It’s been a long while since I’ve posted here, but I need some outside perspective. I’ve basically jumped from long-term relationship to long-term relationship my whole life, with one night stands in-between. Every casual hookup that I’ve had that’s lasted longer than a week or two has turned into a full fledged relationship. I got out of a 5 year relationship last summer, and a few months later started hooking up with this guy in my grad program. We’re still hooking up, 6 months later.

After my last relationship ended I decided I need to be more mindful about who I enter a serious relationship with. I don’t want anything crazy, but there are certain things I now know I want in a partner: driven, passionate about politics/what’s going on in the world, gets along with my family. Nothing too crazy. This guy isn’t not those things, but he’s five years younger than me and I don’t see a future with him.

But...the sex is so good. And we have a great time together. It very much started off as a friends with benefits deal, but in the last month or two the vibe has changed. The sex is way more, tender? We’ll get breakfast in the mornings, cuddle, he sleeps over, we text all the time, things that didn’t used to happen. I’ve given him basically zero indication that I’m interested in anything more, but sometimes have to stop myself from blurting out “I really like you” like a middle schooler. I can’t tell how much of it is hormones and how much of it is real. For his part, he’s slightly more open than I am, and by that I mean he’ll tell me he’s glad he got to see me, or that I got to meet his siblings (this was a one-off), or how pretty he thinks I am (this was drunken).

I don’t want this guy to be my boyfriend, but I think do want something more than what we have now. I’d love to do stuff outside of hanging out in my apartment & hooking up, but I don’t know if that’s maybe the fun of this whole thing, and if my pride/instinct to make this something it’s not is taking over. If I met someone I could actually see a serious future with I’d pursue that. But for right now, I’m so busy at school and enjoying being single for the first time in forever that this works.

Does anyone have any advice on how to navigate this? Am I confusing sexual intimacy with actual intimacy? Should I be honest and see if he’s open to ramping things up a bit? Am I being unfair to him? Is it obvious from this screed that I should just leave things be? Halp!