The Hookup Game

Being 21 and at around that age where relationships get relatively more serious, I'm beginning to wonder if it actually is serious?

Hookup culture.
Where you question yourself if you should send that extra 1 text or does it make you look like a beg.
Wondering if you're the only girl he's talking to or has he got someone else, then making you wonder if you're pretty enough, standing in front of the mirror, naked and pulling yourself apart.
Going out as a guy, doused in aftershave and perfecting the art of giving "the look" and grafting on the dance floor while your boys egg you on.
We've got these apps on our phones, tinder, where we can casually assess a whole being based on looks alone and think "Meh" and swipe left or think "I'd bounce on that" and swipe right. I have nothing against tinder, I use it myself and have 2 friends in very lovely long term relationships from it, but lets be honest, what's the major outcome from it? Fizzled out conversations, lame ass chat up lines, terrible 'banter', random Facebook adds, late night texts of "Come chill", dick pics on snapchat and the list continues.

Call me old school, but I enjoy aimlessly spending time with someone and getting to know them. Watch their ticks, the way the corner of their mouth twitches up into a smile when they talk about their favourite book to read. Listen to how they speak, slow and careful, or fast and carelessly. If they jiggle their legs, or fiddle with things with their fingers. I enjoy the smallest things like holding hands. But that's me. I think its now like a fairy tale wish.

I think I like what I like, because I want and chase excitement of finding out about someone, watching them and understanding them. Hookup culture is now the norm, yeah, it's exciting; but how short lived is that feeling.

It's so complicated. Getting into a relationship is hard. Like, is this a date? We hanging out? He paid for the meal, he must be into me? I met his friends, his female house mates likes me, surely that's a sign? But...what did that mean? We're just CASUAL, nothing major. We're seeing each other, not SEEING each other, exclusively shit. I can't ring him, that's weird, too only ring your mum! He's just read my message...but he's not replied, I've said the wrong thing, I messed it up. Wait, he's online, but he's not read my message, am I annoying him? Is he ignoring me? I can't share that meme, its so obvious its about him, I might as well put a stamp on it and post it to his house, its so obvious! 

I've had all these thoughts. I've had my friends have the same thoughts. Its games. Why have we got these games? Why do we play along with it? If I talk to him too much, I'm being a beg. If I message him asking to hangout, I'm a beg and have no life of my own. If he's taken 3 hours to reply to my message even though he was on line, I shouldn't reply straight away and wait longer to reply and make him suffer. But is he suffering?
Why does showing I care make me clingy and crazy? It's choice whether you want to complain to your friends, who will ultimately tell you to "Give up with this guy, you deserve better, have fun" or go about your life as normal with the occasional stomach drop every time your phone pings because you think its him texting you. If he blows me off and I get pissed off, I'm being dramatic, cause hey, ITS JUST CASUAL.  
I don't want someone to have that power over me, but apparently I get "too involved" with guys. Sorry, but we can't just be hanging out....for like, months, have all the rules of being in a relationship but not be in a relationship, but I suppose its the easiest way to just drop someone when you get bored, rather then going through the whole break up process and pretend nothing ever happened...because what's the point of the moments you shared, the  meaningful night chats you had and the feelings you caught?

Hookup culture.

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