The other night, my friend and I were having another deep conversation about those really tough questions of life, when we decided to tackle this one: "At what point do you go from 'we've hooked up' to 'we're hooking up?'" Anyone who's ever been in the hook-up culture in any capacity knows there's a difference.
A person you've "hooked up" with is, for most intents and purposes, irrelevant. But, the person you're hooking up with holds a weird spot in your life. Most relationships I know of these days started as two people just "hooking up."
The person you're hooking up with isn't quite your significant other, but isn't quite a random person, either. The difference is, this person is someone in your life. He or she plays some sort of a role.
So, now we all know what "hooking up" with someone means. But how do you know you've reached that point with the person you're hooked up with? I asked 30 different people, and — you guessed it — I got 30 very different answers.
To this girl, it's three hookups in four weeks.
When you've hooked up three times in four weeks.
— Trudy, 23
To this guy, it's all about how much "Game of Thrones" you've watched together.
In my experience, it was once we realized we had binge-watched three seasons of 'Game of Thrones,' hooking up between episodes.
— Rich*, 23
To this girl, it's a month or more of consistent hookups.
I would say we're hooking up when you've consistently hooked up every weekend (and some weekdays) for a month or more.
To this guy, it's the girl he's dating.
I say we're 'hooking up' when she's slept at my home with my parents there too, and my dad gently wakes her up and asks how she likes her eggs. Scrambled, sunny side up or over easy, it doesn't matter. At that point, she's my girlfriend.
— Sammy, 23
To this girl, it's all about the frequency of hookups in a short period of time.
I would say you're 'hooking up' with someone when you've hooked up more than once in a short period of time. If you slept with someone three times in a six-month period, you've 'hooked up a few times.' If you slept with someone three times in one month, you're 'hooking up.'
— Tina, 23
To this guy, it's when she spends the night.
When they stay over.
— Fernando*, 27
To this girl, it's all about the mutual understanding.
I think if you have a mutual understanding you're going home with each other at the end of the night. You've stopped the 'Is this a coincidence?' thing and moved on to a more consistent hooking up.
— Dylan, 23
To this girl, it's a month of weekly hookups.
After a month of consistent (like at least once a week) hooking up.
— Carly*, 24
To this guy, it's a hard two weeks.
If it's been two weeks running.
— Bilbo*, 21
To this girl, it's a hard two months.
After two months.
— Emily*, 20
To this guy, it's the minute the panties drop.
When the panties come off.
— Richard, “Old enough to know”
To this girl, it's all about the frequency.
I think it changes when the 'hooking up' is more frequent. For example, it's if you hook up with someone two to three times a week as opposed to every few months. Frequency changes it.
— Stacy, 38
To this girl, it's a consistent weekly hookup.
If you and your partner are hooking up at least once a week consistently, I would say you're 'hooking up.'
— Kate*, 25
To this girl, it's all about the effort to hang out.
When you're consistently texting and trying to make plans to hang out or come over to each other's place.
— Sara*, 22
To this girl, it's all about the "implied continuity."
When you know you will continue to hook up with that person. If you have hooked up a few times, you know there's no implied continuity. But if you're 'hooking up,' then there is that expectation!
— Anita, 19
To this guy, it's anything over four hookups.
Like over four times.
— Mo, 21
To this girl, it's all about the amount of free time spent with each other.
When you realize you're consistently spending all of your free time hanging and hooking up with your partner, I'd say it's safe to assume you're 'hooking up.'
— Celine, 26
To this girl, the amount of communication plays a huge role.
I'd say I'm 'hooking up' with someone if we're sleeping together once a week, or at least every other week. Drunken and sober encounters count, but if we haven't been talking, random attempts at booty calls from him don't constitute 'hooking up.'
— Kristina*, 24
To this girl, it's a few times a week.
When we are in contact or 'hooking up' multiple days in a week.
To this girl, it's someone who meets her three-part checklist.
When either a) we are exclusive, b) we have hooked up for consecutive nights more than once or c) we have hooked up sober.
— Elle*, 25
To this girl, it's all about being a priority in the person's life.
After two months of continuous contact, texting and going out of each other's ways to make getting together a priority.
— Zoe*, 43
To this girl, it's five or more real, bonafide dates.
Five or more dates.
— Candy*, 24
To this girl, the term implies exclusivity.
I would say after about a month or two when you guys see each other all the time during the week and weekends, sober and not sober. Personally, I would also say 'hooking up' should just be used when you're exclusively hooking up. This is how it went in my town, and I feel like it makes the most sense. 'Hooked up' a few times is when you've literally hooked up a few times and barely know each other. Saying you 'hook up' with someone is saying you do it more frequently, but it's casual. Saying you're 'hooking up' is when you're pretty sure it's exclusive, and you guys, like, do shit sober and hang normally.
— Nina, 23
To this guy, the answer is a simple five.
— Rand, 27
To this girl, it's a mutual expectation of seeing each other on the weekend.
When you both assume you'll be seeing each other over the weekend.
— Audrey*, 23
To this guy, it's when you're "banging someone consistently."
The transition to hooking up is when you've been banging someone consistently for at least three weeks. In my experience, I qualify a relationship as hooking up once we've had sex on all consecutive nights that both parties are in communication or at the same place or event. You're 'hooking up' with someone when you're banging them consistently, while we've 'hooked up' a few times could refer to having sex or not.
— E, 21
To this girl, it's hooking up at least once a week.
When you hook up at least once a week.
— Ann*, 21
To this girl, it's seeing someone a little earlier than late at night.
When you see him or her some time other than 2 am.
— Courtney, 22
To this girl, it's someone who will make SpaghettiOs with you.
When it becomes a regular thing like two or more times a week. When he's the person you call not just to fuck, but to also chill with after you fuck and make SpaghettiOs.
— Gigi, 25
To this girl, it's all about the post-coitus hangout.
When you have hooked up for a couple weekends in a row, and/or one of you doesn't leave right away after doing the deed.
— Kate*, 23
So, what's there to take away from this article? There's a very high chance the random guy you've hooked up with a few times actually sees you two as "hooking up." In fact, with all of these different definitions swirling around, odds are, you and the person you've been hooking up with are absolutely not on the same page.
* Name has been changed.