Not that casual sex isn’t without its complications, but there is something to be said for knowing what the conditions are when you start “hanging out” with someone, adhering to them, and ending the relationship when one or more parties start to disagree on them. There are still emotions. There can still be hurt, but it isn’t a given. It is situation-specific and happens on an individual basis. I’m not saying I haven’t been there, but the problem was on my end. I accepted hooking up when I was really hoping for an actual relationship. It’s important to know what I’m getting into and to be honest with myself. I did have to learn this the hard way thanks to my naivety, and I still sometimes “catch feels.” At that point, it’s up to me how to proceed, but it’s unfair to the other person to put expectations on them that 1) they weren’t aware of or 2) they wouldn’t agree to.
The lesson is this: anything you feel like in life should be done, you should try it. Because if you win, you lead. If you lose, you guide. Whether you succeed or you fail at something, you’ll still have something to offer others as a result of simply trying.
We have these posters at Facebook that say: “Even busy bees stop and smell flowers.” I think often about that saying, and how it’s at the heart of not only the work we do but also our own life experiences. The stories we tell and the stories other tell us shape our work, our beliefs, and that’s what shapes us, as designers and people.