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Hooking up is awesome, especially when you get in on the regular from someone. Thing is, while having casual sex is every single person’s birthright, it can turn pretty awkward really fast once one of the people decides to develop feelings.

Of course, that’s not anyone’s fault, after all, we’re human beings who long to be loved, wanted and all of that gushy stuff. But, for anyone who has experienced a situation where a hook up buddy tried to turn into something more, you know that it can be difficult to try to maneuver.

For instance, not long ago, there was a girl who I had in my regular rotation of hooking up with. She was sweet, pretty, witty, didn’t take my crap and was awesome in bed. Thing is, she fell pretty hard for me after a few times of fooling around. I felt like the bad guy for, ultimately, turning her down, while still trying to communicate to her that I wanted to keep hanging out and seeing where things ended up, but she pushed back with pressure to try and date and not just casually hang out. I wasn’t ready for that with her just yet, which eventually led to us cutting all things off.

In my situation, could we both have communicated things better? Absolutely. Was it something we needed to do? Not necessarily. However, I probably could have picked up on some telltale signs that she was interesting in something more than just hooking up, so I figured it’d be a topic I’d write about today to try and help you guys out if and when a similar situation as mine happens to you.

Guys are usually going to believe what they want to believe, ignoring some obvious hints from girls about dating — especially if the dude in question is happily single. But that doesn’t mean it’s always right, so take these tips and use them to your advantage when the girl suggests that hooking up isn’t getting it done for her anymore, and she wants something a little more real.

You’re taking hooking up and turning it into real dates

Here’s the thing about hooking up: it’s supposed to be just that, nothing more. Sure, you don’t want to be one of those basic dudes who just copy/pastes “Hey, wanna come over tonight?” to every single girl in your phone, but you also don’t want to give off the impression that you’re too into a girl — or, worse, desperate. That’s why you need to walk a fine line here between being a gentleman and not leading her on.

However, that’s not always up to you, because, sometimes, your hookup wants to move beyond just yoga pants, the couch, the bedroom and sex. What’s that mean for you? Full on dates.

This can be a great thing if you’re interested in the girl or girls that are suggesting it, but if you think of these girls as nothing more than just a hook up, you’re going to want to be brutally honest and break things off. She’ll berate you and probably think you used her for sex, but that’s part of the territory if you’re just not feeling anything more with her.

Just hooking up isn’t fulfilling her needs anymore

Similar to the above, when hooking up isn’t meeting what she wants, that’s usually a pretty obvious sign that she wants more with you. Hey, can’t knock someone for showing feelings and telling you about them, right?

In the situation I mentioned above about myself, the girl ended up showing signs of being interested pretty early on. From texting me hours after hooking up the first time to see if I was free to go run together, to her drunk dialing me the following weekend and following that up with a 2:30 a.m. text with, “Whatcha doing?” it was pretty obvious the girl was thinking about me more than I was about her.

It hurt to break things off with her a couple weeks later because she really was a good catch, but I just wasn’t emotionally connected to her. Hey, it happens. And, if hooking up turns into something that leaves her unsatisfied, you need to take a long look in the mirror and ask yourself if that’s how you feel, too, or if you just don’t foresee anything more serious with this girl.

Even in your free time, you’re communicating a lot

Are the two of you texting a bunch or thinking about one another even if you’re not planning on hanging out? When you’re involved in each other’s lives outside of a quick romp sesh, guess what, this girl’s starting to feel things for you.

Hooking up is supposed to be a quick deal, where you both satisfy some physical and emotional gaps for a night of having fun. After that, sure, text a follow up to check in on her and keep tabs to show you’re interested in doing it again, but don’t go into full-on communicating mode. This will only lead her on and make her think you’re more interested than you might be.

If the girl texts you a lot after hooking up, go with your gut on how you feel, but don’t think it’s necessary to reply right away (or at all), if all you want from her is sex. You’ve both probably gone through something like this before, so, while it’s natural to think you should reply instantly, that’s not your current role with this girl.

She starts getting jealous at the thought of you hooking up with other girls

Jealousy happens. Oh, boy, does it happen. And, when it comes to hooking up, it can happen pretty frequently — especially when a girl starts developing feelings for a guy.

So, how do you play this? Well, at the first sign of jealousy, make sure you approach the thing head on, asking her why she feels jealous and what she might want with you. You clearly know the answer, but showing her that you can communicate will help her ease her mind and trust you — which, even if this is the last time you two see one another, is a good way to end things.

That pit in her stomach of thinking about you hooking up with other girls won’t go away with you simply rolling over, kissing her and having sex with her again, man, so respect her more than that by talking it out. Sure, you may potentially lose someone you like hooking up with, but it’s better to rip this band-aid off earlier than later, otherwise you’re just playing her.

She hangs out and the two of you didn’t actually hook up

All those times the two of you exchange naughty texts and talk about having sex and then spend the night sweating during a romp sesh? Yeah, that’s the good stuff when hooking up with girls. Thing is, it doesn’t always last forever.

When the two of you are going through the flirty process of hooking up — but don’t actually hook up when you hang out — that’s typically a sign from her that she wants a little bit more from you. It means she’s trying to get to know you without just sex, putting up a guard in order to take things from physical to more emotional. And it’s your job to decide whether or not this is what you want, too, or if you need to break things off with her.

It’s great to be hooking up with people, but, at some point, you need to make the decision about what you really want. If it’s just sex, that’s fine, but you need to tell your partners early on about that. Honesty is always the best in these situations, even if it means not having sex as frequently. Don’t be the guy who uses hooking up as a reason to be dependent on someone, because that’s a crappy thing to do to a girl.

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