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Today's Article: 

Are you in a Relationship, No Strings Attached, Or Just Friends? 

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Relationship, No Strings Attached, or Just Friends?


What kind of relationship are you in? Read more to find out! 

At the beginning of the dating process, it is important to get clarity on what you actually want from another person. Mistakes are made when there is ambiguity and can impact your ability to feel safe or lead to pain and confusion when silent expectations are unmet. We’re going to get to the bottom of this question in this video! So, stay tuned.


Are you in an exclusive relationship, no strings attached, or just friends? Suppose you struggle with relationship anxiety, fear of rejection, or the fear of abandonment. In that case, you may be setting yourself up for failure by not being clear about your intentions and what your heart truly desires through the dating process. This may manifest as you not feeling comfortable speaking about what kind of relationship you want to create or allowing others’ needs and wants to lead the relationship. This video will cover the difference between an exclusive relationship, no strings attached, and “just friends” and how to know which one best fits you.


Hi Moodlings, my name is Dr. Nicole Lunan, and I am the CEO and Co-founder of MoodMe, and a specialist in mindfulness and emotional intelligence. At the beginning of the dating process, it is important to get clarity on what you actually want from another person. Mistakes are made when there is ambiguity and indecisiveness, which can impact your ability to feel safe and open up. 


So, when you get the urge to get close to another, are you going to choose? A relationship, no strings attached, or just friends? And do you know the difference between these types of connections? Do you have the courage to ask for what you need from the other person, or do you tend to go with the flow and allow the other person to lead? By the end of this article, you should know which type of connection best suits you right now so you can be super precise when following your urge to get close and comfy with a new lover.


Let’s discuss the differences between “Just friends,” NSA, and Relationships.


So, when you get an innate desire to be physically or emotionally close to another, the “urge” would your ideal outcome be:

  1. Emotional connection + time and energy = “Just friends” (no physical intimacy)

  2. Physical connection only = no strings attached.

  3. Emotional + physical connection + time and energy = relationship territory


Now let’s dive into each category a little bit deeper as we discover which would best fit your needs right now.


Emotional Connection “Just Friends”


Are you in search of an emotional connection only? Finding a friend to share an emotional bond with is an amazing thing. In fact, it’s been researched that friendship plays a significant role in increasing overall health + well-being. It lowers depression and blood pressure. And those with rich social circles live longer!


A deep heart-to-heart connection that, in many ways, can be far more fulfilling than a physical connection because there is intimacy, security, and emotional support without the complication of a physical connection. Do you have people close to you that you can go to when things get hard? Do you have someone that shares your interests and likes to do fun activities or feel comfortable enough to come over and veg out or watch movies? Having a best friend instead of no strings attached or even a relationship can feel more stable because there isn’t a sexual component involved. And when we add sex or physical attraction to the equation, that’s when our hormones start spiking, and our view of the bond forming begins to be seen through a more dramatic lens.


If you have good friends in your life, when a love interest does come along, you will have a more balanced emotional support system instead of leaning too hard on your significant other. You’ll be less likely to search for intimacy in the wrong places because you already have a great support network in your life.


Now, if you find yourself physically attracted to your friend, watch out. Emotional connection + physical connection + time and energy are leaning towards relationship territory.


No String Attached = Physical Connection Only.


For no strings attached, I do have some questions for you to help you gain clarity over this decision. So, as I said before, no strings attached would mean that you only have a physical relationship with your chosen person. Wam, bam, and done. There are absolutely no emotional feelings towards this person. If you are someone who bonds deeply with people, likes to learn about another person, spends time with them, and gets cute texts, this isn’t the connection for you. If you think that you’ll be able to do no strings attached successfully, please take some time to consider and answer these questions.


  • How many times can you have sex with another before you catch feelings?

    • Depending on the person, it can be directly after the first time, or if you’re able to compartmentalize sex and keep it away from actual emotion, you may never catch feelings at all. This leads me to my next question:

  • Are you able to separate sex and emotion?

    • Can you keep sex in a neat little box and keep it away from your emotions? This is the biggest deal when going for no strings attached.

  • Are you aware of the energy transference during sex?

