If you like this post you can read more like it at her blog, Diatribes on Dating.
Everyone seems to be talking about “hookup culture” and the article that was run in the New York Times about how hookups are ruining the dating landscape (for ladies). I haven’t bothered to read the piece (but you can if you wish) because I’m rather tired of people decrying hookup culture and blaming it for the demise of everything that is holy and sacred and blah, blah, blah. There have been lots of brilliant responses to the inane piece, so I’m not going to tackle that. Instead, I’m going to talk about why I, a woman, love hookup culture.
Firstly, a sexy tryst with a man is a lot of fun. Not too long ago I woke up to a message on an online dating site from a guy passing through town. He was cute and wanted to hook up, so I said “Sure” and he arrived within ten minutes. We chatted briefly and had a lovely rendezvous, and then he carried on his merry way as he drove through to Edmonton. It was good, clean (some might argue messy), random fun with a man I will likely never see or hear from again. I don’t know his last name. I don’t know much about him at all. But that was the beauty of it for me.
Secondly, I really love the noncommittal nature of hookups. I like the emotional distance while still attaining the physical connection that I desire. I love the randomness of it, sometimes. For someone who is still not quite ready for anything more “substantial” (for lack of a better, more culturally applicable word… although I happen to find hookups and one nighters substantial in themselves), hooking up is the perfect level of commitment!
Thirdly, not every woman is looking to settle down and get married, just like not all men are looking for casual hookups. I’ve met my fair share of guys who wanted something more from me than I was willing to give – they wanted the romance, a future together, a house and kids, and all that.
And then there’s the fact that hookups prevent me from getting bored and/or annoyed with men I’m with. It takes me all of five minutes to lose interest in a guy (exaggerating a small bit). But I find engaging with a man for an extended period of time leads to me eventually rolling my eyes every time I get a text from him, or eventually finding everything he says to be inane or irritating. Guys I find sweet or quirky or adorable to begin with become irritating, obnoxious, boring, or too ignorant rather expeditiously until conversation tapers off and I move onto the next few.
That being said, I’m not opposed to dating or relationships that last longer than an evening. In fact, I’ve been there, done that. More than once. It’s just not for me right now. It’s not that I wouldn’t ever want to do it again, but I think that for right now, I haven’t the energy to expend on forging those types of relationships with another human being. My priority is my education and achieving my vocational aspirations. All else is secondary. Not to mention I’m not even sure I’ll remain on this continent once I’ve finished my education. I am loving my freedom and not having to consider the feelings or desires of another human being when making decisions (except for those of my daughter, but she’s totally cool with the idea of taking flight and living in Australia or Europe in a few years). And for right now, that’s the only constant relationship I need in my life.
Sometimes people wonder if I am lonely, because we have this cultural obsession with coupledom. But I am not lonely. Not that I don’t have moments of loneliness (but even people who are part of a couple experience that, at times). I have so many exceptionally wonderful people in my life. I have activist pursuits that are far more fulfilling than some relationships I’ve had. I have the love of a person who views me as the most incredible person in her world, who admires me, adores me, and who makes me proud every day of life. I have friends who support me and fulfill my life in myriads of ways. My life is so full of love and support that I could make room for more, but it isn’t necessary to my existence. I’m happy. Truly happy.
(photo via Wikimedia Commons)