There are a lot of different life factors that could lead someone to want to explore dating with no strings attached. Heck, that's the whole plot of a ton of movies, and for good reason! Hooking up with people can teach you a lot about your sexuality that you can't learn from anywhere else, and that's pretty neat. If you're going to start dating to hook up with people, there are a few things that could be helpful to keep in mind.
When putting yourself out there in any dating capacity, it can be helpful to develop some mantras or ideas to reassure and guide you along your path. Dating to hook up can feel super freeing, but it's not without its fine print.
I attempted this in college and went on a few cycles of monotonous dates with people that weren't very thrilling in person (or in bed for that matter). I was going on these dates and then hooking up afterward, and I always left feeling kind of ticked or bored by the experience. It wasn't until I sat down and talked to a friend about this that I realized that, yes, I wanted to be hooking up with people — but I was going on dates with people who weren't looking for what I was looking for. They were dating with the intention of dating, and therefore, we weren't really matching up. Once I realized this, I made sure to communicate to matches on dating apps, and things started feeling a lot more in sync.
For more ways to make sure this new phase is a great experience for you, consider reminding yourself of the following mantras.
It's Always OK To Have Firm Boundaries
No matter what anyone says, your boundaries are real, valid, important, and (most importantly) have a right to exist. Having firm boundaries when you want to date specifically to hook up with people is vital to great experiences.
For instance, you can have a boundary that you don't take people home to your place or vice versa. You can have boundaries about what you share with the people you're hooking up with or boundaries about only seeing them once or boundaries about going on dates with them beforehand.
Your boundaries can be whatever feels right for you, and the more you define them before you dive into the dating pool headfirst, the better.
Not Everyone Is Going To Want The Same Things, And That's OK
There are always going to be people who don't want what you want — and that is perfectly fine. Keeping this in mind can be grounding because it reminds you that you have to be upfront and honest about what you're looking for, so that you are on the same page with your date.
If they realize that they're interested in something else, you can discuss whether it's best for you to continue. By acknowledging that it's normal for people to differ in their intentions, you can mitigate a lot of hurt when it comes to potentially feeling rejected or burdened.
There Are Other People Out There Who Will Be Interested
The great news about wanting something specific from your dating and sex life is that there are likely others out there looking for exactly what you're searching for.
If it seems like you're struggling to find people to hook up with, be patient and recite this mantra to yourself. There are people out there for you! Believing it and putting that energy into the universe might just manifest that very person into your life.
Communication Is Still Important
OK, so, dating to hook up may seem like it's pretty carefree. And it can be! But there's still some important stuff to discuss to ensure you have a great time and maintain your safety.
Firstly, Dr. Sue Varma, relationship therapist, psychiatrist, and speaker, shares that the major problem with one-night stands is participants oftentimes don't communicate enough. When you're in a relationship, you and your partner come to understand how you work together physically. This can lead to better and better sex. If you're just starting to hook up with someone, you won't necessarily have that knowledge on your side.
To make up for this, it can help to be forward and ask what this person is interested in and what they aren't. It's also important that you share what your likes and preferences are as well! That way, you can get busy doing exactly what you both enjoy. This also applies to the conversations you should be have about your STI status, as well as what contraception you prefer to use.
Ultimately, dating to hook up with people is all about what you want and who is also interested in doing that with you. Taking time to be single and explore your sexuality can be hella fun when you get into the groove of it. Here's to believing there are a ton of other fish in the sea and wanting to hook up with a lot of them!