You know it in your gut...
In today's progressive culture, we love believing casual sex, one-night stands, and "hooking up" are what empowered women do. In some instances that might be true, but I'm wondering how those experiences are working out for you.
As a relationship expert, what I hear repeatedly is that after a one-night stand, the overwhelming feeling women experience is loneliness.
You've had one too many drinks and end up having sex. Does this sound familiar? During sex, the temporary connection you feel in the heat of the moment quickly dissolves into loneliness.
Hooking up seemed like such a good idea at the time — it felt fun, sexy, and spontaneous. But now, you're left feeling regretful.
Don't let one too many drinks lead you into having sex with a guy you wouldn't normally be interested in, or someone you don't have much in common with.
Sharing bodily fluids never has the kind of connection as sharing heart-to-heart conversations and deep emotions. The reason you feel lonelier is because you're confusing sex with the intimacy and connection you crave on multiple levels. The truth is, sex mixed with shallow conversations will always keep you at arm's length and perpetuate the cycle of loneliness.
On the surface, hooking up is considered "low risk" since no one gets hurt because there's no breaking up. But here's what you may not want to admit: trying to feel cool with things when you secretly crave more only causes more hurt and loneliness.
Hooking up comes more naturally to guys than women. Playing with this low-risk approach may feel safe and less scary because the very nature of hooking up is about keeping things superficial and just having sex. If you really like the guy, trying to feel fine with sex and shallow conversation when you want more is tricky. On one hand, you have to pretend you're fine with things, and on the other hand, the energy of you wanting more keeps you from being fine with things.
It's a frustrating and lonely place!
If you think you can have sex like a guy, you're fooling yourself.
Men and women experience the effects of sex differently. A guy is able to have sex and stay detached. Oxytocin causes a woman to bond emotionally and misread the bond for something deeper, making it difficult to stay detached. This means that while the guy in your hookup may be able to move on, you're still feeling connected to him.
According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, both men and women judge "promiscuous women" negatively — even other promiscuous women. Since there is still a double standard for women who have casual encounters, it's harder for them to deal with the aftermath of hooking up. They end up feeling hurt, depressed and lonely.
So what you should do to stop experiencing shallow hookups and find the connection you're looking for? Follow these tips:
1. Say "no" to hooking up and "yes" to dates.
2. Learn how to like being alone and enjoy your own company.
3. Open up to the possibilities of a real relationship.
4. Let men woo YOU.
Remember: While hook ups are usually about trying to fill a void, SOME hookups are healthy.
So how can you know if sexual intimacy is healthy, or if it will lead to regret and loneliness? In a healthy hook up, you both are clear about what your wants are and have the same expectations.
If sexual acts aren't giving you what you want, and you want more intimacy and connection, STOP hooking up. The more you continue hooking up, the less you will know how to have and be in a real relationship.
A real relationship is a higher risk yet yields greater rewards — it is where the meaningful connection you crave resides. That meaningful connection requires you to access your emotions and be real, open and vulnerable. And in turn, you get to experience affection and love.