Jul 22, 2010

Just a Hook-up

[This was a post I did for another blog a few years ago. That blog has folded, but I liked my piece, so here it is.]

Charles Blow wrote an Op-Ed column in the NY Times on December 13 entitled “The Demise of Dating,” saying that amongst the younger generation, dating was a thing of the past and the hook-up was now the standard. The thrust of his argument is that the popularity of just hooking up has led to a decrease in our ability to establish and maintain one-on-one relationships; the emphasis on the group relationship has or is destroying the individual relationship.

Hold up a sec Chuck.

While I agree that the phenomenon of hooking up is seemingly replacing the old standard of dating, it doesn't mean that dating is dead. Relationships are not easy, and while the hook-up does simplify certain aspects of it, it also adds complications to others. The idea that hooking up “emphasizes group friendships over the one-pair model of dating" is only the surface of the issue. If people in a group friendship are hooking up, they are creating added layers to their specific relationship which creates one-pair interactions within the group friendship. On the surface, the hook up appears to only strengthen the group dynamic but it pushes the one-pair individual dynamic just as much.

Charlie also talked about how the hook-up is gender-biased toward men because eventually women want individual relationships and we, commitment-phobic, men only want to hook up. That's probably true. Still, I find it a bit silly to think that only women would want a hook-up to turn into a relationship. Hooking up is a two-way street, men get can get just as attached and begin to look for that individual relationship.

I take umbrage with the way Mr. Blow paints a picture of the future of social interaction as one that is solely a group dynamic with everyone hooking up with their friends and no one taking the time to get to know someone on an individual basis. Are we, as a generation, doomed to just move from one hook-up to the next with no real emotional foundation or attachment? I hope not.

A friend of mine told me "Love is important, it's what we live on, the delight we produce in others."

She's clearly smarter than me and I agree with her fully. I find it difficult to believe that through hooking up with someone you'll be able to make a connection that can lead to something deeper. The process of getting to know someone through hanging out with them is so integral to a relationship that skipping or holding off on that until after you hook up strikes me as backwards. If there is a connection, the intimacy will be there. It'd be good to know that the intimacy is just a part of a larger, deeper connection you share with someone.

Maybe I'm old-fashioned, and need to get with the times, but I can't think of anything better than hanging out with someone I like and getting to know them... Then hooking up.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a younger person, and I can tell you that in my circle of friends dating is not dead. Hooking up inside and outside of the group can and often leads to dating. In fact out of my friends, the only person who is too afraid of commitment for this to have happened yet, is a woman.