Learning to Love the Hook-Up
Imagine a man and a woman in their young twenties. They meet. There are sparks. They go out. There is dinner, some heavy petting, a week of texting. The next week they meet for drinks, maybe a movie after work. Both parties are optimistic about future prospects, yet they remain voluntarily, contentedly uncommitted.
To me, this pre-relationship, no-strings-attached stage would be called “dating”. But I think I am wrong. In 2010, this is referred to as “hooking up”.
Back in middle school, “hooking up” was synonymous with “kissing”. Now, it covers any range of activities from ongoing casual sex to pre-commitment, post-sex relationship status. And the fact that there exists a general consensus in society to think of certain relationships in this way really does affect the relationships themselves. There’s no waiting three dates to have sex. If you’re hooking up, you’ve already spent the night (or at least a few hours in bed) together. There are no titles. And, there are no expectations.
I love this elimination of dating standards because I prefer to take things as they come and feel out all aspects of a relationship before I invest my emotions in someone. But at the same time…how can you not invest in a guy when you are essentially testing him out as boyfriend material? Even if things don’t work out and you’re both totally comfortable with going your separate ways, it’s still a failed prospect, a failed attempt at coupledom. As for me…I’m young and I’m not too concerned about changing my Facebook relationship status when I could have just as much fun with a summer fling. But I’m also kind of wondering how long that’ll last.