Is The “Hookup Culture” Ruining Dating?

Hooking up as a concept isn’t new at all, but, has it increased in popularity?  Is the “hookup culture” the new norm?  I have seen a significant increase in casual dating and casual sex over the past years that I’ve been dating and writing about it.  Let’s be honest, less and less people are really looking for something serious, or they have such high standards that most people cannot meet, and, as a result, they have several other more casual liaisons instead.  Some people are happily single and don’t even want relationships, just casual encounters and find hooking up to be a better alternative for them.  It’s not only men, it’s women too … so if no one is inspiring them to commit then why should they, right?

hookup culture

What is the “hookup culture” anyway?  Generally, it’s defined as a brief uncommitted sexual encounter between individuals who are not romantically involved or exclusively dating each other.  So this includes casual sex, friends with benefits, booty calls as well as one night stands.  This isn’t a new concept in any way, shape or form, but it is becoming more common, especially among singles in their 30’s and 40’s, not only the “college crowd” as originally thought. These encounters are also initiated by both men and women and lead to “no strings attached sex”.  In general, it’s a mutually beneficial agreement between two consenting adults.  Sounds simple, right? Well, not always.

The “Hookup Culture” and Dating

Often times, people get caught up in an endless cycle of these casual relationships when they are really looking for something more concrete and real.  Let’s face it, everyone loves to feel desired and hooking up helps you not only “scratch an itch”, it helps you feel like you’ve still “got it”.  Dating is fun but it’s also quite the challenge, especially if you date a lot.  You run the risk of losing hope and feeling like an undesirable.  The “hookup culture” helps you through those dry spells, or, is it standing in your way of having a “real” relationship?  I think one could get too used to having too many partners and the “variety” that they forget what it’s like to have a fulfilling relationship with one person.

Is the “hookup culture” ruining dating? I would say it’s definitely changing dating and redefining what it means to date and be in a relationship.  People have different expectations from dating, like sex early on.  Online dating and social media gives people options so it seems you’re competing for someone’s attention with millions of others. You have to set yourself apart from the rest and keep someone’s attention long enough to actually get to know you in a real way.  Believe it or not that’s getting A LOT more difficult than it used to be, especially when the next shiny object is right there for them to grab.   What is a person to do? Many just jump right in and hook up with their dates or interests hoping for the best.  But, although a hookup might lead to a relationship, it usually doesn’t so don’t be fooled or convince yourself otherwise.  Actually your hookup might cause more harm then good.  If you want something real with someone then odds are more in your favor if you take your time with being intimate.  You know when the timing is right so don’t rush into something just because you think it will get you a relationship.  Get the relationship stuff settled first, then be intimate, trust me you won’t regret it.

The “Hookup Culture” and Strings

Despite being more and more socially acceptable, there are those that suggest that sexual hookups may actually leave more strings attached than people might think.  I’ve said before that not everyone is capable of having unemotional sex.  There’s some residue of feelings left over after a casual sex encounter for some.  Feelings get in the way.  That is why it’s very important to be open and honest about your intentions and expectations when hooking up.  It will save a lot of heartache and uncomfortable situations in the long run.  Make sure you’re on the same page, we all know there’s nothing worse than having feelings for someone that doesn’t have feelings for you … sex makes it that much worse.  My advice? Always be clear about your intentions and expectations, be honest, don’t use others for your own pleasure, have respect, be safe but most of all have fun!! Remember, safe sex is being safe physically, emotionally AND mentally.

I would love to hear your opinions about the pros/cons of the “hookup culture”.  Do you think it’s a good or bad thing?

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

Copyright Single Dating Diva

11 comments

  1. I’ve never been a fan of the hookup or booty call. There was a time when I thought there was something wrong with me because casual sex did not appeal to me. I’ve always wanted more from my relationships. Sometimes, I feel like we are all being manipulated to throw away anything that is special. What’s wrong with having a deep relationship that challanges you to grow?

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  2. Since my divorce I’ve only ever been involved in these FWBs/no strings sort of relationships. I’m yet to work out if its because my marriage breakdown has left me feeling like I’m not worth more or if I’m genuinely not ready to give me heart to someone and hope they don’t break it? Although ironically all have ended up with me getting emotionally attached and thus caused heartache of different degrees.

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  3. I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong, as long as everyone is upfront about their intentions and no one is stringing anyone along to get laid. Casual hook ups are fun, but I think eventually most people want something a bit more meaningful.

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    • Thanks for your comment! I completely agree … if all the cards are on the table and both are on the same page then why not, but the problem is that people in general aren’t honest unfortunately.

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  4. Def agree the hookup culture is like magpies chasing pieces of silver- many are just looking for a quick fix before going onto the next. I left a six year relationship & have been ‘officially’ single for just over two years now. I wasn’t ready for a relationship (but I did want a lover), I -somewhat surprisingly – met a guy online who I was ridiculously attracted to & it was just a hook up .. But then that ‘hook up’ went on for quite a while & in the end I had to call it because I was developing feelings for him & he wasn’t even close to seeing me as anything more. I had so much fun & freedom & experienced a whole other side of sex that was such a blessing. But it definitely made me realise if you keep sleeping with someone over a long period of time of course someone inevitably develops feelings, & it is usually the woman because we are geared that way. It was really hard for me to stop texting him but I knew if I didn’t I wasn’t going to be open to a man who’d love me to be involved in all aspects of his life. great blog SDD!

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  5. I don’t think hooking up is ruining dating, it’s just redefining dating. Sometimes I’m just looking for a hookup and I find other people looking for the same when I look into sites specialized for hookups and boom, we’re both happy. But if you’re looking for traditional dating then yes, the hookup culture is ruining that.

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  6. For those like me who have outgrown the hookup culture, we look around to find our world barren of available men who aren’t participating in hookups. From my perspective, hooking up has destroyed many people’s chances for getting married or even having a deep and fulfilling relationship. It looks hopeless. I would love to be in love and get married, but I know that this will never come to pass in a culture obsessed with “sex with no strings attached.” We’re not animals – we’re people. Our actions should be more meaningful than that.

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    • Thanks Raven, hookups and the free for all sex culture that has been emerging has made it more difficult to find love, but it’s not impossible. Stay true to you and you will find what you’re looking for!

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