What I Learned About Dealing with Situationships This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day. Honestly, I have never fully comprehended this holiday. I’m a little biased in the matter because I have spent every Valentine’s Day single. As someone who has not been able to fully indulge in date nights, big fuzzy bears or chocolate hearts, my view on this matter is a bit different. As a college freshman, my perception of relationships and this holiday are even more skewed. I have become accustomed to the new norm of casual hookups, “situationships” if you will. This term is extremely ambiguous and can mean a range of different things, which makes a holiday like Valentine’s Day a bit complicated. What does the holiday of love mean to two people who have hooked up 4 times… does it mean anything?

small hearts flatlay on animal skin rug

Hookup culture is deeply embedded into young people’s lives today. What does the term hookup even mean? People talk about bases, steps, yaddah yaddah. However, it means something different to everyone. College, in particular, is all about hookup culture. There is a big emphasis on just being “casual.” No strings attached. Unlike high school, no one pressures you to just ‘put a label on it.’ Late night ragers with some dancing juice make a quick hookup easier than ever. A study date can easily turn into an anatomy lesson. Oh and that guy you saw at the coffee shop? He just added you on snap. College makes being ‘casual’ so easy! And because everyone’s practically in that same headspace (besides the few that assume cuffed status), it is not hard to find. If the old fashioned way isn’t your cup of tea, there are apps, websites and social media that help you. On a college campus, with thousands of kids, it can be hard to track down your soulmate. However, with the help of a Tinder account you can show off your absolute hottest moments, swipe right or left and meet up with someone within that same hour. One could say hookups have become more popular than dating. And it makes sense. You reap the benefits but don’t get lost in all the emotional stuff, right? Well that is great and all, until say parent’s weekend rolls around or there is a formal for your sorority or I don’t know, say it’s Valentine’s Day. Each situation is different. For some, the one night stand route is best, which leaves you happily reveling in the guilt-free zone and watching romcoms this Vday. For others, hookups become very regular, hanging out very frequently and going out together, A.K.A., doing all of the things a couple might do but without the binding label. So where does that leave you? 

Whichever end of the spectrum you land on, hookups can make things feel...awkward. While they are fun, there is an unnecessary anxiety around them. There is an unspoken confusion if two people are on the same page, which ultimately can make things complicated. However,  while easier said than done, there is only one way to know anything for sure: talk. If you are someone that seeks comfort in knowing the terms of your relationship, there is a way to talk about it without freaking the other person out. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend taking dramatic action, like asking to date after one exchange, however how you choose to move forward in a relationship is completely up to you. Trust your gut. Often times, you are able to read the signs and if you feel confused, chances are they do too. Hookup culture can be very positive depending on what you make it. Maybe you’ll make a new friend or meet your future spouse. You never know! Don’t stress over all of the crazy unspoken rules of hookups. Eat some chocolate, take a breath and enjoy yourself. chocolate covered strawberries