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The Struggles Of Being A Hopeless Romantic In A Hookup Culture

Gone are the days when you can expect to meet the love of your life in a coffee shop and strike up a conversation that will tell your great grand children about. Gone are the days when you got butterflies in your stomach because you would share your first kiss on the doorstep and giggle about it all night because it would be the start of an epic romance. Gone are the days when you could legitimately wait for the love of your life to do grand things like fly halfway across the world to surprise you.

Suggested read: 7 sensible reasons why casual hookups leave you emotionally drained

Today’s relationship scene is all but non-existent. Sure, fairytale love stories still take place, but they are the exception. Technology has taken over our lives in the literal sense of the term, and dating and relationships are not exempt from the rule either. It is all about the hookup culture now, where people meet to hookup. Women don’t expect grand gestures of love from their men, and men seemed to have embraced the whole idea of “wham, bam, thank you ma’am” very literally.

 things couples do_new_love_times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License 

Before I can complain some more about how my old school soul cannot handle the hookup culture, let me tell you some more about how this trend emerged.

Surprisingly enough, researchers have found that the hookup trend has its roots in 1920s America, which saw the rise of technology such as the movie theater, and it was also the age for other developments such as movie theatres and birth control. This and the rise of feminism in the West led to looser and more lax sexual morals amongst people, and naturally, following the trend set by the West, the rest of the world seemed to take cue and engage in casual sexual encounters, with no long term obligations.

This trend only accelerated with the dawn of mobile technology and social media. Meeting people, hooking up with them and moving on to the next person is so easy, that most people don’t have the time or patience to wait for their soul mate. In fact, most people in this generation don’t even believe in the existence of a soul mate. But what do you do when you are an old school romantic stuck in the body of a millennial, who might or might not be getting slightly overwhelmed with whole trend of hooking up? I feel like lists always help, so here are a few.

 Struggles of Surviving in a Culture Obsessed With Hooking Up

You think that maybe you could get with this trend, maybe, just maybe, you could also start hooking up and find happiness without finding love. But deep down you know that your soul mate is out there, sitting in a coffee shop, waiting to be disturbed by you. Here are some of the struggles I have to endure because I am a hopeless romantic at heart.

  1. You get your heart broken. A lot.

 couple heartbreak_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License 

Because you are a hopeless romantic, you tend to date a lot of people, and give a lot of people a lot of chances, in case they turn out to be the one. Unfortunately, they aren’t as invested in the idea of a long term, forever kind of romance, which means you get your heart broken a lot, while the other party has no problem moving on.

  1. You form unreal expectations from your partner

Because you are secretly constantly waiting for your fairytale romance to pan out, you expect nothing short of perfect from your lover or your partner, which not only puts an unnecessary amount of pressure on them, but you more often than not, end up getting disappointed because they don’t match up to the unreal standards that you have set for them in your head.

  1. You are sad and lonely most of the time

 sad man_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License 

I already said how we tend to get our hearts broken a lot of the times. However, another side effect of this sad phenomenon is that you get lonely. You are constantly seeking the perfect companion, and since you are always expecting them to be there and do perfect movie-like things for you like tuck you into bed when you are drunk, you end up bawling on the floor and feeling lonely and making plans for eternal spinsterhood.

Suggested read: The Complete Guide On How To Find True And Lasting Love (If You Are Tired Of Tinder)

  1. You start doubting yourself

Okay, I know I am saying this a lot, but people who are hopeless romantics tend to have a lot of breakups. Now this may be because of various reasons. One might be that the person you are dating is a moron. It might also be that you twp don’t vibe, which is totally normal. However, if you are like I am, then after a certain amount of dumping and getting dumped, you tend to feel like you are the problem, and that you are meant to be forever alone.

  1. You become gullible

 couple at a cafe_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License 

I feel like this is one of the biggest struggles of being a hopeless romantic in a world where people just want to tumble in the sheets with you and sneak out in the morning. You become gullible. You trust people too easily, and you let them in too often, and you let your guard down and relax the walls you have built the moment someone with even a little potential comes into your life, and then you get hurt. In a world that is so cruel and so detached and so objective and so impersonal, even the slightest gestures of love and kindness feel like perfection. Except, it is not.

How To Deal With The Problem

Okay, I think we are at a place where we can call this a legit problem. Survival is tough in a world where all you want is someone to hold and love forever, and all everyone else wants, is to sleep with people without having to remember their names and move on to the next faceless person asap.

There are of course, ways to deal with this, frankly because you don’t have an option. Here are some coping mechanisms which have potential.

  1. Recognize fairytales as fairytales and fiction as fiction

 lesbian couple best friends_new_love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License 

One of the best ways to deal with this, I feel, is to give yourself an occasional reality check. Disney movies and Hollywood rom-coms have given us strange and unrealistic ideas about love, which gets reflected in our real dating life. Telling yourself that Prince Charming doesn’t exist in real life and no one in this world is perfect is a good way to deal with your eternal woe.

  1. Learn from your mistakes

By mistakes, I am referring to all the losers you dated during your quest to find your true soul mate. Even though you are left broken and distraught and lonely after each breakup, you need to make something positive out of it, so that you don’t end up being forever alone. Each of them have their own lesson to teach, so that the next time you let someone into your heart, you are a little more cautious, and you can understand the other person better.

  1. Search in the right places

 tinder dating_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License 

Maybe it is difficult for you to find true, lasting, romantic, old-school love because you are looking in all the wrong places. If you are on dating apps like Tinder, Ok Cupid, etc. then chances of finding your soul mate are relatively less. However, there are specialized app, which contains a number of people who are looking for the same exact thing that you are. If you are still dubious about the dating app culture, then you can always chill out at your favorite place such as the library or a coffee shop, and you might just meet someone super special, the romantic way!

  1. Talk about your feelings openly

I feel one way to deal with the whole hooking up trend, and finding a more permanent sort of love, is by being candid about the way you feel about this trend. Instead of passively waiting for someone to love you the way you want to be loved, talk about the way you feel and the things you want from a relationship, so that if someone is not interested in all those things, they will leave you alone, without having to go through the whole process of dating, breaking up, etc.

Suggested read: Love Is An Illusion. Or Is It?

  1. Don’t be ashamed of your feelings

 friends with benefits_new_love_times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License 

In a world where everyone is hankering to hook up and you are looking for a good relationship, it is only normal for you to feel overwhelmed for being against the majority. You might also sometimes yield to people who want to hook up with you, even though you don’t want to and you are uncomfortable with the whole idea, because you know you will get attached. This is where you need to be strong-willed and not do anything that you don’t want to.

I won’t lie, it is tough being a hopeless romantic stuck in a hookup culture. But does that mean that love is dead and I will never find my perfect partner? Hell no! He/she’s out there somewhere, looking for me too, and that’s what keeps me going.

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License 

Article Name
How To Survive As A Hopeless Romantic In A Hookup Culture
We are living in a hookup culture where notions of true love, soul mates and meet cutes are non-existent. How does one survive if they are a hopeless romantic?
Aishani Laha

Aishani Laha

Bibliophile. Feminist. Unreasonable optimist. I am dangerously obsessed with the English language and the stage is my second home. I still believe in fairy tales and happy endings, and more importantly, that there is nothing that good music and a cup of coffee can’t fix.