Hooking up: How the dating culture has changed

Your palms start to sweat, your breath shortens, you’re fixing your hair in the mirror each opportunity you get and you instantly regret the outfit you chose to wear. You’re about to go on a date.

Most of us remember that nerve-wrecking nauseous feeling, butterflies and all. However, some of us might not be so familiar.

Within the last five years, the dating game has changed. Whether people want to believe it or not, dating isn’t the way it used to be. Going out to dinner and getting to know each other one-on-one is becoming rare as time goes on, and advancements in technology could be one cause.

Meeting new people has changed. With the rise of the Internet, surfing the web has become the norm. Tinder, OkCupid, Grindr and Match.com are only a few of the popular dating applications users have access to.

These applications allow users to match and chat with people they’ve never met before, making conversation easy and stress free. However, many of these apps give people the wrong message – they just want to hook-up.

These apps give people countless options, making it hard to commit to one person. People also gain a fear of missing out when swiping on these apps. Why stay tied down when you could meet a bunch of other people?

Hooking up and friends-with-benefits relationships are becoming more casual and acceptable in today’s society. The hook-up culture can seem appealing because it is low-risk and typically lacks those tearful breakups.

These relationships can be easier, less stressful, exciting and they require no commitment. Some people don’t want to take it to the next level in these “relationships” because they are afraid of ruining a friendship. But I say, take that risk. No risk, no reward, right?

I won’t lie, it can be rare to find someone that will make you a priority instead of an option. Some of the loneliest people I know have many options and have no problem finding someone to spend the night with. They’re lonely because they haven’t developed a true connection with someone else.

Sex feels empty in hook-ups. The only real way to have great sex is to share it with someone you’re intimate with, someone you trust and feel at ease with.

To avoid getting wrapped up in the hook-up culture, communicate with your partner. You have to make sure you’re both on the same page before anything starts. False hopes of a hook-up leading to a relationship can be heartbreaking.

I’ve talked to many people who have lost hope that they’ll ever find someone willing to delete their Tinder account and stay loyal to one awesome person. It seems as though the traditional dating scene is dying.

However, it is not dead yet. There are still some people out there willing to take a risk and make a sacrifice for that special someone.

Hold off on sex, bring back traditional dates and make one person a priority. By taking risks and putting your heart out on the line, you’ll become a better person – and hey, maybe even meet that special someone.