves
“Anxiety comes from fear of the unknown and you can have a negative thought system that leads to negative emotions”, says Spicy Mari. “We need to have a hard look at whether we value sex or not, and why. What price tag (metaphorically) do you put on your body before giving it away? If we’re not aware of why we want physical intimacy, we can end up making decisions that don’t serve us. You need to take a pause and ask what it means to you and also the other person.”
“Because, if we’re not on the same page – one of us is going to be freakin’ disappointed!”
#3 Make Positive Deposits
“If you’re already in that place of post-hookup anxiety and aren’t sure whether you’re going to hear from the other person, start doing the things that serve you. Whether that’s being outside in nature, exercising, dedicating yourself to your work, doing these things will make sure you’re making positive deposits back into your life when you’re unsure of yourself.”
“For every negative thought, you need a positive thought.”
#4 Ask A Friend First
“You might not have a track record of being patient. If you want to reach out to the other person and have a lot of questions for them, create the message you want to send and then send it to a friend or person you trust first. You might find that getting all of the ‘word vomit’ out is helpful because you’re actually doing the process. That way, you’re on the right path to making a positive choice.
#5 Learn To Love Yourself
“I really want to place emphasis on taking care of yourself and your love for yourself, instead of coming from a place of fear. Never think that you need to make decisions about your physical intimacy based on the other person, i.e. if I don’t do this, I will lose them. If the other person is for you, you will make that connection, and you will both be in a place of learning and discovery.”
You can follow Spicy Mari on Instagram here.