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No Strings Attached

What Does NSA Mean?

Even with modern dating apps and websites, finding a partner can still be a minefield. With so many people looking for so many different types of relationships, how do you know which is best for you? This is when knowing your dating acronyms comes into play.

The most common of these is NSA, though you may also see ONS, MBA and a host of others. Read on as we discuss what an NSA relationship is and weigh up the pros and cons.

What Is an NSA Relationship?

NSA stands for no strings attached. Though not exactly defined, it is generally a relationship in which people are sleeping with each other. However, there is no assumption that it will lead to a deeper, romantic relationship.

Essentially, the relationship is open. Both parties are free to date other people. It will not be considered cheating if they go out and sleep with someone else.

However, it is important to define what the boundaries are if you do enter into an NSA relationship. Some people may not want to sleep with others, but also not want the commit to a romantic future. These relationships are not for everyone and have a wide range of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s dig in to those.

Pro – No Commitment Can Be a Benefit

Not everyone is looking for a life partner. You may be at a point in your life where you are happy in work, at home and you are secure. All that may be missing is the physical aspect.

When you commit to someone, you take on all their problems. You have an emotional attachment, and you also enter an unspoken clause to care and protect them. It is not selfish if that is a not a responsibility you want. 

All you need to do is ensure both parties are happy with this. You can have great sex without being in love, just like you can love someone without having great sex.

Con – Someone Could Get Hurt

The danger with this is that someone may start to develop feelings for the other, even if the boundaries have been defined as NSA. If this happens for both people and the relationship progresses, then fantastic. But if it only happens with one person, someone is going to get hurt.

The problem is that the more time you spend with someone having sex, the more you will get to know them. Inevitably, if they turn out to be someone you don’t like, you will stop the NSA relationship. The only other alternative is that knowing them more makes you like them more, increasing the romantic attraction.

Pro – It Is a Lot of Fun

Of course an NSA relationship is fun! You get to have sex with someone you find really attractive. Without the need to impress them or feel nervous, you can really let your inhibitions go.

Perhaps you will find yourself experimenting. You may find kinks and fetishes you never knew you had.

All of this will be unspoilt by the emotional burdens you get in relationships. Your sex is not tainted by arguments you may have had, financial worries or the most important, jealousy.

Con – It May Prevent You Finding Real Love

When you are in an NSA relationship, spending casual time with someone could prevent you from finding a real partner. If you have more than one NSA relationship, then the chances diminish. How would you feel if the love of your life got away because you were having another NSA session?

Even if you do buckle down to an NSA relationship, it could still damage you further down the line. Every relationship suffers from a dip in the amount of sex later down the line. If you have been used to having NSA fun, you may crave the excitement once more at the sacrifice of a loving relationship.

Pro – You Can Meet More People

Not everyone has an ideal type. In fact, many people have no idea what it is until it comes along. In this instance, it pays to shop around a little.

Not being bound to one person can help you meet others. In doing this, you get a much clearer idea of what you want from a person, and from a relationship. This can make it easier to spot the right person when they do come along.

Con – You Are Taking Risks

In being in relationships in which people are sleeping around, you do risk getting a sexually transmitted infection. You need to be able to know and trust the person to use protection. However, if you knew and trusted them that well, you may not be sleeping around.

In addition, it could impact your mental health. It is easy to feel used and unwanted when you are moving from an NSA relationship to the next one. If they keep ending suddenly and no one makes a move to turn them into something else, it may bring on feelings of loneliness and worthlessness.

Other Dating Acronyms

Even when you know what NSA means, dating jargon can still leave you feeling perplexed. There are plenty more terms for you to get to grips with, which we have explained and summarised below.


MBA is a strange one, that stands for Married But Available. It could be that the person is married and looking to have an affair, or they may simply be in a married relationship with an open status. Either way, many people will still view it as cheating and avoid entering into an MBA arrangement.


FWB stands for Friends With Benefits. This is when two people get on with each other, have the sexual aspect of a relationship, but no romantic involvement. They may often hang out together and have sex, but they are not bound to each other and can see other people.


An ONS is a One Night Stand. People very seldom say that they are looking for an ONS on a dating profile, but you do see many people state they are not looking for one.

Is It Right for Me?

Only you will know if an NSA relationship is for you. If you get jealous easily or form attachments quickly, then avoid them at all costs. However, if you are happy-go-lucky and carefree and can find a willing participant to join you, then it may be a lot of fun.