Dating as a millennial is weird. Everyone wants the benefits of being in a relationship without the work that comes with actually having one. First dates usually consist of a Netflix & Chill session, followed by getting to actually know that person if you happen to surpass that awkward, hookup, situationship phase. And most of the time, it ends there, because we’ve all become accustomed to having commitment issues and not wanting to date someone for the long-term. The word relationship in itself is enough to bring shudders to most people my age. And honestly, who can blame us when we have apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr that have made casual sex and pointless first dates the norm? Saying that dating as a millennial can be overwhelming is an understatement. But there are definitely ways to ease the burden that hookup culture has left imprinted on our generation, so read on for the five ways that you can try to navigate the awkward, hookup culture of our society.
1. Keep Your Options Open
The biggest mistake that I would always make dating f*ckboys in college was dubbing other guys because I thought things would eventually kick off with my current situationship. Um, yeah, I was VERY wrong. Not keeping your options open is definitely the number 1 thing you can do to self-sabotage yourself for something that isn’t even that concrete in the first place. It might feel like you’re cheating if you take that number of the guy you just met at a bar, but chances are that if you haven’t established being exclusive with someone, then they’re probably taking other people’s numbers too.
2. Date Other People
Go on dates with other people. JUST GO. Even if you don’t want to, force yourself to do it. Even if a date with one other person goes terribly, at least you can see what else is out there. Also, dating different people at once will help keep your feelings at bay if you think that you’re becoming too attached to one person.
3. Don’t Have Sex If You Think You’ll Catch Feelings
In our generation, something as intimate as sex has become weirdly mechanical and completely detached from anything having to do with feelings. If you’re not the type to catch feelings after having sex, then by all means, go for it. But if you know that having sex with someone might muddle your feelings for them even more, or worse, if you’re just having sex with them because you think it’ll bring you to closer to a relationship, then you probably shouldn’t be having casual sex.
4. If You Can’t Do Tinder, That’s OK
Seriously, you don’t HAVE to get a Tinder. Online dating isn’t for everyone, and if you’re shitty at bios, or have anxiety meeting up with someone off of the internet, then don’t make an account. It’ll just make your social anxiety even worse. There are still ways to meet people in real life that don’t involve an app on your phone.
5. Get Tested- PLEASE
I can’t tell you the amount of people I know who are legitimately proud to go around saying that they’ve never been tested for an STD. Combine that with our generations desire to ditch condoms for the sake of pleasure and you’re seriously risking your health and that of your partners. STDS aren’t fun. So even if your Tinder date insists that his balls are cleared and he gets tested every 6 months, use protection until you’re sure of the fact that you’re exclusive.