Focusing on the wrong guy will make it easier to miss the right guy.
I sat cross-legged with a steaming cup of coffee in hand as my close friend, sitting right across from me, aired out her frustrations: “I just wish I could meet someone in real life… I feel like none of the guys I meet on Bumble want to actually know me. I really want to know someone before I date them.”
Her complaints about our society’s current dating culture are hardly limited to her own personal life. With the continuing rise of dating apps like Tinder and Bumble comes a new kind of dating scene — one in which marriage rates continue to decline, casual romantic relationships take center stage, and hookup culture thrives.
With a gallery of countless single guys right at our fingertips to swipe through and the social acceptability of taking the car out for a test drive before buying it, so to speak, you’d think finding our perfect match would be easier than ever before — but is it actually holding us back?
Hookup Culture Fails To Take Emotions into Account
From the time we’re young, hooking up is marketed to young women as empowering and exciting, allowing us to be in the driver’s seat and take control of our lives. But what this philosophy fails to consider is our intrinsic need for security in our relationships and our natural inclination to become emotionally attached to those whom we let into our inner circle.
Hookup culture fails to consider our intrinsic need for security in our relationships.
These needs aren’t based on feelings, either — instead, we, especially women, are biologically hardwired to become attached when we’re intimate with someone due to the copious amounts of oxytocin we produce, a bonding hormone. This means that even for ladies who willingly enter a casual relationship, feelings will likely be caught after some time, leading them to emotionally invest in a relationship that they’ll probably regret and which ends up going nowhere after a couple of months — months that could’ve been spent finding a better relationship with a better guy.
Casual Relationships Still Take Time and Attention
From spending hours curating the perfect dating profile, to swiping through potential mates night after night, to the effort we put into planning yet another meetup, to decoding the hidden meaning in a guy’s texts with our friends, the amount of time and energy we put into what’s supposed to be an easygoing, informal relationship is anything but.
What’s supposed to be an easygoing, informal relationship is anything but.
In reality, any relationship we give a significant amount of time to will naturally take away from others — sometimes at the cost of finding a new, more fulfilling relationship. When we’re too closely focused on getting the guy we’re currently hanging out with to call us back or finally ask us to be his girlfriend, we might end up missing out on a good guy right in front of us, leaving us in the painful cycle of giving all our attention to the wrong type of guy.
With all the energy we pour into fostering ultimately short-lived romantic relationships with men who don’t want more than that with us, we’re distracting ourselves from getting what we really want: a lasting, emotionally safe, committed relationship with a man who values us.