6 Steps To Take If You Want To Start Dating Again (For Real) When You're So Used To Hookup Culture

It's time to get back to the basics.

how to start dating find real relationship hookup culture

In a culture of dating apps, one-night stands and friends with benefits it’s hard to establish a meaningful romantic relationship without sex. We live in a world where the definition of “relationship” is saturated with casualness.

A lot of the time, people expect this hook-up culture to leave your life with the drunken frat boys you had to put up with for four years. Most find that it is not the case. Your diploma cannot ward off those with the one and done mentality.


If you are looking for something more than a happy ending to a wild night out, it’s time you change your own perception of what “dating” means.

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1. Know that you're not "lame" for not wanting to hook up.

Don’t suppress the discomfort you may feel going against the grain.


Wanting an intimate and sincere connection with someone does not mean you are less free-spirited than your cannot-be-tamed friend.

This does not make you weak or “too emotional”. It does not mean that you are anti-feminism. It just means you are ready for something more. Casual sex is great, as long as you want to have it.

2. Define what you really want before you start looking for someone new to date.

Going into a relationship, define what you want first. Our generation has created so many different stages of ‘dating’ that it makes it hard to distinguish one from the other. There is the one-night stand, the booty call, the friends with benefits. Usually, you will become exclusive without officially using the label ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’.

More often than not, one’s inability to commit can be linked with the rapid advancement of technology that consumes our society. Everyone is learning to suppress their feelings and once they have, these emotions are hard to face. After years of associating love with hard-work that may end in pain, it is not easy to find someone willing to commit.


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3. Understand that using a dating app might not be the way to get what you want.

With dating apps like Bumble and Tinder, people have gotten lazy. Unfortunately, wining and dining has become an outdated method to "get the girl". No one knows how to communicate anymore.

Why woo someone with genuine conversation over dinner when It is so easy to show interest with a single swipe right?

Dating apps have created a purely physical way to find a mutual attraction without facing the possibility of a face-to-face rejection.

The cycle is toxic: swipe right, meet up, have sex, feel nothing, swipe right, and so on. Technology has created the feeling that there is no need to follow-up with someone who you never even had to work to get in the first place.


4. Meet people when you're not trying to.

Try meeting people the old-fashioned way. People found love far before dating apps existed.

Don’t let your insecurities stop you from sparking a conversation with the guy behind you at the whole foods check-out line. You never know, maybe the cutie sitting next to you on the bus could be your next boyfriend. I know the Carrie Bradshaw life-style seems unrealistic, but you may surprise yourself if you open your mind up to the possibility.

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5. Stop telling yourself that a hook-up could lead to something more.

If you are looking for something serious, try to feel out the situation before you give him a chance. If he loses interest the second you bring up the idea of grabbing a coffee, don’t waste your time.


Remind yourself that if it’s easy, it’s probably not worth it.

6. Stop blaming yourself and comparing yourself to everyone else.

Finally, never blame yourself. If you can’t get someone to settle down, it’s not your fault. These days, everyone has been trained to believe that this is the way the world works. But, there are people that recognize that the ‘normal’ way to interact with others is not the only way.

Take the time to reflect on your thoughts and desires and don’t be afraid to feel differently from those around you. If you clarify what your expectations are from the get-go, you will see that an effective approach to finding romance exists.


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Manzi Burns is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.