‘Hookup’ became a part of my vernacular during my first quarter at UC Irvine.
According to the people around me, it meant two people joined in a moment of physical intimacy, which includes the following: simply kissing, kissing and horizontal dancing; kissing, stripping and horizontal dancing (in whatever order) or hopefully all of the above before fondling, fellatio or sexual intercourse.
The result of a hookup was either an extended intimate relationship, friendship, both or, more generally, nothing.
My definition of a hookup is an ephemeral intimate relationship. When a person participates in ephemeral intimate relationships, they have lost faith in the idea that they will find mutuality of feelings, interests, sense of humor and many other levels of ideal connection with one other person.
In the moment of hooking up, they are pretending that the hookup is enough for them, when really the ultimate relationship they desire goes beyond temporary physical satisfaction.
Remaining happy, some people are able to keep a consistent pattern of hooking up with a new person on a regular basis, without getting attached.
As long as there is a sense of happiness, there is nothing wrong with hooking up.
However the problem is a person’s detachment from emotions.
We are emotional beings. Perhaps we need our emotional desires fulfilled just as much as our sexual desires.
If we detach ourselves from emotions during intimate acts, we lose the depths of appreciation we could experience.
Some people participate in ephemeral intimate relationships because of the fear that they will experience grief from loss of attachment.
Perhaps they realized that they were in love with an illusion they created and therefore do not trust themselves to experience such high emotional levels of happiness.
Cynical about intimacy, they try to ignore any emotion that appears in the next relationship.
Instead, they should have learned from their grief in their last experience to become more open-minded in embracing the emotions of the new relationship, becoming wiser.
The problem with developing deeper emotional commitments and thinking is that one risks feeling deeper sadness.
However, they can also receive the highest levels of happiness and have more wisdom of human emotions in general.
Another reason that people get into ephemeral intimate relationships is because they have lost hope that they will find someone that is good enough for them.
They become stoic.
When someone begins a pattern of jumping into hookups and treating each person as a short-lived object of physical desire, their view of a person could be as meaningful as a homework assignment they work on or a dinner they cook.
They do not develop stronger emotional bonds with relationships and do not increase their emotional intelligence.
And it is not surprising that a person loses hope in finding an ultimately fulfilling relationship. It is difficult to find someone whp amazes us in multiple ways and matches all our criteria for a mate. College students are often experiencing one-sided love.
Let’s say that one person gets ‘burned,’ ‘heartbroken,’ ‘led on’ for believing that two beings were capable of an emotional and physical bond, when to their surprise the emotional bond was false.
Hence, they decide to become desensitized to further relationships, trying to care for the next person, their textbook, toaster, shoes, mother, humanity and chocolate all on the same level.
The new stoic burns the next person he or she is in a relationship with and the pattern expands until we have a bunch of people running around feigning affection just to fulfill their physical urges.
If this happens, then we have reduced our capabilities of emotional intelligence and emotional communication to that of a creature that does not have emotions involved in sexual encounters.
We cannot pretend that we are not emotional beings even when it comes to sexual relationships. In participating in hooking up, we are just kidding ourselves.
Emilie Doolittle is a second-year literary journalism major.