You’ve been dating a girl casually and now you want her to be your girlfriend, but she wants to stay as friends with benefits. So what are you going to do about it? Here we share our ideas on how to turn your hook-up into your girlfriend.

There could be any number of reasons that your hook-up girl wants to keep things casual, but they likely fall into two broad categories: either she simply doesn’t like you enough, or it’s bad timing.

If she’s hooking up with you, then she clearly likes you, right? But does she like you enough to get into a relationship with you? If she doesn’t, how do you react to that? Do you just hang around, hoping that she will one day realise how awesome you are?

That could leave you feeling a bit desperate and demoralised, and it might also affect your sense of self-worth. On the other hand, you could simply be happy for the fun times that you two can have in the bedroom, knowing that it will never develop into more. Can you handle being with her casually, or will your feelings get in the way?

Another reason that she might not want to be your girlfriend is that she’s just not in the right place in her life right now. Did she just come out of a relationship? Is she really busy with work or study? Does she have big travel plans coming up? There could be plenty of reasons why she’s not girlfriend material right now, and none of them has anything to do with you.

So, what can you do about it? Are you willing to wait it out until her situation changes and she’s ready? If she’s recovering from a previous relationship, can you help her through the process? More importantly, do you want to put in the effort that’s required?

Your motivations

Why do you want her to be your girlfriend? You obviously feel great around her, but does that feeling extend past the superficial? Do you even have anything in common outside of your bedroom activities? Do you actually like her, or do you want her more precisely because she’s emotionally unavailable to you? Or is it possible that the great sex is swaying you?

Risk vs gain

What is the risk of telling her how you feel? The two of you already have a good thing together. What if you tell her your feelings and then she rejects you and stops seeing you? Then you’ve lost the good thing that you had with her. Is it worth the risk? Are you willing to take the gamble and potentially walk away with nothing? Or is the possible payoff worth it to have her as your girlfriend?

Testing the relationship waters

If you don’t want to jump in at the deep end and tell your hook-up how you feel, you can dip your toe into the relationship waters first and see if she warms up to it.

These things take time, so patience is key. What do the two of you have in common? You can gradually start asking her questions and gathering information about her interests, values and friends. Once you know what she’s interested in, you can suggest doing activities that don’t involve sex.

If all of that goes well, you can perhaps include some of your friends or her friends in the outings. In terms of emotional intimacy, ask her more personal questions about her thoughts and feelings towards her work or studies, her friends and her family.

If you want her to open up to you, you also need to open up to her. Start sharing some of your everyday life with her and see how she reacts. It might take time for her to start sharing with you too, but your patience could be rewarded it in the end.

This is scary shit

Putting yourself out there in a vulnerable place is scary as hell. There’s the ever-present fear of rejection, for one, and the possibility of losing the girl you really like, too. But when did anyone ever reach the princess without first running the gauntlet and slaying the dragon? So, take a deep breath, summon your courage, and turn that sexy hook-up into your beautiful girlfriend.