When is a hookup not a hookup? The answer is simple: When it’s NSA (in other words “no strings attached”). NSA interactions are great for people who are looking to have sex but don’t want to be caught up with troublesome emotions or commitments. With the proliferation of online dating sites and apps in the world it’s easier than ever to connect with people who share your interests. You might even fall in love. But what if you’re not looking for love?
Welcome to the world of NSA dating.
What Does NSA Mean on Dating Sites? NSA = No Strings Attached
NSA stands for “No Strings Attached” and is meant to express that the person is not looking for a relationship at this point in time. It’s worth noting that NSA does not necessarily mean one night stand. There are some people who would rather meet for sex with the same partner over a period of time. The understanding there is that it’s not a relationship so much as it’s an arrangement. When it’s over, it’s over. No hard feelings.
In some cases it’s like a business arrangement, and while that might sound foreign to some people it’s very comforting to other people who want to have boundaries drawn from the start.
NSA Dating Service Overview
Traditional and mainstream online dating sites like eHarmony and Match are not NSA relationship friendly whereas Adult Friend Finder, Zoosk, Tinder and even OKCupid are designed for it. Sites like Match are engineered to produce long-term relationships. NSA relationship friendly sites are geared toward providing profiles and allowing members to form their own connections. As a general rule, don’t use Match or eHarmony for NSA interactions. They’re the wrong sites for it and you could be blocked for harassment (intentional or otherwise) as a result.
Best NSA Dating Site: Adult Friend Finder
Adult Friend Finder is a site dedicated to sex and swingers. It’s not as suited to helping people find meaningful relationships and is geared toward hookups. It has a filter that allows you to search for people looking for NSA interactions. If you spot a profile and don’t see that it’s listed as NSA-friendly, reach out and ask. You never know what the response might be, and properly vetting someone beforehand is much better than asking the question during an in-person meeting.
Adult Friend Finder is free but it does offer a paid membership that provides members with access to communication to prospective matches as well as access to additional members and resources.
Best NSA Dating App: Zoosk
Unlike Adult Friend Finder, Zoosk is an online dating site that both matches people looking for traditional relationships as well as helps people find NSA interactions. It’s not regarded as a hook up site the way Tinder and OKCupid are, and the fact that there are people looking for long-term relationships on the site means that you must be very careful when meeting and vetting a potential match. It’s important that they know what you’re looking for.
Like Match and most of the other dating sites, Zoosk also has a paid upgrade that provides additional matching benefits and faster communication with matches.
Successful NSA Interactions: Need to Knows
A NSA relationship, as we’ve established, can range from one night to an indeterminate length of time. Successful long-term NSA connections are based on open communication about expectations so that there are no mixed messages or improperly perceived signals. Both parties should be aware of the context of their interactions.
An NSA interaction is perfect for someone:
- Not looking for a long-term relationship, perhaps immediately following a painful breakup
- In town for a short period of time, like for a work conference or convention, or also a short-term relocation for work.
- Who want to find like-minded people to share an evening with before going their separate ways.
Challenges to NSA Relationships
The challenge of NSA interactions comes when the context of the interaction is unclear, the expectations aren’t clearly established or one partner develops feelings for the other. Make it clear from the start that this is a no strings attached interaction and whether or not you’re looking for someone to hook up with in the future. Also make it clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you’re not looking for love.
Never connect with someone who isn’t aware of your intention for a NSA interaction. It almost always ends badly. Find someone online who is also looking for an NSA interaction and upon meeting discuss whether you’re looking for one night or the possibility of many nights over a period of time.
If your intention to have an NSA interaction aren’t spelled out crystal clear it can really come back and bite you later on.
A NSA, or no strings attached, relationship is getting more and more common in dating today as people separate their desire for sex from their desire for a relationship. People not interested in settling down don’t have to sacrifice their physical needs and thanks to online dating sites and apps they can search for people who share their goals. It’s a win-win.