Why the College Hookup Isn’t Good Enough

By Amari D. Pollard

The issue isn’t getting people to notice you. On the nights you go out with friends you dance with guys, they call you hot, they ask for your number, some even try to make out with you and if you’re drunk enough sometimes you let them.

But those are meaningless nights: shallow moments with casual guys fueled by shots of tequila and long Island Ice Teas.

And yeah, they make you feel good for a little while because you like the idea of being desired, that there’s someone who wants you (except that person really isn’t you), but it never lasts past the next morning; when you wake up and you’re welcomed by that empty space next to you in bed, the overwhelming reminder of just how alone you are.

Even when you do groggily wake up enveloped by the warmth of someone else, with their arm lazily wrapped around you, there’s only enough room for the feeling of regret and nausea swaying in your stomach. Nothing else.

Quickly that warmth lends way to something else. His arm becomes cold, foreign and uncomfortable against your skin, and all you want to do is unravel. Unravel from his touch, and from yourself.

Eventually the hole inside you—the one you couldn’t fill with his soft lips or gentle caresses—gradually starts to widen until you disappear into it all together. Because that person, that stranger lying beside you never really saw you, they saw your face and breasts and butt, and what they could provide for them.

But yet, you still try to convince yourself that those moments add up to something significant.

Maybe it’s because you need to hold on to the idea of someone, of something that never really was but could have been—as if you had the option to turn those drunken exchanges into something more but chose not to.

After you both woke up, you could have allowed him to stay, made him some coffee and gotten to know each other outside of the drunken high. But you don’t, because you both know what last night was: a moment.

He was an experience, and you’re ready for him to end.

You don’t want him, you never did. And no matter how hard you try to tell yourself those minor moments of ecstasy are satisfying, you can never fully believe it because you know the kind of person and kind of relationship you want.

You want someone who approaches you in the soberness of daylight, who calls you beautiful instead of hot, and looks at you in a way that lets you know he understands what he’s seeing.

People say college is where you let loose; explore what’s out there instead of attaching yourself to someone else. Why try to add someone to the equation when you’re still trying to figure yourself out and grow as a person?

But no matter how content you are with yourself and the idea of casually dating and hooking up, there’s a part of everyone that needs more, that wants to belong to someone. To have someone to curl into when you feel as if you’re going to break in half, or when happiness starts to overwhelm your being, or when you just want to chill and watch TV.

You want that type of relationship because you want someone to bear witness to your life and you to theirs, even if only for an instant.

Maybe that way you feel more valuable in your insignificance. You’re only one small aspect of a small planet in an enormous universe; you’re born, you live, you die, and eventually you’re forgotten. One day it will be as if you never were.

But as long as you’re important to one, it doesn’t matter that you’re not important to many—or as many as you would like—because you have someone to share in the quiet moments and the transformative moments. Someone who chooses to go through life beside you, and refuses to let your life go unnoticed.

All you want is for someone to stay.

Picture courtesy of http://www.sherman-ave.com

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One Comment Add yours

  1. ermigal says:

    Amari, I’m a bit behind on my reading, and glad I got a chance to read this–fabulous piece, and so true, at any age. It reminded me of a couple of favorite movie scenes, one from “Shall We Dance?” where Susan Sarandon explains about another person being a witness to your life. Hope your post gets some readers thinking…well done! 🙂

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