What’s Love Got to Do With It?

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I recently found myself single and out on the prowl at the local bar scene with my single friends, embracing a newfound life of independence. In an attempt to forget about my ex and brainwash myself into believing “girls just want to have fun,” I decided to immerse myself into the hook-up culture. After all, it had never looked more tantalizing—from the outside at least. After nights of bar hopping with the girls and socializing with as many cute guys as I could find, I became frazzled with all of these notions of how to play the single game “right.”

After experiencing the standard train wreck that most college guys are and constant counseling from my friends, I was led to the conclusion that finding anything more than physical with guys was simply an anomaly.

In an attempt to decipher what seems to be the age-old question, I decided to put on my Carly Rae Jepsen pants and find the hottest guy in the frat castle who peaked my curiosity (Call me, maybe?). Although it seemed like a good idea at the time, it turned into 3 a.m. knocks at my door, pseudo-misogynists unloading their emotional baggage and aggressive pines for physical validation. It all simply left me exhausted, empty and slightly disturbed, to say the least.

Nevertheless, I have never been more terrified of the weekends in my entire life. If I meet one more guy who doesn’t remember my name or even remember who is running for presidency, I just might lose it. Yet, I’m left as the social pariah in my inability to understand the fabulous and lavishness of what it means to be single. It’s as if I showed up to a haunted house and everyone treated it as a surprise party.

Regardless of whether people accept the standard hook-up culture or not, it has become this over powering, ominous Leviathan to which most Samaritans feel the need to succumb. Is it fear, lust or angst? I’ll never know. Somehow, those opposed to it have become powerless to this overbearing standard, and the lucky anomalies out there have all become bedtime stories we’ll tell our grandchildren. It has come to the point where those who used to be in relationships have no idea how they got there in the first place, or if they even happened at all.

Ah, the generation of the millennial. We’re both a fascinating and eccentric breed that many enjoy picking apart and analyzing. We take pride in presenting ourselves as continuously in a scurry. With our newest and fastest upgrades, technological advances and educational as well as social progressiveness, we all find ourselves grappling to stay afloat. Internships, college, lifestyle choices, jobs, friends–who even has time for a relationship? Or, is it even worth finding time for a relationship?

Since when did we begin to undervalue the importance of an interpersonal connection? But perhaps I’m too quick to judge. Sex is perfectly healthy and maybe this hook-up culture our generation is embracing is really for the better. Because we explore different types of people, we can really find exactly what we want in a significant other. Even more so, by exerting less energy in dating, we allow ourselves more time to focus on developing as happy, independent and full individuals.

After all the work of trying to find the holy grail of this hook-up culture issue, I resolved to do what feels right, especially after finding out I wasn’t missing out on too much. Whether that makes me right or wrong is all just semantics.

I decided I’m going to give the wrong way a shot. I’m going to be a good girl this year and do my assignments on time, exercise, meditate and eat well, but I’m going to break the rules with a booty call…after I’m done with my juice cleanse of course.

Lauren Hoffman: writer, jaded romantic, and always making a serious effort to be a flamingo among a flock of pigeons. In my spare time, I am an English Major with a Business minor at the University of Florida.

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