Who is it you are hanging out with right now? Just a friend…

When dating someone for a few months, how many times have you discovered they were out without you, and with an opposite-sex friend (or two) no less? Yet you had never heard of that person up until that point.

The Just-a-Friend tool easily sets not-present partner expectations on how an arranged outing (or “unplanned” encounter) with an opposite-sex third party person can end up being more than just a few cocktails together. Here’s the tool: Just-a-Friend, and here are the directions from Last Call‘s Chapter 20, “Disclosure Decency”:


The Just-a-Friend tool can assist in communicating to a partner what type of yet-to-be identified familiar third-party person one will be sharing company time with for any significant period. That is, someone who has yet to be discussed in any type of detail within the partnership as to who they are, and whether there is any sexual history or at least known sexual interest ­between the two of them.

This tool records reasonable information beginning with what that friend’s partnership status is (answering the question “Is your friend sexually available?”), then asking “Is that friend sexually attracted to you, you to the friend, or both?” Next it sets down any shared sexual history with that friend, including how far the sexual encounter went, and finally asks for an answer to the important statement, “We are or are not currently hooking up.”

Quick “best of my knowledge” brutally honest answers will help achieve the goal of the Just-a-Friend tool, enabling a partner to non-intrusively assess the probability of a sexual encounter during the time one will be seeing the third-party person, whether ­opposite- or same-sex. The first Just-a-Friend tool has only four questions and can be completed in one minute or less:

Naturally, if all the answers are choice “a,” there is a low probability of one’s partner having sex during that particular third-party company time outing. Any combination of “b” and “c” answers could put one a little on edge. If all were answered “d,” one should count on some interesting partner communications the following day.

The end result of the Just-a-Friend tool is that it naturally leads all involved to be significantly more brutally honest in their dating matters. It allows both partners who are currently compatible and content to recognize that, regardless, they still might have sex with someone else. A direct derivative of such a tool is that many partners will feel obligated to at least text their partner shortly after parting ways with their “friend.” Some might even do so beforehand, giving some type of heads up that everything is cool, and a “I can’t wait to hold you again” signal, especially if that friend is known to still have “feelings,” or even vice versa. Without such communication, the left-behind partner could end up having quite a sleepless night as he (or she) tries to rationalize why the non-cohabiting partner has not attempted to make contact. (Yes, the “I didn’t want to wake you” excuse is officially dead, unless instructed beforehand not to.)

The tool can also be used in situations where one is getting together with a group of friends. Those that will definitely derive benefit from this use are partnerships in which one or both partners are originally from another city and are likely to go home for the holidays or special friend/family events. Upon making the announcement one is doing so, that partner can answer the four questions for each sexually interested or interesting person he or she is likely to run into, or even already has plans to see.

Future Just-a-Friend tool questions are expected to factor in whether the friend is currently contentedly dating or married; or if they are, say, off work the next morning and therefore can hang out as late as he or she cares to. The Just-a-Friend tool can also be used in “after the fact” situations, especially when one’s partner unexpectedly runs into an old acquaintance. It is expected the Just-a-Friend tool will prove invaluable in such situations, especially once both partners have the smart phone app downloaded.

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