When the Hookup Culture Hurts, Not Helps

Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alyssafilmmaker/
Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alyssafilmmaker/

When I was a little girl I always looked at grown-up relationships through rose-colored glasses. I thought everyone loved the hardest they possibly could.  I thought boys asked the girls they liked on cute dinner dates. I thought those dinner dates led to relationships and those relationships led to marriage. Plain and simple.

I came to college a virgin and I honestly didn’t think much of it. I had a boyfriend in high school but I just never took that step. College, however, was a totally different ballgame. I knew I was kinda naïve, but there was no way those movie portrayals I saw of this crazy-four-yea-adventure we call college were real.

When I started college, I realized hooking up was a flippant act people didn’t seem to think much of.

I frequently went to parties. I drank a ton and I made out with boys, but I would never sleep with them. In my head I was saving it for that guy who would sweep me off my feet. He’d probably have a little scruff and a perfect amount of whit to kick my sass in the butt. A lot of my friends would tip-toe around the whole virgin thing, but it still came up from time to time. “Who do you think is going to be the one?” we would often find ourselves talking about, as if any of us had a clue. As if any of us every really had a clue about anything relationship related in college.

And one random night, I ventured off to a friends place and was about to meet the guy who I was going to lose it to. Exciting right?

No. I automatically disliked him after saying only one word to me. Fortunately, a few months deep into knowing Mr. Soon-to-be-The-One, I finally came around and realized he wasn’t that bad at all. We never ended up dating but I liked him, he was funny, easy to talk to and had nice arms. All it took was about a year into our “friendship.” A few texts back and forth and I found myself in his bed.

I never regretted that night, I never regretted that it was him, I just didn’t realize how much one hookup would completely change a mindset I had my whole life.

By the time I was a senior, I really didn’t want a boyfriend. I wanted to have fun, go out and end the year with a bang, yada yada yada – you’ve heard it all before. Weekends consisted of the bar and an occasional text to a boy who I wanted to see that night. What I was doing was nothing out of the ordinary; it’s just how my generation acts. I never went crazy, but the senior year version of me would have certainly terrified that 18 year old virgin I was three years ago. To be honest I didn’t think much of the hooking up I was doing.

College is like this weird bubble where alcoholism doesn’t exist and you can sleep with someone one night and see them the next night and not even look at each other, not even say hi. It’s an entire culture our generation has created and I had just slipped into this twisted world a little late.

It wasn’t until I met someone, my very last semester, who made me realize how fucked this whole “hookup culture” is. A mutual friend introduced us and after a few nights out seeing him, I was interested. After knowing him maybe three weeks I asked him to come home with me, without really any hesitation. I had done it before, what’s the difference now? But the way I felt the next morning was different from all the other times. I liked this kid, and for the first time ever, this newfound view I had on sex and relationships was about to mess with my emotions.

We weren’t going on cute dinner dates, but we snap chatted each other our meals. We didn’t text each other to talk, but we sure as hell checked in to see if we’d both end up at the bar. We never cuddled, but we slept together. I liked him, but I didn’t know how to properly get to know someone anymore, I didn’t know how to date. Frankly, I don’t think he did either. I knew how to keep off his radar just enough to spark his attention. I knew how to seem interested but not eager. I knew how to send late night texts asking for “adult sleepovers”. We’re all like this, we’re all pros at hooking up and that’s it.

It’s sad that it took a crush for me to finally realize it. I threw away anything I had previously thought about relationships when I slept with someone who wasn’t my boyfriend. It was fun, and who doesn’t like attention? But being around so many hookups without an emotional backbone made me push my emotions aside as well. I finally fully realized what I was doing to myself a few nights ago. My second semester romance didn’t come home with me and I got sad, not because I didn’t get laid that night, but because I didn’t get to talk to the boy that I liked, even it was for a little. But I can’t get sad, because we’ve created a world where you can be hooking up with someone and not dating them. I don’t think any of us even know how to be in a relationship anymore, and that’s what we should actually be getting sad about.

Written by: Anonymous

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