As if hook-up culture wasn’t confusing enough, you're also usually an awkward person in general. You know who you are. You’re the girl who snorts while laughing at his joke, and you never get a text back.
You thought the first date was going well, but then you started talking politics and it fell apart.
Your friends think your awkward quirks are endearing, but you know them to be the death sentence of any budding relationship.
In your defense, hook-up culture is far from cut and dry, and there are no rules or helpful tips for those who have a bit of trouble when it comes to relationships.
Here are 10 ways hook-up culture fails the not-so-savvy woman looking for love:
10. There are no rules.
Hook-up culture was supposed to liberate us, right? It’s so old-fashioned to know whether or not you should contact him. Who needs all those dating rules and guidelines you are “supposed” to follow when seeing someone?
Apparently, we do because I still don’t know if it’s okay to call someone after three days, or if you’re supposed to wait longer.
9. ...But there are rules.
There are no stated rules, but there are plenty of unspoken ones that everyone is just assumed to know.
If he buys your coffee, it’s a date, but then, if he asks you to get the movie tickets (you’re happy to do so), it’s not. Can you post the video of the old lady whacking a car with her purse on his timeline? Or does it always just seem "too soon"?
8. You can’t be too distant.
God forbid you’re an independent woman, and you don’t need him to come and change a light bulb for you. Maybe you just have a lot going on, and you aren’t always available to answer his booty call.
Anyway, if you forget to text him back after a few days, you’re automatically labeled a prude or uninterested.
7. ...But you can’t be too clingy.
You’ve had a bad week, and you need someone to talk to, but you called him last night. You’ve only “seen” each other five or six times, so you’re not dating, but you’re not strangers, either.
You’d rather call your mother again and talk to her than be perceived as too “clingy,” but then again, she’ll ask you about your love life, and you’re not sure how to explain it.
6. When you listen to your friends, you get mixed messages.
I’m all for having a chat about our sordid love lives with some of my best girl friends. In a dating culture where nothing is certain, getting some feedback from your besties can be a great way to assess a situation.
When you’re already clueless with men, however, talking it over for hours and hours can actually just make you more confused than before. Your friends will all have their own opinions on what you are going through.
Everyone has his or her tried-and-true tips to navigate this perilous, hook-up obsessed world, and everyone seems to have the "right" answer.
5. Romance is dead, or at least comatose.
Shakespeare was no dummy, and he still lived in a time when arranged marriages were the norm. Imagine what he would have to say about our definition of love now.
Seriously, a little poetry and a little romance never hurt anyone. When we’re bad with men, we might expect a little bit more than what hook-up culture says we should. When we don’t receive a handwritten letter in the style of Mr. Darcy or a night in with a bottle of wine, we’re secretly a little disappointed.
(BTW, I have low standards. Boxed wine will do just fine.)
4. Beauty is less than skin deep.
We can’t all look like Kate Upton, but we can rock the calculus homework, run a marathon or sing like Adele. We might not be the best under pressure (or good at all), but we have a whole bunch of other cool things that make us who we are.
Hook-up culture makes it hard to see anything else, aside from whether your potential one-night stand has an awesome body or knows exactly what to say.
3. Honesty is hard to come by.
I am really bad with men -- really bad -- and I need someone to be honest with me about how he is feeling, or if he's not interested.
Any sort of hint or situation where I have to assume or read in-between the lines usually ends disastrously. Hook-up culture doesn’t tend to promote honesty, and it’s far from cut and dry, so women who have a hard time with ambiguity (erm) might not know what you want.
I can’t read minds, and even if I could, I think I would still have trouble weeding through dudes’ brains, anyway.
2. It’s hard to respect the other person — on both sides.
There are very few people I know where hooking up turned into something long-term. I’m not saying there aren’t those lucky few who, somehow, are able to magically transform a confusing mess into a stable, loving relationship.
I just wish they would write a guidebook for awkward girls who are far from stable to begin with.
In all honesty, though, I have a really hard time feeling I can respect a future significant other if he doesn’t really want to be anything more than a friend-with-benefits. Our time is worth more than that.
1. The morning after.
Seriously, I don’t care who makes it, I’m a monster without a cup of joe, and no one wants to see that.
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