I once had a week long romance. With someone I knew as soon as a I met would not be in my life for more than a week. Moving out of the state, out of the country, with no plans to keep in touch. Yet I still willingly engaged.
And on the other side of the week, I was unsure of how to feel. Emotional detachment is not something I usually engage in, and I think it is pretty obvious that I’m not very good at it. I value the interactions I have with others, romantic and otherwise. Conversations with strangers sometimes hold more weight in my mind than “how are you’s” with familiar faces. So a week of spending time with someone while simultaneously keeping them at arm’s-length in my mind was difficult.
And so I wonder, why is hookup culture so relevant in our generation? I get the whole “own your sexuality” thing and the idea that if you want it you can go get it, and I think women feeling in control of their sex is extremely important. But what do girls feel after a one night stand and casual hookups? My experience was far from a one night stand (in duration, and a complete lack of sex) and still, I felt a sense of loss.
This week long affair went through all normal stages of a long relationship in a fast forwarded. First date, I was in awe… what if? I thought. It was spontaneous, I had butterflies, he was fascinating, the possibilities were endless. Second date, it became clear we didn’t have that much in common, but still, it was nice to have someone to spend time with. We saw each other two additional times, which was probably two times too many, and by the end I felt like the almost ex who was hanging around too long.
My question is this. Is the detachment required to get through a one night stand emotionally stunting us? Am I the odd-one-out for not being emotionally/mentally capable of these types of arrangements? Or are other girls equally uncomfortable, but agreeing to them because they have become the social standard? Personal and intimate interactions with other people are supposed to make us feel, but why are we encouraged to act like we don’t?