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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to talk about hookup culture and its effects on our generation.  Before I start, I want to make a disclaimer.  I am not judging or shaming anyone who does partake in hookup culture, to each their own!  I think it is important to discuss the implications of hooking up and the effects it has on our generation’s perceptions of love and romance.  I know this holiday can be difficult for the lonely hearts out there, but be aware of the fact that hooking up can make one feel even worse and more confused.

Hooking up has always been a practice, but in recent years it has become even more of a phenomenon, particularly in Western culture.  I realize that people are seeking casual relationships to avoid the stress, commitment, and effort of a real one.  Although oftentimes these hookup/friends-with-benefits situations end up coming to a halt early on, always leaving one of the two feeling used and as if they have wasted their time.  In particular, women are heavily affected by this issue.  I definitely cannot speak for everyone, but after hookups women often feel used solely for their bodies, especially when their partner leaves with minimal contact afterwards.  This then leads to low self esteem, feelings of guilt, and negatively impacts one’s confidence for potential future relationships.  Women in particular tend to feel more sexual regret after a hookup as opposed to men, who are more likely to feel satisfied.  

Women are cognizant of the fact that unfortunately, they are often valued by men based on their bodies and looks.  This results in seeking validation in hookups and further self-objectification.  This cycle of hookup after hookup resulting in validation-seeking and unfulfilled expectations distorts peoples’ perception of what relationships and love “should” look like.  It also has detrimental effects on one’s image of self-worth, resulting in people settling for less, resulting in the cycle to keep on continuing.

This article also serves as a reminder that you are more than a body.  You are more than a face.  You are worth so much more than that.  I know it may be hard to believe right now, but anyone who genuinely loves and appreciates you will see that you are more than what you look like.  Dating in this day in age is extremely difficult and confusing.  Trying to put yourself out there and form honest, romantic connections is exhausting.  My message to you is to know your worth, and I know it sounds cliché but, never change yourself for anyone.  Do not feel like you have to disregard your personal boundaries for anyone.  Take this Valentine’s Day to surround yourself with loved ones, partake in self care, and know that your time will come!

Katie is the president and chapter correspondent of the Her Campus Buffalo chapter and a junior at the University at Buffalo studying psychology and political science. She loves to write about current events, politics, how to manage college life, and much more! She plans on using this platform to speak her mind and make a difference at UB.
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