The Death of Hook Up Culture (Or, Is Hook Up Culturing Deadly?)

I deleted all my dating apps yesterday because, well, I’m having a lot of mixed feelings about dating during a pandemic. I found myself in the midst of my pandemic-panic, locked into my phone, looking at my messages on Hinge, when I realized: maybe I should just talk to people that I already know and care about. What am I going to do on Hinge – carry out a three week courtship with someone I swiped right on? And what would it look like to start dating someone new in times like this? Do you just start a relationship with a base note of global panic and take it from there? That sounds like a lot of weird, uncharted emotional labor to me – do you find someone with whom to have a mutual panic attack? Do you look for your doomsday prepper bae? Are people just on there pretending to be normal still? Are dating apps just a terrible echo chamber of amplified loneliness right now? What a way to truly get to know a person. And seeing as I’m terrified of getting to know people, maybe I should just hit the pause button right now. Which is fine by me. I’m definitely the type of person who goes on dating apps for the daily validation and not because I’m looking for dates. But seeing as I’m a huge fan of hook up culture, regardless of whether or not I participate in it, there’s a twinge of sadness in my heart knowing that hook up culture will fully disappear for at least a few weeks here. No more late night, bar crawl meet cutes. No more dating app hook ups. Are people still having casual sex? I mean, yeah, of course they are, duh, but now that everyone’s gotten serious about this whole ‘shelter in place’ and ‘social distancing’ thing, I’m curious as to how many casual relationships and fuck buddy situations had to go down the hard road of, ‘I don’t care enough about you to want to weather out this storm with you.’ Yeesh. Sure, there are still plenty of people who throw caution to the wind and are still doing whatever they want – that’s a pretty basic tenet of hook up culture. Hook up culture just attracts a certain type of person. Usually: incautious, lonely, antisocial people. So, for all my fellow members of hook up culture: dawg, I feel you, this shit sucks, but, don’t worry, we’ll be back at it soon enough. :*

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