What do you think of when you think of the phrase one-night stand? What do you picture the people involved to look like? Are they drunk wearing skimpy outfits, or maybe sober, leaving the gym? Do you feel sad for the people involved or more power to you! I recently had a one-night stand and it was the best decision I ever made to break someone else’s rules!

It was Friday night and I was preparing for another evening on the sofa watching Locked Up (a little off beat but actually super fascinating) and scanning my phone to see how the rest of the world was living it up. Passing the time I opened my Bumble app and started kind of mindlessly swiping – raise your hand if you know that one! I decided to message this super cute guy I matched with the night before and see what he was up to for the weekend – and I was a bit shocked when he responded so quickly! After several texts back and forth we made plans to meet up that night at a bar near my place and feel each other out. Even while I was getting ready, he was still texting to be explicitly clear and confirm that I was comfortable with casual sex. TBH, I found his communication and his honesty so sexy – I knew right then how this was going to end. But because I am a lady, I’ll sum the night up with – I have no regrets.

The next day I got to thinking, why was this experience so fun to me? I had this overwhelming feeling of liberation and empowerment. I’ll admit it was a bit more than I was expecting from one casual night with Tom no last name. But, when I talked to my mom about it (yes we talk about everything) I told her, this was my ah-ha moment. Looking out the window at Chicago, I had two choices. I could either stay in my apartment waiting for life to come knock on the door – never gonna happen. Or I could go out into Chicago with an open mind, meet someone new with no expectations, and make a new memory in my city! In essence I could be present and enjoy the moment.

The exact view of my ah-ha moment.

Now clearly there are other ways to say yes to life without casual sex, which is not for everyone, and in my case this was never even about sex. Society does a really good job of conditioning us on how we as ladies should act and from a really young age too. We must always act appropriate right, always give your number don’t take his, no kissing on a first date, a five date minimum for sleeping together, because other wise you are not wifey material. Ok, that’s one line of thinking and it’s valid for those who think that way. But me personally, what I think is more inappropriate than any of those things is not acting on the way you feel. Imagine, “OMG I am totally vibing with this guy right now and I want him, but it’s only date two so he can’t come up.” BOOM! And just like that you missed the moment. I’m not talking about that was your husband to be and now he’s gone forever. I’m talking about life. Life was giving you a moment, an opportunity to be totally present and enjoy; but you held back because of what someone who is not you told you you should do. Raise your hand if you have ever held back from a situation because you were concerned with what someone else would think or say. (My hand is sky high!) But folks this is about waking up and living the life you’ve been granted, not taking life for granted!

When I had my casual encounter with Tom no last name it was probably the freest I had ever felt since college, it was the day that I truly crushed the conditioning. #IndependenceDay. Not the stigma attached to a one-night stand but all of it: quitting a job that hurts more than it helps, supporting family even when they screw up, defining the boundaries of relationships so that they serve you, and determining success – the whole what should life look like at 30. Because you know what, life likes happiness, however and whatever that looks like to you, that’s up to you. Who’s rules are you playing by?

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