    • When we are physically intimate with others, there is an energy exchange that happens, and sex is one of the largest energy exchanges that two people can do with each other. If you are aware of the energy transference, are you ok with exchanging energy with another person you may not know well?

  • Can you minimize the time you spend seeing, thinking, talking, and texting this person?

    • Time dictates the relationship.

    • Therefore, with no strings attached, time spent thinking, talking, and being with each other should be extremely limited.

  • After you do the deed, are you able to leave all of it behind and resume focus on yourself?

    • If you find yourself pining after your no strings attached lover, it’s a clear indication that you may be leaning towards creating an attachment of some kind.

  • Are you ok with sharing this person with other people?

    • Due to it being NSA, your lover can also be with other people. Is this something that you would be ok with?

  • Are you willing to roll the dice and gamble?

    • When people engage in an NSA relationship, it’s a little bit of a gamble because they don’t know if they will catch feelings after doing it regularly. That’s why it’s important to know if you can separate sex and emotion and the number of times you can do that before your emotional boundaries start to come down.

Relationship Territory

Emotional connection + physical connection + time and energy = relationship territory


Before we go any further, I want to clarify what I mean by relationship territory. I’ve seen many hide behind, “we don’t have a title.”  I think some get scared to label the relationship, which is fine and logical. The issue here is that when it comes to relationships, we are dealing with emotions, not logic. Your heart doesn’t care about a title. If it’s emotionally attached to another person and if you are having regular sex with this person, if you are spending a lot of time texting, calling, and thinking about this person, it is my belief that you are in relationship territory. Time and energy dictate the relationship. No ambiguity around what you are labeling the relationship. In this particular indecisiveness and ambiguity, I see many people get hurt or not ask for what they need out of fear of abandonment or rejection.


So, if you are in this ambiguous situation, it’s best to think about what you want outside of the other person and be honest with yourself about your desire. If it doesn’t match what the other person wants or thinks the relationship is at, then at least you have your answer. You’re not on the same page, and you can manage your expectations and make new plans for your heart.


Are you feeling the urge to be in a relationship? If NSA is a gamble, then I believe that being in a relationship and taking a chance at love is like jumping out of an airplane, except you can’t really see where you’re going to land. It’s like jumping into the unknown, a complete leap of faith. Before you jump, I’d like to ask you a few questions to make sure we know why you are motivated to jump.


Why do you want to be in a relationship?

Are you emotionally available for a relationship?

Are you willing to do the work?

Are you emotionally mature and aware enough?

  • Can you apologize or admit when you’re wrong?

  • Are you aware of your own darkness and how that could possibly impact the relationship?

  • Can you communicate in a mature way with kindness and respect

What kind of partner would complement your life, and is the person or people you are considering fitting for that role?


  • Are you in a place in your life where you are emotionally available? Do you feel that you can open your heart and allow another person in? If yes, that’s great! If not, then developing that emotional connection, having frequent sex, and spending a lot of time can be a little misleading to the person that you are involved with.

  • Are you willing to put in the work on yourself and help support your partner?

    • After the emotional attachment has been created, it will take work to maintain its health. That means communication and a commitment to laying our egos down and understanding another person’s feelings.

  • Are you motivated to be in a new relationship because you’re ultimately hiding from yourself?

    • Are you afraid to be alone? Have you taken the time to work on yourself, and how can you improve outside of having another person to intimately and sexually lean on? Have you been able to successfully form your own identity before deciding that you want to be in another relationship where it’s possible that you may lose yourself?

  • Are you mature enough to treat your partner with respect and kindness?

  • Are you aware of your own darkness and how that could possibly impact the relationship?

As adults, I believe it’s our responsibility to take a relationship seriously, as people’s hearts are at risk. Severing a deep emotional attachment is super painful and takes quite a bit of personal power and mental effort. That being said, sometimes a relationship and love choose us, and there’s no stopping that when it’s meant by the universe and pursued by destiny. But at least taking these questions into consideration will give you a greater awareness of yourself and whether or not you are willing to commit to the leap of faith we call love.

So there you have it, three different ways to fulfill your urge to be close to another. Which one do you feel best fits your right now and why? Leave your answer in the comments below. That’s it for today. Download MoodMe!

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