Meeting new people without exerting that much effort just yet is made easy; thanks to social media and dating apps where we take to. Men and women sign up for an account, create a profile, upload photos, and proceed with the fundamentals of online dating. Whatever setup both parties establish beyond the brief getting to know stage is basically conceivable — unspeakable in some cases wherein certain things can be justified as consensual. This is the hookup culture widely thriving more than we care to admit.
Online dating has been around since the mIRC and Yahoo! Messenger era. This is nothing new of course now that we have Tinder, Skout, and OKCupid to name a few. The demand for such trend has increased over the years; people quickly adapted the upper hand of general convenience, managing multiple matches, discerning compatibility, and preferred anonymity. While there are advantages, people who pool themselves in are at risk of being deceived by false declarations and sketchy intents. Everyone has a leverage to turn online dating into one-night stands or if they are lucky enough — well-meaning relationships. This modern mode of dating is an undeniable deal of several trials-and-errors and it shows how technology can bring people together and apart. As someone who belongs to twenty-something hopeless romantics demographic, I also have had my firsthand experience in this fast-paced, aggressive, and unrelenting environment of online dating.
It was in mid-2016 when I decided I was ready to give online dating a shot before spinster age could make it awkward. One dilemma I have encountered since I joined a particular dating site is the inevitable suffering from chauvinistic prejudice that women who mingle on such virtual realms are hard to be taken seriously. Every now and then, I receive unsolicited comments from men which mostly test my quickness to react intelligently. Defending myself by responding to burning questions as to why I joined is necessary; and these unapologetic rebuttals include but not limited to: my self-entitlement to meet someone my own caliber/wavelength, my prerogative and liberation as an adult, and simply going digital with the idea of soulmate just for kicks.
Indeed, it is raining men — foreigners and locals, men in their twenties up to other men in their forties or fifties, the good-looking ones and those who weren’t proud of revealing their faces, skilled icebreakers and plain conversationalists, and the great divide between sex perverts and rare decent ones. Almost every chance is a litmus test and the first few minutes of every new conversation are always crucial. Such onset is the finite period where both parties determine whether it is a good click and worth another day of conversation, or to move on and try luck with the next random person. And in the course of wanting to chance upon that special random citizen who cannot compare to anyone I know from my various circles, I found myself one. I found him. We had a relationship or at least I had a relationship with him. Left alone and upset, things did not happen my way no matter my struggle and resolution.
It was not too long ago that I returned to the same dating app after the ordeal. And despite of it all, I continue to embrace the gift of technology and pronounce my resistance to the hookup culture.
Hooking up is hardly designed to be something wherein sincerity and pure intentions can be invested. How sad it is to observe that there are people who prefer temporary attachments over the long-lasting ones. And when they figure out that playing around gets tiresome and senseless at a certain point, that is when they will feel remorse about their actions only to drive themselves back to flat zero. Another search begins nonetheless.
My little faith echoes a kind reminder or an inner message of some sort that someone out there is seeking me in every person he meets. There is that someone existing somewhere. We will meet and tell ourselves that we want each other’s presence over time and not just over the weekends. We will hold hands and mutually agree that we are just too good for hookups.
Hookups are fleeting and bound to end up in the dumpsters but real relationships are much more worth every second. As opposed to lust, sense of intimacy is a good indication that we are on the right track. Being in love is one of the best immaterial things in life we can cave in. We feel it and just plummet to a free fall, then down onto the proverbial magic carpet for a diamond sky ride. A soaring, tumbling, free-willing emotion we can turn into something strictly personal. Something we can validate. Something true.