June 18, 2015

In the past few days, there's been an explosion of a new term to describe the young professionals in our culture: yuccies (young urban creatives). Sure, the new preferences have become hot yoga, the dollar section at Target, kale, and music festivals, however, what about it comes to love? Young professionals are so determined on their career that some of them have become indecisive when it comes to their love life. I'm not counting myself out of this, as you could tell from my last column installment. However, I thought I'd give my take on "hookup culture."

What's Love Got To Do With It 2: Hooking Up Is Hard To Do

What exactly is hookup culture? According to the oh-so-reliable Wikipedia, it is:
  1. ...one that accepts and encourages casual sexual encounters, including one-night stands and other related activity, which focus on physical pleasure without necessarily including emotional bonding or long-term commitment.
We can't quite call our culture a "hookup culture" because some religions and lifestyles do not accept "casual sexual encounters." However, most other lifestyles do see nothing wrong with them. They can be great for a person sometimes, and horrible for a person sometimes. Sometimes a "casual sexual encounter" can invigorate a person, or sometimes it can lead to two people "catching feelings" but "not wanting to put a label on it" and DEFINITELY NOT having a straight answer for "so, what are you guys, anyways?" Sound like I have a little bit of experience with this?

The answer to all of the shades of grey this culture brings about is the same thing that answers all the questions in relationships: communication and honesty.

The problem with our society is that everyone wants to have their cake and eat it too, in this sense. People want the physical, and say they don't want the emotional, but end up wanting the emotional in the end. However, they don't want to lose their freedom. So, instead of casually hooking up or casually dating, they end up stringing others along and unknowingly hurting others.

Hooking up can be very enriching and refreshing if you are secure about your intentions and what you want to do. However, be flexible. If you end up catching those pesky feelings, don't ignore it. Chances are, the other person is catching those feelings, too. Some wise words a friend told me one time are: "Don't not date someone (and miss something totally awesome) just because you want to be single." I may just be speaking from experience, but it may be a lot less stressful to be monogynous with the one person you really like and give them your all, than to be stringing along many people at once.

That brings up another point. Know what kind of single you want to be. I didn't know there were many types of single until I was single for an extended amount of time and longed to be the other type. Type 1 is totally alone, focusing on YOURSELF, your work, your mental and physical health, etc. Type 2 is hooking up and having things here and there. Since you're single, you can easily break things off with your flings and focus on you, if you wanted to revert back to type 1.

Things to consider when in a hook-up situation:

1. If we stop hooking up, will it get awkward?
2.  How much do I like this person?
3. Can I see myself wanting to date this person?
4. Do we go out on "dates" to get food, or worse, got to IKEA together?
5. Can I see myself NEVER wanting to date this person?
6. Do you smile when people ask you about them?
7. Do you think about them while you can't sleep at night?

If you answered yes, or a lot, to 2,3,4,6,7 then step back, be honest with yourself, then be honest with them. Talk about where this is going and see if it can go further. If they don't want it to, break it off because you're going to end up hurt.

Long story short, don't lie to yourself. If you're emotionally attached, be honest with yourself and them. However, if you're totally fine with pure physicality, proceed, my friend. As the frat guy in every movie every would say, get ittttt. However, get it with caution of your feelings.

What's your take on hook-up culture?
Any funny/crazy/sad/ romantic stories?

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