This Is Why So Many College Students Are Getting Into Shitty Relationships

Unsplash, João Silas
Unsplash, João Silas

I am a serial dater, a hopeless romantic who has jumped from man to man, in a trek to find a lifelong partner. I’ve spent much of my high school life in relationships, and now have happily been in a relationship for over a year.

Starting college, I was convinced I would find, in the plainest of terms, the “one.” My friends and I would sit on the couch on Thursday nights, drink our wine, and contemplate what the rest of our lives will be like with a man. Nights out with the girls would slowly morph into a race to find a man worthy of our time and compassion.

Out of all my friends, I was what you might call “the lucky one.” After a sweltering day at the beach, I laid down and began my daily ritual: swiping away into the wee hours of the night on Tinder. On this particular occasion, I came across a boy who I later met at a Penn State vs. Temple football game. This soon blossomed into a relationship, and my friends dubbed me as the friend who could find a boyfriend.

However, there is a stigma associated with being in a relationship. Why would you want a relationship when you could just find a boy on a random drunken night, and forget about him the next day? The answer to this question was plain as day to me. Being the girl with the boyfriend was something I had always known, and it was no different from my former high school career.

However, there was a certain “aura” I gave off to the college community now that I had a boyfriend. I began asking myself why? Why did my friends consider this a big deal? He was just a boy. As months passed, I started seeing my friends struggle. They so desperately wanted to find someone, to find love, to find affection. Watching this, I came to my conclusion: Hookup culture rejects the opportunity for an individual to find a healthy, loving relationship.

The hookup culture perpetuates “one-night stands.” While hooking up, women release higher levels of oxytocin than men do. This hormone causes women to become more attached to their partners. It is something out of our control.

Conversely, men release little to no oxytocin, making their hookup a “one-night stand” experience. Men flee, and many women are left pondering their nights. Will he text me? Will I see him again? Did this mean something? More often than not, the answer to these questions is “no.”

The brokenhearted remain hopeful that something could potentially come out of this night, only to be disappointed when they see their ex-man flirting with another lady on the dance floor. When they do receive a text from their prospective love interest, many times it is a 2 AM call that says, “Come over.”

Thus, the hookup trend continues. Weekend after weekend, night after night, women are yearning for something more than a “what are you doing” text. Every student in the hookup culture is inevitably thrown into this cycle, and it becomes the norm.

So how do you know when someone is serious about your relationship?

Students settle for someone (or are stuck in an unhealthy relationship) due to hookup culture. Ladies begin assuming, that when men ask them to come over, it could lead to something much more than that, and will settle for that man, leading to an unloving and potentially dangerous relationship. These false relationships could ultimately reject students from ever forming a genuine relationship in college.

At the end of the day, it is important for men and women everywhere to remember that a one-night stand does not necessarily equate to love, a text back, or a budding relationship. Try it the old fashioned way, by getting some dinner and seeing a movie. Or be like me, and try your chances on Tinder.

The choice is yours. TC mark

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