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Are Your Hookups Ruining Your Chances At A Real Relationship?

Love, Sex

How wise is it to stray away from traditional courtship?

One night stands seem to be more popular now than ever. Sometimes a hookup is the end product of lots of tequila shots and hot chemistry with a total stranger, other times it's the natural result of meeting someone face to face after having nothing but steamy online conversations.

Even though there are many different reasons to hook up with someone new, realistically, a hookup is SO much more than just a one-time thing.

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For the majority of us, a hookup leads to actual emotional attachment. Sex by design causes programmed chemical and hormonal reactions in us that create an actual BOND between the two of you  both emotionally and physically.

As Helen Fisher says in the video above, "Casual sex is NEVER casual." We may initially try to ignore the residual effects of a sexual encounter and go our merry way, but typically it's simply human nature to have a bit of that post-coital uncomfortable emptiness.

If your ultimate goal is finding someone that you could have a real, tangible relationship with, you have to ask yourself if having sex right off the bat is the BEST way to find someone truly special. By doing so, are you risking your shot at a real relationship?

Sure, you may be one of the lucky ones who has sex right away and finds your true love — that one night stand turns into a fun weekend where you both discover that you’re also extremely compatible and BANG you’re inseparable! (Pun intended).

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But for most people, that's not how it goes.

Yes, you may be fortunate enough to have enough in common that over time, with increasing familiarity and open, honest communication, you become closer and form something stable and lasting. But it's also true that you may discover that the only thing you have with him/her is a hot physical attraction and nothing else to build on.

Maybe there IS wisdom in the practice of getting to know someone before having sex right away. 

It may seem like an old-fashioned idea, but there's much to be said for building a relationship based on friendship and emotional bonding first, as well as chemistry. Instead of repeating your same patterns, consider the alternative and just wait a bit to hop into bed.

After all, emotional intimacy and honesty are the core requirements to build a solid foundation that leads to trust — and eventually, lasting love.

Plus, there’s the added benefit of avoiding all those annoying negative emotions, nagging insecurities and troubling uncertainties that plague us when we worry if last night's rendezvous has any shot at becoming something more.

So if you’re frustrated with your quest for a relationship and you’re wondering if your hookup approach is at fault, take a few minutes to watch this video. Melanie Gorman (YourTango Experts Senior VP) and our panel of experts, including dating coach Deni Abbie, relationship coach Lewis Brown Griggs, author and anthropologist Helen Fisher, and family coach Melanie McGrath have some really interesting professional perspectives on this topic that may affect your decision.

After watching the video, if you want to explore your behaviors and see if there's more you can do, visit their websites or maybe even just contact Deni, Lewis, Melanie or Helen directly with your questions.