College Hookup Culture Is Extremely Disappointing And Dangerous

College Hookup Culture Is Extremely Disappointing And Dangerous

Trying to find love in a hopeless place leaves young women disappointed.

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I love my friends. I really do. I even love hearing about their relationship problems and consoling them through breakups, but I don't envy the dating environment they are subjected to. Listening to their horror stories of "fuck boys" and watching them get ghosted again and again makes me thank whatever's up there that I don't have to deal with boys of my generation.

Thankfully, I started dating my boyfriend before the stage where guys lose all concept of chivalry and monogamy. I used to worry about missing out on my crazy college days and trying new things and kissing random boys but after entering college and watching my friends struggle, I know I'm not missing out on anything.

College-aged guys have always gotten a bad rap, but it has only gotten worse in recent years. When asked to describe the dating scene in college, one friend said, "It's shit. Hookup culture is all any guy wants to participate in. Dating so far has honestly been pretty disappointing. Another said, "Guys are immature, and all they want to do is party. And if you don't want to do that with them, you're screwed and if you do you're also screwed. Dating in college is a vicious circle."

If you want to date in college you really only have two options: parties and Tinder. Both sound equally unappealing to me. I don't know many girls who have found quality guys through either method. Not that there aren't good guys online or at clubs. But usually, the guy who approaches you while you're shit-faced at Gilt isn't interested in anything beyond the infamous one night stand.

Not only is dating in college unromantic and almost unheard of, but it's also often dangerous too. There's been an increase in recent years of reported sexual assaults and non-consensual use of the drug commonly called roofies. Dating doesn't just suck because the majority of available men are unimpressive, it's also because it's unsafe to meet and trust strangers. You never the true intentions of the guy you're talking to. He might want to get to know you, or he might want to slip something in your drink as soon as you go to the bathroom. And that's pretty freaking scary.

Navigating the dating culture in college is hard, and I'll be the first one to admit it. But I'll give the same advice as I give my friends when they're crying over a stupid boy they met at a stupid party. Don't look for guys in sketchy places. Try talking to the smart guys in class or the guys you always see studying in the library. Go for the guys you meet in school clubs, not nightclubs. There are good guys everywhere but if you're always looking for them in the wrong places you're going to find the wrong guys.

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Stop Saying 'Love Is Love' And Then Shame Me For Dating A Republican

"How can you date a Republican?!" Quite easily, actually.

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"And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love." Other theater geeks like me probably also remember this quote from Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony acceptance speech in 2016. Now, thanks to Lin-Manuel and his talent for catchy phrases, every time someone says "love is love," all I can think of is Lin-Manuel's emphatic cry for equality.

This cry is one that I support wholeheartedly. I think that you should be allowed to love whomever you choose and that you should do so without fear of hatred or scrutiny. If you are a guy who loves guys, great. If you are a girl who loves girls, great. If you are a girl who loves guys and girls, great. You are born a certain way with certain sexual preferences, and there is nothing wrong with that.

However, if you believe that people should be free to love anyone they choose, then, honey, you better start looking past gender.

Let me tell you a little story.

Recently, I had a conversation with one of my closest friends about my boyfriend of almost 11 months. Somehow (and I'm shocked that this hadn't come up before), my boyfriend's political preferences became the topic of conversation.

The conversation went something like this:

"Wait, so is Tom a Democrat or Republican?"

"He's a Republican."

"WHAT?! Are you serious?"

"Yep."

"How can you date a Republican?"

After that, I basically went on a five-minute rant about how at the end of the day, his political preferences only make up a small fraction of who he is as a person and that I am not so shallow that I would be deterred by something this trivial.

At our cores, Tom and I value the exact same things: compassion, knowledge, kindness, dedication, honesty, respect, and above all else, love. Tom loves me unconditionally and I give him that same love in return; honestly, what else could I ask for?

Tom and I do get in some political arguments from time to time, but we also agree on those issues that are most important to me: female reproductive rights, marriage equality, and support for survivors of sexual assault. All of those things are non-negotiables for me, and Tom understands that and possesses his own list of non-negotiables.

Before you ask, yep, he voted for Trump. Did that take me back at first? Yes. Did I struggle to understand what would compel a person to vote for him? Absolutely. Did that thought kind of terrify me at first? Hell yes.

But you know what? After I just sat and listened to Tom's reasoning as to why he voted for him and watched him delve deep into Trump's policies, I could understand why some would vote for him. And to tell the truth, once I fell in love with Tom, none of that mattered anymore. And what is sad is that people so often fall so deep into their own echo chambers nowadays, that they wouldn't even give someone with different beliefs their ear. Well, I'm damn glad I did because Tom is the most amazing person I've ever met and I fall more in love with him every day.

So to tie this all together with a pretty little bow, if you're going to go around and preach that love is love and that everyone should be free to love whom they choose, then that shouldn't change for me. Maybe you're a Democrat that would never date a Republican or maybe you're a Republican who would never date a Democrat; that's your choice. But we don't get to choose who we fall in love with (much to the dismay of my liberal family and friends). Just keep an open mind and who knows? Maybe you could find some absolutely epic happiness.

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After 365 Days Together, I Can Say For Sure: You're My Person

This year has been everything I needed and more. I love you very much.

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About a year ago, we lay in my bed on a rainy Sunday morning and I asked you when you were going to make me yours. We had a conversation about the things we expected out of this proposed relationship and the things we expected of each other. We promised to take our bond seriously and to honor it at all costs. We looked at each other, knowingly, as if we could both tell this was the start of something very special.

Well, babe, we weren't wrong.

This past year has been one for the books, to say the least. We traveled the country and witnessed some insanely beautiful moments together. We endured bad days and came out stronger on the other side. We grew as individuals, and we grew as a couple. Every day is better for me just by you being a part of it.

I can't thank you enough for all you've done for me. It's the greatest feeling in the world knowing that you have someone who will love you unconditionally, no questions asked. You make me feel so secure in myself and our relationship, which is all I've ever really wanted out of sharing my life with someone. Maybe I'm biased, but I'm pretty sure our chemistry is off the charts. I've never seen two people mesh together so well. I feel like we have this connection that's so rare and so precious, I can't believe we were lucky enough to find each other this young.

The future seems scary sometimes, and I'm not sure about a lot of it. I don't know what job I'll have as an adult. I don't know where I want to end up living for the rest of my life. I don't even know my work schedule for next week yet. There's only one thing I know for certain in my bones: no matter where I'm at or what I'm doing, I can't picture myself not being by your side. You make all situations better for me.

You're undoubtedly my person.

My dream for us is to always continue to keep living and loving this way, together. I hope we never lose this undeniable chemistry and our comfortability of just being around one another. I know as we age things may change, and we may not always be as exciting and adventurous as we are at 21, but as long as you're mine, I promise to love you a little bit more every single day. As we grow and learn individually, I hope to also grow and learn as a pair. I know it takes a lot to make a relationship last, but if anyone can do it, it's absolutely going to be us.

Happy one year, my love. This life is crazy and beautiful and I wouldn't want to experience one minute of it without you. Thank you for taking me as I am, and loving me so well. This year has been everything I needed and more. I love you very much.

- Zoë

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