Cafe | May 25, 2019

11 struggles of being a romantic in the era of hookup culture

Let's float through this non-committal hookup, shall we?

One thing is clear- the old script called dating is dead and is supplanted by the new culture of hookups. Single millennials are navigating through this new terrain of hookups. They don’t date and if they do connect, it’s mostly in the context of a hookup. Dating requires social investment and forethought. It is planned and not spontaneous and in that sense, completely out of sync with how most millennials are used to socializing. The goal of a hook up is not a long term and committed relationship, but just a casual fling.

Being a romantic is this hook up culture is tough - Especially when the basic idea of love is now swiping right or left on a mobile app. This warped idea of love which means everything needs to be a temporary thing. An old school romantic like me feels it’s a real struggle to find true love in this culture because:

1. The world will make you believe that your desire for a relationship is unhealthy; A product of you being unhappy on your own. This often results in denying your true desires because you think there’s something wrong with wanting someone special (and exclusive) in your life.

2. There is too much room to ruminate. There is too much space to wonder what a text or the silence between timestamps, or a “like” could mean.

3. So much of dating right now depends on appearances. You can't deny that attraction is important, nor can you deny how amazing it is to date people beyond just who we’re acquainted with in person. But the idea that we may not be giving the love of our lives a chance, simply because they don’t look the way we want them to or assume the way we want them to, leaves us with a sense of disheartenment.

4. You feel like there is something wrong with you for not preferring to be able to sleep with anyone just for fun, as opposed to being exclusive with one person you love and trust.

5. You always feel like you are yearning for a little more than most people are willing to give.

6. Going on a date (as opposed to “hangout”) tends to be an exception, not a standard. This tends to get frustrating as it seems like asking people to treat you decently, is a taxing ordeal.

7. It's not chill to say that you are looking for a real commitment. Furthermore, dating in 2019 is defined by “chill” - despite the fact most people are looking for more than they let on.

8. There are “rules” that people tend to follow (don’t text first twice in a row, posting a photo on Insta makes it official now etc.) that are confusing, subjective and ultimately, mean a lot less than we like to pretend they do.

9. This may be the saddest thing yet - Feeling that the greatest display of commitment is documenting your relationship online (though it's kind of common knowledge the less happy you are IRL, the more you want to prove opposite is true).

10. You develop a complex that your social media presence is making more of a statement of who you are than you ever intended for it; as though all your prospective partner’s friends are looking at your random pictures and making assumptions about who you are how right you’ll be together.

11. You have so much to give. You know you have so much to give. But saying that is the least chill thing there is. So you’re left to wonder which casual fling will eventually develop into something more.

Finding love in this day and age of hookups is like praying for a miracle. But I’m hopeful there is another old school romantic thinking just this and maybe, one day we will meet and fall in the kind of love I have always dreamt of.