I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably wondering how much I’ve hooked up while traveling. A few times, yeah. Not a handful, but a few. I did not understand the hookup culture of travellers until I tried it myself. I used to question everyone I met who hooked up as often as changing their underwear. Why are people doing this? Why can’t they just be with one person? I wondered.
But then, I realized, when you’re traveling, it gets lonely.
So hooking up is inevitable and if you are traveling, it is very easy to find a companion because they’re all feeling lonely. Some won’t admit it but it’s not really about the sex—it’s about what we feel inside. Loneliness eats you up slowly and when you don’t do anything about it, it gets worse.
However, not everyone understands the rules of hooking up. I myself did not get it because I always felt the need of being attached to someone. I was never a woman who validated herself by a man. I’ve always hoped for a successful, endearing, never-ending romantic relationship. Growing up in the country I’m from, we were taught that hooking up is bad and that you’re a whore for doing it.
But that’s not the case.
I tell you, people, for your own sake, understand that hooking up does not mean you will be having a relationship with another person. It’s more complicated but it’s much easier than that.
1. Thou shall tell the truth.
I have a very good friend in Peru who’s a very good example of honesty when it comes to hooking up. When women come to him, he clearly states: “I am not a boyfriend material. I just like sex.” He had a very bad experience some years ago when a girl came back for him and saw him wildly kissing another girl at the bar. It was ugly. There were screaming and shouting and a lot of misunderstanding because he did not make it clear to the girl and she fell in love with him. In every life aspect, honesty is the best policy. Make things clear and stand by your words.
2. Thou shall not say the three words & 8 letter statement.
It’s freaky. It freaks everyone out. “I love you” is a beautiful thing to say but too strong at the same time. How can you love someone you don’t know? How can you love someone you just met a week ago? How can you love someone who doesn’t do anything with you but sex? Not even taking you out for dinner or such.
3. Thou shall not be jealous.
He is not your boyfriend nor she is your girlfriend so chill the f*ck out. Travellers jump from one people to another when they feel like it so if you see him/her with another dude/chick, do not feel jealous. If you can’t beat them, join them. Hook up with another person. It’s a never ending cycle and this is how you survive most especially if you’re someone who has a big heart and feels love for everyone you get romantically involved with.
4. Thou shall not expect.
Do not ask him/her to join you for dinner if he/she is not up for it. This is not a relationship. You are not required to do stuff like you’re boyfriends and girlfriends though you can. It’s just a matter of playing it by ear.
5. Thou shall not fall.
I came a long way to be in total control of my feelings and it always worked. Whenever I felt something heavy for someone, I just tell myself, “I am traveling. And he is too. There is no way this dude is going to be my boyfriend.” Even if he’s the nicest dude you’ve ever met in your life. It just doesn’t work that way — unless you travel together. Mind control works. You just have to be rational and you have to think straight. However, there is no shame in hoping for love. If you already fell on the ground, admit it. There’s no other way but to be honest. (See #1)
6. Thou shall not blame the other for not feeling the same.
Travellers are not always on the same wavelength. You may hook up with a dude you really like or the other way around. You don’t always get to love everyone. There is a thin line with “like” and “love.” If you think you are really in love with this person, say it. But never ever blame him/her for not feeling the same. Shit happens, man and you just have to accept things you cannot change.
7. Thou shall be rational.
Okay, let me tell you a story. I was with a dude for a few weeks and suddenly, he just asked to be “In a relationship” on Facebook. I was like: “no. No no no no no no no. No no no no no don’t do this to me.” I really did say that much “nos” now that I remember. It’s just too much of a leap to be “in a relationship” let alone on Facebook. (See #2) Think. Be rational but don’t close yourself to possibilities as well.
8. Thou shall use condoms. All the time.
Crap. I find it really unhygienic when I hear people’s stories who hate using condoms. First, you don’t know these people. You don’t know how many men/women they’ve hooked up with so please, look after yourself. Second, if you are a woman, being pregnant will change everything most especially if the person who got you pregnant is not your boyfriend nor someone you really know. There is not much more explanation for this. You can afford to buy condoms so do it. Be responsible.
9. Thou shall communicate.
I am amazed with people who set hook up rules. I think it’s brilliant to come to a mutual understanding. Ground rules are fantastic and will keep the both of you out of trouble. Communicate. Do not lie. Just tell the freaking truth! (See #1)
10. Thou shall end things right.
Be friends. Visit each other’s countries. Write to each other every once in a while. If you’ve successfully pulled out numbers 1-9, number 10 will not be very difficult to achieve. It’s good to have friends all over the world and you will be amazed how being casual and friendly after all the shit loads of sex you did will put you in the direction of maturity, good friendships and loving the world bigger.