When it comes to modern dating and relationships, one of the things that seem to be truly prevalent is the idea of hooking up. Hookup culture is exactly what it sounds like, a culture of random hookups with people you barely even know or want to know.

As part of this new “hookup culture,” many people find themselves forgoing the idea of a relationship, in order to have random and often meaningless non-relationships, that are essentially all about garnering satisfaction and little connection.

Rather than looking for a deeper connection with another person, many people are simply looking for a quick fix for their sexual needs, and it is this random hookup ideal that has created an entirely new culture associated with non-dating and the lack of establishing deeper commitments.

Often this idea of bouncing from hookup to hookup means that people are more nonchalant when it comes to finding someone we are genuinely interested in. It means that even when we find a person attractive, we believe that we will reel them in by seeming unaffected, and even playing things off as if we don’t care about a possible future relationship.

Unfortunately, this nonchalance can often backfire and lead to losing out on a potential partner. Sadly, it does not change the way people act because instead, it seems to reinforce the idea of bouncing around and hoping for the best.

Rather than being genuine, many people hide their true thoughts thinking it will make you more interesting or mysterious, and while that might draw in a random few, this simply does not work for everyone, and in a world that seems to be dominated by hookups, playing too hard to get simply doesn’t work.

Perhaps the most damaging aspect of hookup culture is the fact that it starts on a college campus and while most people would have outgrown this over time, the advent of dating apps has actually helped to prolong this ideal of randomly hooking up. Rather than learning how to develop healthy, well-rounded relationships, many people find themselves stuck in a rut that is only worsened by the culture that has developed.

When it comes to hookup culture, there are many more negatives than there are positives. In fact, while many people think of hookup culture in terms of how it stunts a person’s dating life; this is not the only downside to being a serial hookup dater.

Among the drawbacks to hooking up regularly, there are the health risks that are associated with not being familiar with your partner and their medical status.

While one might ask a partner if they are safe, this does not mean they are going to be completely honest, (which is why it is always good to see test results before any types of unprotected sex and even protected sex occur) and at the same time there are plenty of things that can go wrong.

On top of these medical risks, there are also things like the psychological damage that a random hookup can bring on, as well as the potential for sexual assault, and even unplanned and unexpected pregnancies.

In an era that seems to be dominated by the random hookup, it feels as if the traditional dating experience is dying off. For many people, man and woman, the problem is taking a chance on finding a person to commit to and to believe in. While there are certainly risks to trying to date in a culture that seems to be dominated by hooking up, the reward can be truly amazing.

To move past this current hookup culture that has developed the most important aspect of all is communication. Talk to the people you are interested in and want to date. Let the person you like know you are interested. If you communicate, you can break the shackles that seem to be present from this idea that bouncing from person to person is satisfying.

If you can figure out how to break the bonds of hookup culture, you can find a way to end the cycle of heartbreak and loneliness that seems to have invaded the dating scene. By finding a way to let go of the idea of meaningless hookups, one can move past that and work towards a more meaningful and healthy long-term relationship with someone who helps you grow rather than holds you back.

Image by J.Clarke via Flickr