Being a Hopeless Romantic in the Culture of Casual Hook-ups

Edited by: Maya M. Haider (UG 2020)


Extensive reading of novels and fanfictions while growing up made me into the person I am today. Not to mention, it is responsible for sparking my love of writing.I got to travel around the world and meet so many people (in the form of fictional characters) all while sitting in my cozy little room s. I have no regrets about spending a considerable part of my life so far reading books except for one: it made me into the hopeless romantic that I am today. It turned me into your typical dreamer girl who wishes for all the tingling sensations and accelerating heart beats that love apparently brings with it.


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As clichéd as t it sounds, romance novels, and countless fanfictions have given me the hope of finding my Prince Charming. That first meeting, the getting to know each other, and then finally falling in love and living happily ever after. Sounds too sappy? It is only after coming to college that I realized how my idea of romance was in fact, old-fashioned. Mind you, I have always been aware of the concept of casual hook-ups and I have nothing against those who prefer them over stable relationships. But in a place where everyone is freshly out of high-school with  hormones probably raging, hooking up becomes more of a culture than a personal preference. In my last 6 months here, I’ve lost count of how many ‘couples’ I thought were dating (seeing them kissing publicly gives you that idea, really) but then never saw them interacting again. For someone like me for whom even simple things mean so much, the entire thing was quite…unsettling. More than anything, it has brought in a certain fear. It makes me wonder if everyone has succumbed to this culture where actual romantic relationships are a thing of the past, and subsequently confirms to me that I will probably never get to experience all that I have dreamt about.


I want the romantic late-night walks, the flowers at your doorstep and the good morning texts. I want my partner to give me cute compliments and be interested in everything about me. I know that all these things still happen and there are a few lucky people out there who have managed to save themselves from spiraling into the hook-up culture of most colleges. But it has become so rare that finding it for myself seems quite implausible. At times, I do wish I wasn’t such a hopeless romantic,wishing for the idea of romance in a day and age where when I tell people that I want a fairytale arranged marriage, they look at me like I belong in the another century. Maybe I do, and I wouldn’t mind going back there— if only to escape all the unseemly maroon marks that people proudly sport on their necks.


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As I turn a corner in the campus and see a couple making out (only to turn around again and come across someone’s hickeys) I hope for a relationship that is less about PDA and more about romance. I hope someday to find my Prince Charming, who values the bond two people share beyond just physical intimacy. Who knows, maybe he’s at some other college now, rolling his eyes like me at all the people gloating about their one-night stands? Whatever it is, if he is indeed out there, I wouldn’t mind waiting and getting labelled  the kill-joy who frowns at this culture of her college, before I finally meet him.


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