The days of doorstep, goodnight kisses are long gone, paving way for a new kind of romance. One that involves mixed signals, minimal feelings, and awkward campus encounters…where do I sign up?
Let’s face it; Generation Y, hook-up culture has become a college epidemic. And it’s a culture that no one actually wants to be in; but one that no one wants to be out of either. As our number of meaningful relationships decreases and our number of meaningless hook-ups increases, we can’t help but notice the overwhelming pressure we are getting from all angles. And honestly, we need to stop blaming the guys. Girls are just as guilty a participant in the downfall of dating because we continue to go along with it, encouraging it even. And young men are growing up believing that they’ll be inferior to their peers if they don’t buy into this new way of “dating.” It’s a vicious cycle reinforced by new social norms, put in place by our own generation.
So how do you beat hook-up culture? You don’t. But you can survive it.
1. Netflix and do I even have to say it?
Sure, movie nights, microwave popcorn, and PJs is cute…to do with your boyfriend. Not the guy you met at a party, who only knows your name because you put it in his phone. This is not a date, this is not a date, this is NOT a date. I don’t care how romantic you think it is that he put on the notebook. You’re not going to be watching it anyway. Save your heart a whole lot of regret and abort mission the second the words “Netflix and Chill”, comes out of his mouth. There’s so many better date ideas, that don’t cost a lot, and are better suited for getting to know someone. Grab a blanket, find a spot, and star gaze!
2. You’re looking for love in all the wrong places.
Should you dress up on Friday nights, go to a few parties, flirt with a few boys? Absolutely. But are you really going to find your soul mate on the front lawn of a frat house? Probably not. Stop trying to cuff up boys you meet at parties, and make more of an effort to get to know the guys in your classes. Chances are you’ll have more in common, more to talk about, and score a hot new study buddy. And less of a chance that they’re going to screw you over; because they still have to see you for the rest of the semester.
3. Know Your Limits
You need to take a little time to evaluate who you are and what you’re okay with. Set standards and hold yourself to them. Set boundaries and don’t be afraid to say no. Ultimately it’s your life and it’s your body. What you want to do with them is entirely up to you, despite what your friends may do or say. Just make sure your heart and your head are matching up on this one, to avoid those situations you do not want to be in.
4. Know Your Worth
You undervalue your worth and settle for less than you deserve. Don’t be afraid to be picky. If something about him bothers you, that’s a valid enough reason to get out of it. Too many times girls stay with guys they’re unhappy with only because they don’t “have a good enough reason to break it off.” When being unhappy is the best reason to drop that boy like it’s hot. Know that your worth includes your happiness. And if 2 AM booty calls isn’t what makes you happy, then tell that boy you’ve got better things to do.
5. Give the Nice Guys a Chance
Unfortunately Chuck Bass doesn’t go to your college, so stop thinking you can tame the players and give them a chance to grow up. Instead, give the nice guys a chance and you’ll be surprised to learn that nice guys don’t actually finish last. In fact, they’re just as fun, just as clever, and will actually call you the next day. They don’t play with your head or your heart, and you don’t have to read between the lines to figure out what they’re actually trying to say. And if you’re lucky, you’ll find one who doesn’t buy into all this hook-up culture bullshit.
If you’re looking for a way to get through college with an intact heart, all hope is not lost. But you can’t just give it away to any guy who gives you the time of day, or buys you a drink. Know your worth, it’s higher than you think; know your limits. If you want something real, go out and get it. Because I promise you, it’s out there and it’s worth the struggle that it takes to find it.