Up until now, I have been sort of ambivalent towards the whole concept of the ‘hookup culture’ as we call it. Men and women (boys and girls?) who essentially only have interest in one night stands and rarely speak to the person they end up with after the deed is done. This is essentially mutually understood, completely consensual, and in many social circles, just the way things are.
The reason I was ambivalent is because of the years I spent working in, and fully experiencing, the nightlife industry. So, I am no angel – but, I did mature out of that phase.
However, it seems to be getting worse. Last night I had the privilege of being a guest speaker for a group of college women, and we spent much of our time talking about the hookup culture, dating, and what the young men of the upcoming generations are (and aren’t) doing.
For example, when the group was asked who had been brought flowers by their date in the past, about half said no and half said yes. However – when asked who would want to be brought flowers, all of them said yes.
One girl clarified that it was not about the flowers themselves, it is the symbolism behind it. The fact that you are willing to do something extra. Willing to put in effort. Willing to show her you value her. Something many people are just not doing.
The more interesting part, though, was what happened when asked who had actually even been on a date recently. Blank stares. All around. But, how many would welcome the invitation if they were asked?
Here is a group of attractive young women telling me they don’t even remember the last time they were taken on an actual date. Mind = blown. It goes back to the concept of ‘hanging out’ not actually being dating, but more and more people are beginning to think one is an acceptable replacement for the other, when it is not.
Men – if you are looking to learn what women actually want, here is a group of them telling you.
One girl actually told me that it has gotten to the point where just showing up at a certain event or party is being taken as consent to go home with someone that night. Some people have stopped going out altogether because they are just not into it and don’t want to be constantly let down by men they have [seemingly] genuine conversations with for hours, and then find out they only want to go home after the night has wound down.
You may think that this is not worth losing much sleep over since the younger generations will grow out of this way of thinking and acting as they get older. But the problem is, they are not. I hear many of the same complaints from women in their later 20’s, and even some in their 30’s. The only thing we have done here is gained a greater insight to when it actually begins.
Men are not learning how to date, and even more importantly, they are not learning that they will ever even have to. They are being conditioned that all they need to do is send a text message on a Friday night out to a few girls to see who wants to meet up where. No effort required.
While we are acknowledging that men are putting in less and less effort, we also have to acknowledge the other side of the equation: Women who are accepting it.
Improvements need to be made on both sides. We need to encourage our men to hold themselves to higher standards. To be accountable to both each other and to the women in their lives. We need to make it desirable to actually be considered a Gentleman.
We also need women to do their part as well. If a man isn’t going to put effort into the beginning stages of a relationship, what makes you think he is going to be there to support you during times that really matter? To support you during a challenge. To make you feel loved every day. To make you feel valued. To make you feel desired?
Generations who believe that “Hey, want to meet up?” is a viable amount of effort to constitute a date are certainly not going to grow into those who uphold their promises of commitment in the long run.
As professor Bob Caron of Assumption College in Worcester Massachusetts eloquently stated – “The hookup culture is leaving a wasteland of emotional ruin in its path.”
Our younger generations are becoming less trusting, less caring, and less loving. They are being jaded at a younger age when it comes to the opposite sex and are having a more difficult time recovering from these feelings as they get older, because many times the patterns don’t actually change. And it is becoming a problem.
When it comes to dating and relationships, or any part of life, there are two important things we have to consider when making decisions:
– How you are going to treat other people.
– How you allow other people to treat you.
The good news is, you always get to choose.
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