We’re Not Making Love No More: Should Dating Culture Evolve For The Sake Of Intimacy?

May 22, 2013  |  

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I remember in the early nineties watching my older sister get ready for date night. The boys would call our house phone and would automatically have to speak to one of our parents or, if they were lucky, me, the little sister. At that time, you couldn’t rely on technology to advance your relationships. There was something special about the romantic essence of 1990s love: dating timelines had more embellishments like a designer dress. Today, romance can be found instantaneously at any coffee shop, lounge, or school hallway.  Nineties relationships appeared fun — house parties, late-night jonesing and Guy’s ‘Let’s Chill’ could set the mood at any moment. I could not wait to grow up and experience the same thing, but instead I found myself in the “Hook-Up” generation.

In the CNN article, Young Adults and Hook A Up Culture, Ian Kerner writes, “College is a rite of passage, filled with experiences ranging from parties to all-night cram sessions to that first serious relationship. Yet romance may be getting short shrift these days, replaced instead with quick “hookups” devoid of any real emotion.” That’s the argument of a provocative new book, “The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy,” by Donna Freitas.

The dating culture has changed, but its evolution did not leave emotions behind. What has taken place is nonchalant behavior, which the millennial generation appears to be conflicted by. Freitas argues college students who engage in hooking up — kissing and more in depth sexual activity — usually feel empty and depressed. She gathered her research from “557 male and female students who responded to a question asking how they felt the morning after a hookup, 41% of those expressed sadness, regret and ambivalence.”

There have been numerous claims that the dating culture of millennials pressures young men and women to indulge in unfulfilling hookups, though they may not enjoy it.

Like most young adults, I lived on campus for college and engaged in many nights of the infamous “What Happens Here, Stays Here” motto. But one valuable piece of information Freitas’ research does not cover, were the people surveyed under any type of influence before or during their hookups?

The millennial generation and its surrounding pop culture are known for normalizing the use of narcotics, which does not give room for a focused mind. Also most young people can agree, unlike the generations before them, they would like to learn how to commit to themselves before they can with another person. So, perhaps like college, hooking up is also a rite of passage in the grand scheme of romantic/sexual relationships.

The confusion that is pre-packaged with hookups can be exhilarating, mysterious, exhausting, emotional and downright hot, but I believe the true question to ask is: Should dating culture evolve for the sake of intimacy? And if not, then where do we go from here?

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  • York

    One of my male friends put it best: “men behave the way they do because women allow it. Raise your standards and we’ll have no choice but to follow.”

    So to answer the question, no. Of course every man is different, but in general people do what you allow. If you don’t wish to “hook up,” there’s this thing called “dating.” They’re not synonymous! The only thing that needs to evolve is communication. If you don’t wish to engage in casual behavior, then don’t willingly walk into that type of situation thinking that’s what you need to do to get what you want.

    • Guest360

      I was just about to write the same thing. If you’re not interested in hooking up or the emotions and confusion that comes with it, then just don’t partake in it. I don’t know when it became common place that dating and taking things at your own pace was so last century and something no one does anymore. I refuse to be persuaded to join this hook up culture. Do what makes you comfortable and if hooking up is not it, then just don’t do it. Simple if you ask me lol

    • How a man conducts himself should not be predicated or dictated with what “a woman allows him to do.” Men aren’t some emptied headed walking boners. Believe it or not they have feelings and emotions too. Promiscuous men struggle with the same self-esteem self worth issues as their women counterparts.

  • Candacey Doris

    I got so jaded in college. You would go on a date with someone and all they wanted was to hookup. And i was not (still not) down for that type of behavior. It can make people who aren’t into hooking up crazy. I can’t imagine what the people who actually did that stuff felt like.

  • pickneychile

    Hookups seem to be more trouble than they’re worth, at least in the circle I ran in back in college. Sure there may have been a thrill for some, but for the most part it created a lot of awkwardness afterward. Either feelings were caught on one person’s part, the person would go the extra mile to ignore you, or they turn into a stalker! I had some guy who kissed me when I was a freshman and ignore me after the fact. I was like dang, just because of a kiss you tryna be incognegro!? Then I had 2 stalkers who started off as an innocent hookup. Ugh what a waste.

    • Bianca

      This just happened to me! Right before the semester was over, i let the guy I liked kiss me. He wanted to go further, I said no. Long story short: I initiated texting him two days later, he took forever to reply, i replied back and haven’t heard from him since. I was completely devastated! Especially, since were in college and he appeared to be a gentleman. Ugh. This article is on point.

      • pickneychile

        Smh that’s the exact way my situation happened back then. I really don’t understand the disappearing act. Not that a hookup has to turn into anything serious, but a little interaction after the fact makes you feel like less of a casualty.

        • Bianca

          Yes! Also, the crazy part is he had been keeping tabs on me close to two years. I gave him a chance and he disses me like that. But I purposely avoided him and will continue to in the fall lol