My friends didn’t have nice things to say when I told them I was going to try Tinder for the first time. They all think it’s just a gateway to entering the hook-up culture as if it’s a really bad thing. I come from a small town where everybody knows everyone, if not personally, then on Facebook for sure or through city council meetings for that matter.
They told me that all good men are either married or have moved out of town. They also told me there are fair chances of bumping into stalkers on these dating platforms. I was shocked when a friend said that Tinder reeks of desperation and good girls should only go to matrimonial sites or find a good Christian boy at their local church. But I didn’t agree with all that when I was figuring out how to find love.
Finding Love In The Hook-Up Culture
I’d been reading a lot of Tinder experiences online and I remember reading about dates turning into mind-boggling sex, painful one-sided love stories, and actual fairy tales, exactly the kind I covet. Of course, there were awry dates, weird conversations and everything wrong, yet I decided to give it a chance. I downloaded the app one fine morning and got started on my journey which most people assumed would just be an entry into hook-up culture.
It’s not all that difficult to define hook-up culture. It is just the system of finding people merely for a sexual relationship. It does not mean that they do not share a camaraderie but their relationship is only founded on sexual favors and not much more. It is devoid of a serious future, love, or any kind of commitment.
Tinder had earned somewhat of a reputation as the hub of hook-ups but I wanted to try it out anyway. Within 30 minutes, I had 10 matches. By then, I also knew why my friends had cautioned me about Tindering in Albuquerque. Most men assumed that it was sex or lack of it that got me to the app, especially since I’m a journalist. I saw a lot of married men and some of them had pictures with their wives and kids too! This is taking the hook-up culture to a whole new level, I thought to myself.
Related Reading: I Think I Am In Love With Her But I Want To Hook Up With Others
I want a relationship not a hook-up
A couple of them even asked me if I was up for a short fling (read extramarital affair) because “Journalists are so open-minded!” One man, who turned out to be a friend’s friend’s husband, had the audacity to ask me why I was on Tinder if not for sex. That’s when I knew that I hated this hook-up culture and was semi-done with this Tindering around aimlessly.
I was about to give up when Z texted. Within a few minutes, I knew he was different from the rest and the best-looking guy I had matched with. That was one of the reasons why I gave him my phone number. A quick search on Facebook assured me that everything was alright and we soon moved to texting and calling. I knew the app had already given me the best and I uninstalled it from my phone.
We never had long chats but the short conversations we had were enough to indicate that he was everything that I was not and yet I felt tremendously attracted to him. We would mostly talk about love, relationships and sex. While he sounded quite advanced in those areas, I was still naïve. I told him clearly that I was not looking for casual sex and he was okay with that. I literally said, “I want a relationship not a hookup” and he completely understood.
I was starting to fall for him
We talked almost every day and it was truly wonderful. Although he’d make plans, he never made any special efforts to make them work or to see me. This was a tad confusing, not going to lie. I didn’t know what or whether to think of him at all. What I found really strange was that he would never shy away from asking journalistic favors but had a problem coming to see me.
It was frustrating, but then the heart wants what it wants. He’d ask me to promote his company and I’d do whatever I could, thinking if I helped him, he would also fall for me. And one fine day, we met at last. It was completely unplanned, yet soul-filling. He just texted me before leaving his workplace and within 30 minutes I found him waiting for me outside my house.
He was every inch a gentleman and I loved every minute of our first date. He was definitely more fun in person and I never wanted that evening to end. We spoke of food, movies, work and everything else under the sun. That’s the hook-up vs dating difference. Dating shows you a really good time even outside bed.
He asked a lot of questions about my work and seemed interested in me or so I thought. I had never been with anyone and I was overwhelmed with all the attention. Soon the date came to an end and we left the restaurant with awkward goodbyes. I badly wanted him to hold me, but then maybe another time. I didn’t want to rush it.
Related Reading: How a lying woman broke the heart of a small-town boy on Tinder
Hook-up culture was not for me
We talked for a couple of months and I didn’t even realize how my feelings for him got stronger and how texting turned into sexting and then into love, well, at least for me. I badly wanted to be with him but without making it casual; he, on the other hand, had told me that he wasn’t looking for a long-term relationship.
I wanted love, attention, commitment, dreamy dates and steamy kisses, but all he had to offer was a job in his company! While Rihanna found love in a hopeless place, I had to make do with a job offer. We eventually stopped talking and I tried Tinder again. Blame it on fate or a city with limited options, I always end up seeing him on the app. And the moment I see him, I uninstall the app again because it crushes me so badly.
I am not completely over him but now that I look back I realize how wrong it was to look for love on Tinder. I hate the hook-up culture and now I know that people like me don’t fit in on Tinder. He’d tell me he found me hot, cute, a genuine friend and somebody he could rely on, and yet he didn’t want to date me.
This is something beyond me; as my friend says, “Tinder or no Tinder, it’s a sin to look for love in a time of hook-up culture.” And hopeless romantics like me are just victims!
According to this survey, one in four people in the US go from a hook-up to a relationship.
If he zips up and walks out of the room with no indication of wanting to see you again, well you might have been officially initiated into the hook-up culture. They will make it obvious that they are only interested in you sexually and do not want any emotional strings.