FA 073 Short Term Relationships

Introduction topic

  • Low Self-Esteem and the Regret of Sacrifices - Francesca Righetti, Mariko Visserman (VU Amsterdam)

    • Social Psychological and Personality Science

  • “Low self-esteem partners desire strong interpersonal connections like everybody else but they are very sensitive to rejection and interpersonal threats," says lead author Francesca Righetti (VU University Amsterdam). "They underestimate how positively they are viewed by their partner and how much their partner loves and cares for them. They also tend to think that others are not there for them, not available to provide support when in need."

  • These doubts can influence mood, stress, and life satisfaction. They also tend to regret the sacrifice.

  • Study was carried out over a year with 130 couples that had been together at least 4 months and had no children.

  • Their research shows that people sacrifice the same amount, regardless of self-esteem level.

  • Righetti's advice, "If you have a low self-esteem partner, try to show much appreciation and gratitude after s/he sacrificed. S/he needs reassurance that you have noticed and appreciated the efforts. If you are low in self-esteem yourself, try not to assume that your partner did not notice what you have done for the relationship. Perhaps, talk together (in a constructive manner!) about what you have done for him/her and what it has entailed for you."


Why consider short term relationships?

  • Travelling for summer vacations, internships, conventions, work training, or any reason

    • Summer Loving is something that can help you grow as an individual, however don’t enter into the short term expecting a long-term commitment will come from it (no bait-and-switch)

  • Don’t measure the quality of a relationship in its length or depth of commitment, but by how happy it makes you.

Establishing expectations

  • Don’t get into a relationship you know will be short term without disclosing that fact

    • If using a dating app specify what you’re looking for. Don’t lead someone looking for LTR into a summer fling

  • Set boundaries

    • Time limitations

      • Not just for when the relationship ends but on when you want to spend time together

    • Acceptable behaviors (just because it is a short term relationship doesn’t mean you have to tolerate abuse)

    • Sexual health practices

      • Do you want to be open or exclusive? Use protection or fluid bonded?

    • Emotional intimacy

      • You can choose to remain intriguing rather than making yourself entirely vulnerable to a fling

        • Some people are very turned off by people who place hard limits on where a relationship can go based on the context (Viro!)

        • Some prefer high intimacy even if the relationship duration will be short (Viro!)

        • Make sure to be transparent about what it is you are open to

  • Campsite rule

Making the most of it

  • If you feel insecure during the relationship (maybe you want to go LDR but they don’t) remind yourself that you entered into this as a transitory relationship and enjoy it in the moments you have it

  • Ask your temporary partner areas that you can improve in.

    • Learn from each other in this limited time and be willing to explore new ideas and activities

  • Even if the relationship has a date of end approaching don’t focus on that and instead enjoy each day and moment together as possible

  • Be honest-- just because this is a temporary relationship does not mean that you can be insincere or dishonest


  • Subject: Poly parent dating tips

    • Hey Feral Attraction podcast people! I've loved listening to your podcast thus far, and I wanted to ask a question myself and get some advice. I'm a mom and a have a four year old daughter. Unfortunately, her other mom and I split up a while back, and I want to get out into the dating works again as bring alone sucks. I've participated in a few poly styled relationships in the past and feel like that is what I want for myself but I don't know how to go about this now that I have a child. Could you give me some tips for dating poly style as a parent?

  • Subject: Do you have any advice for living well when you feel like your life is "on hold"?

    • Question! Hi, Viro. Got another question for the podcast that I hope hasn't been answered yet (I'm a few episodes behind, and if it's been addressed, don't worry about pointing it out, i'll catch up). Do you have any advice for living well when you feel like your life is "on hold"? Feel free to leave out any details you want to make this question more relatable to your audience. For 3 years now I've always felt like "I'll be happy when I have a higher income / can afford hormones for being trans / can move closer to my friends and not be 2 hours away from them, etc." I graduated college 3 years ago and had minimum wage or less jobs for 2 years (literature degree was a terrible idea), and since I was unhappy and struggling to make rent, I took out a loan to go back to school and go into tech. I've been in school for several months and have a few more to go, then I have the job hunt, which could take a few months too. I have been practicing mindfulness and really does help sometimes, but often it's hard to feel great when all of my energy is spent on creating a future where I'm comfortable, happy, and not sleep deprived from working two jobs (school 6 hours a day and overnight work 7 hours a day). Do you, Metriko, or Koji have any advice aside from "mindfulness and being thankful" for people who feel like they can't live their "real life" until they reach a certain point? Like maybe this question could also apply to people who are under 18 and gay living with parents who don't approve and just have to wait until they can afford to leave. Anyway, thanks a bunch, love the show, and I  and am so glad that you guys are getting more and more popular! 💕


  • Next week’s topic: All Questions Show vol 5

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Metriko Oni

Metriko Oni is a former government environmental disaster mitigations expert with a focus on outreach, education, and policy writing. He now works with computers. He has been active in the fandom since 2013 and has been an advocate for transparent lines of communication. His interests include philosophy, media, futurism, and speculative fiction.