There are many different articles cropping up around the internet lately whining about the mythical entity known as “hook-up culture.” What is hook-up culture? While there seems to be no concrete definition, it refers to a phenomenon among the millennial generation where everyone fears relationships, or loves sex so much it makes us emotionally unavailable, or cannot dare be honest with a prospective partner because of the risk they might find us creepy.
Sounds pretty out there, right? Maybe even a little stupid? Of course, yet we accept it as just the way things are now and, accordingly, refuse to confront what is actually happening with ourselves and our peers.
Sorry to be that guy, but there is no such thing as hook-up culture. There never was. No, the problem is that we are shallow, vapid, and selfish, and we expect others to be okay with that.
Our real issue is that we have been raised, thanks to technology, to expect everything to happen for us instantly, including our own happiness. Dating does not work that way. It is awkward. There are often uncomfortable pauses. We have to actually talk about ourselves, a role we can’t delegate to Facebook when sitting across the table from another person. Worst of all, we have to go one, maybe even two hours, without checking Instagram or Twitter.
In short, dating is hard. So, as we are used to shortcuts, we take the easy way out. We swipe right, bring them over, have sex, then push them out the door and ignore all their texts for the rest of eternity. After all, sex is what we really want in the end, so it seems logical just to gloss over everything else and skip right to the good part.
We come out of this pleasured, so we are able to trick ourselves into believing pleasure equals happiness. And sure, maybe that works for the budding bachelor or the free-wheeling feminist, but for the rest of us, we aspire to more than just casual sex with a stranger. Instead of letting others know how we feel (apparently that’s considered creepy), we bottle our emotions, go from hook-up to hook-up, then blame the lack of real intimacy on the social stigma of the hook-up culture.
This is selfish. This is assuming that everyone we get together with is there to serve our needs. This is placing on the blame on everyone except the one person who deserves it: ourselves.
For intimacy to exist in a relationship, we need to remember that relationships are two-sided affairs. Selfishness leads us to forget that the other man or woman in the relationship has feelings and is more than just a vessel for our sexual satisfaction. If we keep placing our problems on others, or some catchy-sounding internet meme, we will never get to where we want to be.
It is time to start looking inward and being honest with ourselves and our potential partners; in the end, we will all be much happier for it.