If You Aren't Into Hookup Culture, This Dating Advice For Casual Relationships Misses The Mark

Being given some solid dating advice can help you figure out some sticky situations in your love life. It can be validating to hear advice from someone who has listened to your concerns or seems to understand what you're experiencing. What's not fun is when you're given dating advice that doesn't apply to your situation at all. When people give dating advice for causal relationships to folks who aren't really interested in hookup culture, this can happen quite frequently. If you're just not interested in hooking up or dating casually, then it can be hard — frustrating, even — to hear advice that encourages you to do just that.

It can also be difficult to get advice about a crush who, for all you know, might have a preference for casual flings. I once dated a woman who was clearly more interested in hooking up here and there, but I had fallen hard for her. The end result was unsurprisingly messy ( I got over it by listening to a lot of Rihanna), but the remaining conversations I had about it with friends stung in a way I had trouble articulating. A lot of them expressed that she probably was just not looking for anything serious, and potentially only interested in something physical. Even if that were true, it hurt so much to hear!

If you're not into hookup culture, and get frustrated by a lot of common love advice, you've probably heard some of the following statements.

"Just get back out there & rebound if you have to."

For someone who doesn't want to date or hook up with people casually, this advice can be kind of useless. If you're getting over someone, rebounding isn't necessarily the answer or the solution. It can feel dismissive to hear at times when you're upset about someone, and it's totally within your right to say that to whoever gave you that advice. You definitely are under no obligation to date while you heal.

"Maybe they were just looking for something with no strings attached."

This piece of advice can really sting if you're not interested in casual dating. That's partly because, yeah, maybe the person you fell for *wasn't* looking for something serious, but that doesn't mean you weren't! Sometimes, this advice can make you feel like it's your fault or that you missed some major red flags. If you're hurting about something, try to remember that it's definitely not your fault and you will heal with time. If you were seeing someone who wanted no strings attached, and you didn't, you're better off looking for someone who values you and is on the same page.

"The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else. "

OK, you can go ahead and insert the *Jim Halpert camera face* here. For someone who doesn't date casually or enjoy hookup culture, this is the antithesis of what can help. If you're comfortable, feel free to tell the person that says this to you that this isn't something that works for you. If they're a good listener, they'll hopefully adjust their advice based on what you're comfortable with in the future.

"Maybe you should try getting laid."

Say it out for the people in the back: Casual sex can be great, as long as you want to have it! If you don't, it's NBD. For a long time, I was going from lousy to bad hook up, and part of the problem was that I didn't really want to be hooking up in the first place. I just wanted to want to have casual sex, but accepting that it's something that isn't for me was one of the best decisions I've ever MADE. Getting laid isn't necessarily the solution if you're not interested in it, and remember: Consent is the most important part of every sexual encounter.

In my opinion, advice should always be geared towards what a specific person needs to hear, without encouraging them to do something that they don't want to do. Disinterest in hookup culture and casual dating can be a result of numerous factors, but it doesn't mean that you're defective or wrong for not wanting to participate. At the risk of sounding cliché, there are definitely other people out there that feel the exact same way as you do. Hopefully, when you find this person, the only thing casual about your date will be your outfit.