“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf” -Joseph Goldstein
I’m not a huge fan of leading off with a quote from someone who isn’t really a household name. I’d much prefer quotes from Shakesphere, Ghandi, or Batman (who has a ton of quotes about kicking ass and taking names). So, for those who don’t know, Joseph Goldstein is an author and teacher who dwells mostly in the areas of mindfulness, Buddhism, and meditation.
None of that really matters here though. I love this quote because it focuses on acceptance. Acceptance of situations. Acceptance of problems. Acceptance of life.
There are many areas of our lives that we simply cannot change. Many social blunders that no matter how much we squawk and stick our tongue out at them, they just won’t go away.
We can’t change the fact that pizza is delicious yet fairly unhealthy. I’ve always said that if I had one wish it would be to make pizza healthy and I would totally do that for YOU!
We can’t change the fact that beer gives us bellies. Again, if I had a second wish, I would do that for YOU!
And also me…
But, that’s not why we’re here. We are here to talk about…(holding for effect in case you didn’t read the title)…dating! Dun dun dun!
Yes, dating, and more specifically the dating and hook-up culture that we have grown to know and love so dearly these days.
Circling the wagon back to the quote from a guy no one knows…we can’t change the fact that the hook-up culture exists and is defining our dating life.
We can’t do it.
We can’t do it simply because dating in general is made up of the wants and needs of all of the fishes within that pool and there is no way we can change the ideals of those millions of people all at once. Not unless we had a giant hypno-ray to hypnotize the whole world, which if that was the case, there would be slightly more pressing issues to be attended to first (world hunger, world peace, making country size subs, seeing what happens when everyone in the world jumps at once, etc.)
So, we can’t change it, but here’s the thing…that’s OK!
First, let’s break down all of the reasons why the hook-up culture exists.
- People want to have sex but do not want to actually commit to a relationship
I guess #1 pretty much covers it.
I think the real issue here is that to achieve goal #1 (which, if we have done any research on setting goals, is a pretty sh*tty goal to have) people will do almost anything, including lying, cheating, and making a mockery of any kind of chivalry or respect that two people can have for one another.
Does it suck? Yes.
Do people get hurt? F*ck’n all the time.
Is it something that we should complain about? Should we adjust the way that we approach our relationships because of this? Should we change who we are to try and fit in to the hook-up culture? What do you think?! Hell no!
Let me present to you 3 reasons why the hook-up culture needs to be accepted for what it is, why it shouldn’t change who we are, and why, in the end, it won’t matter:
- It’s really not as bad as it seems
Let’s first hop off our high horse on Mount Olympus and be completely honest with ourselves: has there ever been a time where we’ve wanted to have sex with someone based on their sexual attractiveness but have not wanted to settle into anything serious?
Grab a mirror and let’s look ourselves deep into those lovely pupils and tell ourselves this has never happened.
This happens all the time. Sexual attractiveness is a real thing and is the cause of so many one night stands, random hook-ups, and promiscuous sex.
As we get older and we begin to want to settle down and have a relationship, we need to understand that this sexual attractiveness never goes away and those fantasies are always going to be there.
“But John, it feels like sex is all people want these days!”
Yes, I know, but if that was the case than there wouldn’t be millions of single people who complain about how everyone else just wants to have sex these days.
The trick is knowing what we want out of a relationship and never settling for anything less. We all have our standards, our filters, and our rules and they are all perfectly fine to have. What so many of us lack is patience and the understanding that to get to the beautiful, majestic castle at the end of Neverland, we’re going to have to fight our way through the forest of a**hole guys and stuck up girls.
So at its foundation, we must accept and understand that everyone feels sexually attracted to others and it’s only those who mistreat us to achieve that who are bad, not the world and the hook-up culture in general. Sex is great! Being a d*ck is not. Which brings me to point deux…
- It’s great to be the exception
So deep down you’re the kind of person who loves going on dates, doesn`t like to hook-up right away, and wants to really get to know someone before getting intimate.
Don’t be ashamed, that’s awesome! You should find all those a**holes who hurt and mistreated your crush (I couldn’t think of a more adult word so I high schooled it) and buy them a beer because they just made you look awesome.
There is nothing more attractive than someone who is comfortable with themselves and shows it. Be the person who talks to someone when they want to talk to someone, hugs when they want to hug, expresses their feelings openly; do all of the things that we want to do but the rules tell us not to do because F the rules. And anyone who doesn’t like it isn’t worth our time anyway.
If there is anything to take away from everything I ever say, it is this…BE WHO YOU ARE. It is far better to have someone love the real you than the fake you.
- It’s all going to work out in the end
No, I did not sell my soul to the devil and become a clairvoyant so I could see into the future of everyone across the internet reading this post.
No, I am not a reincarnation of a holy messiah who can influence the future of everyone I come into contact with and bless them with good fortune.
That doesn’t mean I’m not right!
One of my absolute favorite things to do when I meet couples is ask them how they met because, low and behold, they really really really love to talk about it. And, I would venture about 90% of the time, the story starts off with how one or both of the parties just got out of a bad relationship, or was going on terrible dates, or was getting really discouraged and worried about how they would never meet someone.
And then they meet so and so. And everything changed.
90%. I’m an accountant…you can trust me.
At the end of the day, life is what we make of it (insert how everyone thinks of Joe Dirt) and that includes our relationships and our dating life. Sure, we have bad dates, we have bad relationships, but we have to be thankful that these bad relationships are leading us to the right ones somewhere down the road.
We have to believe that. We have to trust that!
The hook-up culture can be a poop stain on the underwear of life, but to complain and be upset that it has ruined dating and ruined love is to give up on the person out there who wants us to believe that stuff still exists.
And it does exist.
For every bad date, there will be a better one. For every bad love, there will be a better one.
And it’ll be better than anything we could ever imagine.