The Search: One Single Person's Perspective of Collegiate Dating


I’m a hopeless romantic. I always have been and honestly, will be for the rest of my life. I keep a journal of notes and life updates for my future husband, the thought of getting flowers on random days excites me, and I cannot wait for the day that I get engaged. However, in the 20 years I have been alive, I have only had one subpar boyfriend. It lasted six weeks and I’ve never left a man so fast.

I have since been single and assumed that once I left my all-girls high school, finding a man to date in college would be easy. Someone once told me that three-fourths of the students at DePauw meet the person they end up marrying and as a second-semester junior, still single, I find that statistic to be highly unrealistic.

What I have found since coming to college is a prominent hookup culture that makes it nearly impossible to find someone without physically being with them first, and I felt the pressure from so-called friends to partake even if I was not comfortable with it.

According to an article written by the American Psychological Association in 2013, anywhere between 60 and 80 percent of North American college students have participated in some sort of hookup experience. Both men and women reported positive and negative feelings the next morning.

For some, hooking up can be empowering. It allows people to explore their sexuality in a time when it’s more acceptable to do so. For others, it’s easier than maintaining a relationship because it takes less time away from other passions.

It can also be frustrating to navigate. It can lead to confusion, anger and hurt if not communicated correctly. Countless of written and unwritten rules can leave people feeling unsatisfied and filled with regret.

Personally, I feel that hookup culture changes the perceptions people have about relationships. I’m not here to say hookup culture is a bad thing because everyone has a different idea on what their dating life should look like. For me personally, I want more of an opportunity to meet people in other ways.