Never Ever Getting Together
There’s a reason why students complain so often about the lack of plutonic relationships between them and the sex they are interested in. In an environment where sex is considered so casual and every other person in the dining hall is boasting about who they scored with the night before, it seems impossible to be friends with the sex you are into without slipping up and waking up in their bed. But if Harry and Hermione can do it, then so can you.
Set boundaries: You wouldn’t grind with your cousin at a frat party, so if you’re not romantically interested in your friend, why would you with them? No matter how close you are with your friend, there are certain dangers in what could seem like innocent flirting. Obviously friends can physically interact without hooking up, but it’s still easy to cross those boundaries you worked to set up in the beginning of your friendship. So don’t freak out when your friend reaches out to hug you: Chances are they aren’t trying to be suggestive. But make sure you don’t find yourself draped over their lap at the next party in order to avoid any accidental hook ups.
Keep your clothes on: The downfall in literally every chick flick is when the female lead undresses in front of her pathetically complaisant male friend. After that, the awkward and often unsuccessful love confessions roll in which is disregarded in favor of whatever Channing Tatum-like hunk that stars in the movie. Want to avoid this? Keep your damn pants on. It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve known the person, how many “heart to hearts” you forced him through, or how many Starbucks dates he’s endured. Any college student’s over-eager hormones will be sent racing at even the peak of bare skin. I know you “were just trying on some outfits for him” but he doesn’t care that your new dress is vintage—he’s still thinking about the image of your ass that you just ingrained into his mind.
Don’t use him or her as a “fluffer”: Everyone wants to have a fluffer: someone with who you can reap all the benefits of a relationship, but without the physical aspect. This person can always be depended on for a free ride, to be dragged to any shopping trips, or go do that thing that no one else is free to do with you. They’re basically your dream partner because they’re willing to do just about anything with you. But let’s remember that unless that list suddenly includes them getting into those pants you repeatedly tried on for them, the role of fluffer is going to start to feel old. It’s okay to spend a good amount of time with your friend—just don’t assume that this friend won’t ever develop frustrations or expectations after spending five hours in a row helping you with the homework for the class they don’t even take.
Keep your texts PG: There is literally nothing worse than going through your messages after a rough night out. Especially when (oh shit!) you see that you tried to booty call your best friend. It’s hard to say which turn out is worse: being rejected or having them actually come over. Not to mention the next day when you want to text them to go eat, but your last sloppy message is staring you in the face. The best thing to do in this case is simply apologize the next morning. Eventually the whole thing will be funny to both of you and you’ll be able to watch Walking Dead marathons together in bed without your skin crawling from feeling so awkward.
Control yourself when drunk: We’ve all been there—you wake up the next morning to the growing dread that you did something last night that is going to make yourself want to kick yourself in the face. And then the flashbacks come in of you draped all over your friend as if you’re some kind of horny koala bear. Great. There is nothing worse than the awkward first encounter the morning after. Whether you two hooked up or not, your intentions to do so were evident, and that will either make your friend feel uncomfortable, or worse: they suddenly reveal they feel the same way. It’s difficult to go back to being just friends after a night like that, so the next time your drunken mind tells you that you need to get laid, go through your contacts for a booty call. Even if you haven’t spoken to the person since freshman year, they’re still better than your friend.