First of all, chill. This isn’t some sort of perverted satire about actual masturbation, and if you’re offended by the word masturbate then you need to like, grow the fuck up. Sorry for those of you who were in fact here to read about flicking the bean, or spanking the monkey or whatever code names you strange people come up with-no pun intended- you’ve got no such luck. The actual definition of masturbation is “stimulation or manipulation…” so, that could be directed towards anything. In this case, I delegated the definition to an emotional version of that. To the dudes who are reading this: you may feel like this has nothing to do with you; but if you want to peek inside a female’s mind, welcome.  To my ladies: read up.

Congratulations! You found a guy who’s personality doesn’t make you want to gauge your own eyeballs out! Consider yourself lucky. When you start seeing someone new your immediate reaction is to let them flood your thoughts. Your phone dings, you hope it’s him. You post a super hot snapchat, and then scroll through the viewers just to make sure you see his name on the list. Don’t feel bad about this, because it’s natural. You start wondering what he looks like naked (as if guys don’t do the same *eyeroll*) and wonder if he’s close to his parents. Before you know it, you start imagining your wedding photos, what your kids would look like, the estate you’d buy to raise your three kids and a golden retriever. That escalated quickly… THAT my friends, is emotional masturbation. It’s a stimulation of your future with this poor dude who is hoping you’re like, not a psychopath. If you’re reading this and pretending you haven’t emotionally masturbated with a guy then you’re lying. I think I’ve finally figured out a way to finesse the EM system though: DON’T.

When you’re putting so much effort into this imaginary life you just created for you and this guy, you’re setting both yourself, and said dude up for failure. You’re glamorizing this person without even realizing it; forgetting that they’re actually a real life human and like, probably have morning breath or really suck at doing their own laundry. Fact of the matter is, this dude wasn’t put on this earth solely to play puppet to you and your life long dream of a 500+ guest wedding. You’re putting him on a pedestal, and the worst part is the fact that he has no idea! In a real, organic budding relationship you understand that the person you’re seeing may have priorities above you. Hopefully you’re not number 10 on the list, but work, school, his nana’s funeral or whatever terrible family function he has coming up are slightly more important than sweeping you off of your feet. It’s the same for guys too. We weren’t put on earth to be a pretty little housewife who welcomes you with a snifter of scotch wearing nothing but an apron after a long day of work. I mean.. for the most part…

I’m guilty of emotional masturbation 100%. Get this though: I’m not dating any of them. I’ve totally been there, thinking about my tastefully obnoxious engagement ring, what my name sounds like next to his last name. Turns out, every single time I put them on a pedestal I later found out that, he actually was a terrible person, or a narcissistic sociopath, or maybe he just smelled weird. Regardless, I learned my lesson. Don’t let your mind get the best of you, I don’t emotionally masturbate with guys I’m actually interested in, because one: you never want to be the girl who’s obsessed with a guy that doesn’t care about you. Two: once you get to know someone, like really get to know them, you see all the flaws you once overlooked. Total fucking turn off. So instead of leaving the EM/ lust goggles on, take that shit off and learn to like someone for who they really are.

So, you ask “where do you cross the line?” At what point do you go from simply thinking about someone before falling asleep- awww- to picturing how you’re going to redecorate his apartment and what Ivy league college your kiddies will attend (wtf?)? The minute you start imagining you two doing anything right outside of a one month realm. Don’t think about what you’ll be doing in a year with this person, think present. If it’s right, then it will move forward on it’s own. My secret? I try not to think of them at all. Focus on your own shit, be your own person. Do your homework, cross your T’s and dot your I’s. If you’re into him, it will be impervious that you think of him, but don’t let the thought of him consume your life. If he’s into you, he’ll understand and hopefully appreciate the fact that you’re a semi independent gal who’s slowly but surely getting her shit together.

You CAN however, emotionally masturbate about your own future, like as in .You. Alone. Scary. Kidding. Be happy by yourself before you’re giving your happiness to someone else. You’re welcome.