Not all relationships in college are pretty. More likely than not, they lead to heartache, depression or half-friendships. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of people fall in love, meet their spouses and end up happily ever after. But that’s not all of us. Most of us date, kiss and date again. Some of us kiss too much and too often and then suffer consequences I call the “gravedigger’s remorse.”
Meet my friend Angela. With green eyes and a petite frame, even the slightest look at her makes one salivate. She dates Jonathon. He’s never taken her out, doesn’t even like to let her spend the night and hates to wear a condom. But Angela loves Jonathon. She sneaks to his room at the ring of his 4 a.m. phone call and never lets any one know, but we all know Angela’s secret. She tells her closest friends that she’s in control; it’s just the physical she needs. Twenty-four hours later when he hasn’t returned her fifth phone call, she’s over him. She says she’s buried him.
But give Angela a lonely night and she’s digging up Jonathon again. Angela is a gravedigger.
After another cold walk to Jonathon’s room and awkward post-coital stares, Angela swears him off again. She has gravedigger’s remorse.
This perpetual cycle that college women and men go through is known by scholars as the “hook-up culture.” It’s the no-strings-attached sex we all know about and some participate in. A study done at James Madison University, published in the Journal of Sex Research, found that 86 percent of women and 88 percent of men have had a hook-up. Of those, these students believe that the average person is more sexually liberal than they consider themselves, which the study attributes to pluralistic ignorance – similar to the “everyone’s doing it” attitude.
But almost every one is doing it.
Of those that have a had a “terrible hook-up,” which is nearly half for both sexes, the study gives two reasons: For men, the woman wanted a relationship. For women, the man wanted more sex.
Is it hit or miss sometimes? Have we as a college generation stopped caring about whom we hook up with?
Maybe not. I think we are all guilty of having gravedigger’s remorse. We all should learn a simple life lesson: to cut our losses before they cut us. n