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Having a hookup buddy is awesome, and it’s totally OK to admit that. Not only does it mean regular sex with someone who you’re both physically and (probably) emotionally attracted to, but it also gives you a chance to flirt and keep things casual with other people, too, as the casual sex doesn’t deter you from meeting someone else if you’re looking for a real relationship.

Here’s the thing, though, a lot of times — especially as you get older — feelings for your hookup buddy can develop, which can put things in quite an awkward position. All of a sudden, the two of you are going from banging in a public bathroom while drunk, or being one another’s late-night booty call, to talking about what you want to do for dinner. That’s fine and all, because being in a relationship, even a platonic one with a hookup buddy, can be fun. But if it’s not what you both want, things can get complicated.

It’s time to look at yourself and be honest about what it is you’re looking for: a relationship or just a couple of hookup buddies who can satisfy your sexual needs. When you find someone who might fill that whole relationship gap, though, there are some questions you need to ask yourself before proceeding and moving her from hookup buddy to a potential girlfriend — and we’re outlining some of the most important when evaluating your situation.

Do you find yourself wanting to text your hookup buddy when you’re alone or bored?

In some cases, it’s easy to fall into a routine of texting or calling your hookup buddy when you’re at home and sitting around alone. After all, you’ve probably got a flirtatious relationship already, so she probably gives you what you need to waste a boring night in.

Thing is, this is a really big sign that you might be developing feelings for your hookup buddy, because, rather than just watch a movie alone or swipe on online dating apps, you’re wanting to talk to her — even if there’s no intention or promise of sex. That’s something you need to be aware of and play carefully, because, should you find yourself over-communicating, signals may be crossed and she may think the two of you are something you actually aren’t.

Are you willing to take the leap and try to get to know this girl better and, maybe, work on building a relationship? Or are you set on staying hookup buddies and avoid any drama or commitment? That’s something you two need to figure out if and when you’re talking more frequently.

What’s the relationship with your hookup buddy when you’re not having sex?

Along the same lines as the above, you need to evaluate the situation with your hookup buddy from a 30,000-foot level to determine exactly what this girl means to you. Remember, you don’t want to hurt her at all, but you also don’t want to confuse yourself or make life tougher for you, either.

If you find yourself wanting to text her to waste a night, that’s one thing. It’s something entirely different if, when together, there’s both a sexual and emotional connection that involves a lot of flirting, laughing and deep conversation.

We assume you both respect one another enough not to kick your hookup buddy to the curb immediately after having sex together, so, assuming she sticks around, are you taking her out to brunch, dinner and getting to know each other better outside the bedroom? If so, you may want to consider dating this girl, because it sounds like you’re already working on making that happen.

Are you jealous if your hookup buddy says she’s sleeping with other people?

Considering your hookup buddy and you aren’t officially dating and are still sleeping with other people, how does that make you feel when you find out? It’s one thing to just assume she’s having sex with other guys, but it’s entirely different when she tells you she is, as that can be a shock to your system.

If you’re jealous of hearing the news she’s not just your hookup buddy, don’t run and hide — or fake playing cool by acting like it doesn’t affect you — just tell her the truth. There’s a good chance she probably feels or has felt something similar when she found out you weren’t her only one, too, so see if there’s something more there worth talking about. It may be nothing more than just sex, but at least you can both analyze the situation and determine what you want to do next rather than be jealous.

How is communication with your hookup buddy? Do you talk about important things that don’t involve sex?

One of the girls who has been a hookup buddy of mine for the past year now is someone who I consider to be a good friend. She’s a recruiter for a big tech company, so I’ve talked to her about resume tips for friends, while also having her hangout with friends at parties I host. We text every once in awhile, but only enough to stay involved, with most things being of the raunchy variety.

Things is, as great as the communication has been since we first met, we’ve had the conversation before about what’s missing in our relationship. We don’t know what it exactly is, but we’ve both agreed that, while we really care for one another and enjoy one another’s company — and the wild sex — neither one of us really feels like we’d be anything more than a hookup buddy for the other.

Sure, we talk about important things that are going on with family, friends and work, but we had to make the (somewhat) strange conversation happen about why a full-fledged relationship for the two of us together couldn’t work. It’s something you might need to consider doing at some point with your hookup buddy, too.

Does your hookup buddy make you feel better about yourself and vice versa?

This is something that’s really important for both people, because you want to feel good having sex, so, hopefully, your hookup buddy makes you feel studly. If not, then what’s the point of continuing that type of relationship, right?

More so, when it comes to figuring out if a relationship with your hookup buddy is right or not, you need to identify why this girl is or isn’t the person you want to try that with. There are reasons for both, but if you find yourself happiest when you’re talking to, hanging out with or generally around your hookup buddy, don’t be afraid of those feelings; just go with them.

There are always going to be hookup buddies that come and go and you never really know why you two were in such a relationship to begin with. But, if you find a hookup buddy who goes above and beyond what you typically feel after having sex together, it’s important to relay those feelings to her and see if she feels the same. Who knows, maybe your random hookup buddy becomes your girlfriend one day?

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