Relationship Recommendations: One Night Stands = Relationships?

Justin Templet

Need advice on the twists and turns that young love can make? Then read this column for a straight solution.

We’ve all woken up from a night of partying with a hangover more painful than a “Matlock” marathon and arms wrapped around us belonging to someone we couldn’t pick out of a lineup. After getting out of bed and muttering some excuse like, “I have a lot of work to do,” we take the walk of shame, or rather, the stride of pride back home.
I’m of course talking about one-night stands: those occasional occurrences glorified by some and condemned by most.

There are two schools of thinkers. Let’s call them the Pamela Andersons and the Jane Austens. The Pamela Andersons appreciate the one night stand for what it is: one night only. They don’t want a relationship and seek a temporary nighttime companion to fulfill whatever needs they have.

The Jane Austens look down on this activity in the same way that I look down on processed cheese. To them, one night stands are unnecessary, degrading and trashy and can never lead to anything but scarlet letters and surprise pregnancies. They believe that sex should be reserved for marriage, or at the very least a committed relationship. Both schools fail to see that individually they are flawed, but blended and served together are stronger and more potent, like a mixed drink.

Neither is mutually exclusive. My roommate, who we will call Thelma, and her boyfriend, who we will call Carlos, have been dating for almost a year. They cook dinner together, take each other to work, help each other with the household chores and seem genuinely happy to be around each other, although I have to admit I’m happy to have Carlos around too because my domestic skills are somewhat less than par.

However, they didn’t meet at tea, playing bridge or in any other Jane sort of way. They met at the most unromantic place in the city and possibly the continental United States: The Boot. A round of cheap draft pitchers soon turned into many and before you can say ‘oops’ the two ended up in bed together. But, they still share that bed. Their story isn’t unique, and it seems as if the more people I congratulate on a successful relationship, the more I hear Thelma’s story.

One night stands defy classification and can not be watered down into being just sinful. They can lead to something that Jane Austen would approve of, and maybe even more. A night with the next stranger you meet at a bar could not only lead to marriage, but also economic security, an end to hunger and world peace.