At this stage in our lives, we are all trying to find ourselves by exploring our options. Exploring our options is just what “hooking up” is about. The revolution of this social interaction has become the standard and has revamped the college dating scene. Students of both sexes are guilty of casual hookups, but are male and female students on the same page? Four Penn State students share their insight.
What he says:
Some male students agree that times have changed the way college students approach the dating scene.
“It seems guys feel awkward asking girls on dates, and girls feel awkward going on dates with guys because it’s completely different than finding hook ups in the party scene, which seems to be the norm,” says Ben Jumonville, a communication arts and sciences major.
Kevin Bearse, a finance major, also reflected on the difference from one generation to another. He said in the past, dating was about finding that one person, and today it’s about who people can be with right now and keeping your options open.
“Over time, you get a sense of what you want in a person,” Bearse said.
Both guys say they believe that it’s more common for the girls to have expectations of a hookup being developed into a relationship. Bearse says girls want commitment, and Jumonville says he thinks they place more “emotional emphasis on the physical act of the hook up” and give it more meaning.
Neither of the boys can blame the girls for thinking this way because they says they both agree that it is possible for a relationship to come from a hook up. Both Jumonville and Bearse say that they never try to give girls the wrong idea or false hope about it, though.
“The general consensus is that people don’t try to lead people on, but it does happen unwillingly,” Bearse says.
What she says:
Girls’ perception is often different.
“Whether or not being led on is intentional or not, sometimes people say things the other person wants to hear just to hook up,” says Natalie Wainger, a hotel, restaurant and institutional management major. She also says she believes it’s hard to know exactly what the other person is thinking and feeling about a hook up. Hook ups are usually a good thing, if both people involved are on the same page and comfortable with the situation, she says.
Sammie Bursick, a supply chain management major, says she feels that at our age people are less interested in dating and more interested in gaining experience before settling down. However, both girls say that hook ups don’t necessarily hold the key to finding a relationship. They recognize that it’s a possibility, but girls tend to be the ones who get hurt most often.
“It depends on the personality of the girl, but when emotions get involved with a consistent hook up, girls think it will turn into a relationship,” says Bursick. “I’ve seen friends get attached to [someone] and then become upset when it ends.”
Boys take it as more of a competition and are not emotionally affected, she says.
Wainger says she feels the same.
“Guys are more in-the-moment type of people,” she says. “They can detach themselves from a hook up more easily.”
The girls say they think they are more likely to meet someone who they would like to be in a relationship with in an everyday setting, as opposed to a party scene. Yet, they say they agree that girls, ironically, are more negatively affected when a party hookup doesn’t end with a fairy tale.
Photo by Sam Florio