Here’s How The Hookup Culture Is Ruining Dating


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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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  1. The Laughing Duck on October 23, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    This is great. I remember the first time a guy (my friend) had pulled out a chair for me and I had went to sit on the other end because nobosy has ever done that before . Hah, he certainly wasn’t very happy to be left on his end.

  2. mandirito on October 23, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    I thought this was a great article, and highly relatable. I’m currently in college and find that many of my peers participate in this “culture” and then wonder why commitment isn’t as prominent. I, myself, am jaded by love just from having relationships that didn’t work out. I can only imagine how others in my generation feel, people who have participated in hookups…

  3. rlcarterrn on October 23, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Yes, yes, yes! Thank you so much for putting this so bluntly but so eloquently. Best lines ever: “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?” Even as a teenager, I understood this concept. It amazes me how few adults grasp it. And I’m hearing more & more stories from male friends of mine in their 20s of girls treating them as flippantly as so many men often treat women. It’s clear that so many people our age really do want something deeper & more fulfilling, & YES, that includes plenty of men. But everyone seems to be afraid of admitting that for fear of being creepy or clingy. So sad.

  4. sharon on October 23, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    ill say it again!! im 47 and guys my age are the same so it goes beyound 20s 30s also 4os and the men are more jaded because they have been married and had children and they are bitter so there is a drought on or needle in the hay stack to meet a man who is even interested in being boy friend material let alone interested in a relationship.Im not giving up tho lol

  5. Peebee on October 23, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    So maybe I’m an outlier here, but what’s wrong with hooking up if that’s what you want to do? Who wants to spend on this time, money, and effort to maybe get to the point where you might want to be together, only to find out there’s no chemistry. Or to jump through so many hoops (who pays? how much does he spend? how much time together do you spend? is it coffee/lunch/dinner/a day together? waiting until the 3rd date) which are so artificial and stressful?

    The best relationship I’ve ever had (the one I’m in now) started as a boozy hookup. The chemistry was there and from the very beginning, we both knew it was different. How? Because we had experience distinguishing the hookup from something that had potential. We’ve never had a single date, and now that we’re cohabitating, it’s unlikely to start now. Given the particulars of our respective situations, it’s unlikely that it would have ever got off the ground if it had been launched through dating. I’m in my 40s, and I have a considerable number of my peers who knew each other and hung out as friends in the same circles, got together after a party, and have been together ever since. Some of them are approaching their 25th anniversaries. There are way more of them than those who I know who “dated” — this whole phenomenon is not an invention of the Millennials.

    • James Michael Sama on October 23, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      Peebee, I totally agree with you. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with hooking up. I have done it, and my last relationship started very similarly to how yours did.

      What I am saying there is a problem with is that people are not evolving past that point. Feelings are getting hurt, trust is being broken, people are getting jaded. One person may want a relationship and think it could come from the interactions but the other person is just stringing them along for the physical aspects and has no intention of committing, ever.

      I attempted to clearly state this in the article that if it’s what you want, then go for it. But the younger generations are not staying together like your friends are. They are just plowing through social circles (no pun intended) and leaving a path of emotional destruction that is lessening the capacity for love, compassion, and trust.

      That’s why it is becoming a problem.

  6. Peebee on October 24, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    I guess it seems like this phenomenon “One person may want a relationship and think it could come from the interactions but the other person is just stringing them along for the physical aspects and has no intention of committing, ever” has always happened. Granted, I read a lot of romance novels (including historical romances) and memoirs but it doesn’t seem to matter what era you are in, unrequited love of which someone takes advantage without intending to commit has happened throughout time.

    Could it be that we think there’s more of it now because people are waiting much longer to become married /committed than in times past? People were forced by society/family/financial expectations to get married young, and those people who wouldn’t commit were either “rakes,” or destined to be “spinsters.” Or they were married and not committed, having affairs, but the other spouse just had to tolerate this behavior. Maybe the “physical aspects” were less than in times past than what people experience now, but there always have been people who will be deceptive to other people in order to win their affections and/or encourage them to engage sexually but aren’t willing to follow that up with commitment.

    In times past, those “non-evolved people” would be stuck in bad marriages. Now we don’t present the same societal barriers that force people into marriage or prevent them from divorcing, so their behavior is much more out in the open and experienced by more people, rather than being a secret within their marriage. Maybe the damage they do is more widespread, involving more individuals, but if it’s not part of a marriage or long-term relationship, it typically isn’t nearly as severe without families, children, and/or property involved to be factored into the consequences.

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