Hookup Culture Is On Its Way Out & Relationships Are Coming Back

We’re always told how millennials are looking for booty calls instead of relationships but maybe that’s changing. Yes, really! Here are 14 reasons why the act of hooking up could actually be getting pushed out the door—and it’s about time.

  1. People aren’t searching for hookups. We blame dating apps for the surge in hookups, but honestly, people aren’t using them for that. A study of 3,500 millennials by ABODO Apartments, an online apartment marketplace, found that less than nine percent of people are using dating apps to search for hookups. Wow!
  2. They’re searching for confidence. LendEDU, an online marketplace for student loan refinancing, chatted to 9,761 millennial college students about why they use Tinder. The results were quite interesting: 44 percent of students said they used it to boost their confidence, and over 70 percent of students said they hadn’t met anyone from the app. Hmm.
  3. First date sex? Meh. The same ABODO survey found that only 11 percent of men and less than two percent of women see sex as a first date goal. Up to nine percent of men and 32 percent of women said they’d never have sex with someone they’d just met. So maybe we’ve become a bit too cynical about dating because clearly, not everyone’s bringing condoms to a blind date.
  4. Millennials are having less sex. Yup, you read that right! A study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior journal found that the number of sexually inactive millennials is on the rise. In the age group of 20 to 24, the number of people not having sex has doubled over the last 30 years!
  5. What’s going on? Many people are looking for less sex and more love. In fact, more than 70 percent of people in the 18-25 age group surveyed by Harvard School of Graduate Education confessed that they actually wanted more guidance about finding romantic relationships from their parents. Join the club, guys!
  6. We’re the romantic generation. We always tend to think that romance is dead, but it’s not. Many people still think of themselves as romantic—57 percent of millennials describe themselves as romantic, even more than people from previous generations, according to a study of 1,000 American adults by the Huffington Post.
  7. Women hate unsolicited pics of dudes’ junk. One of the worst things about hookup culture is these dreaded pics. A 2017 study by Match.com found that 53 percent of millennial women have received them and 49 hadn’t asked for them. Ugh. Okay, so lots of guys are sending pictures of their junk, which makes us feel like they just want to get off, but many women hate them—this is important because the more they’re shamed, the less men will resort to them. We have the power to end hookup culture!
  8. Real connections are NOT extinct. You might feel jaded at how many men you meet online or in real life who want to Netflix and chill, but maybe you’re just meeting the wrong men. When compared to previous generations, the same Match.com study found that millennials are 125 percent more likely to admit they’re addicted to making love connections! It’s not all about sex.
  9. No one’s really hooking up. You reckon everyone around you is having sex like it’s going out of style, but that’s not really happening. According to a Harvard University report, millennials are more into dating and hanging out with friends than casual sex. We want something real, FFS!
  10. Dates trump one-night-stands. It’s more likely for people to have sex with a partner than with strangers. Don’t believe me? A study in the Journal of Sex Research found that over 78 percent of people surveyed said their sexual partner was a significant other.
  11. We’re positive about dating. Yes, a bunch of bad dates can make you want to become a cat lady but generally, people are still thinking happy thoughts about dating. According to a study, 93 percent of members from relationship app Hinge said they’re open to having a relationship. Yup, even with all the crap that goes down in the form of d*ck pics and ghosting. 
  12. Sex isn’t what drives dating. You date a guy only to realize three weeks into a relationship that he’s just after sex. WTF? Don’t get discouraged. According to a study by dating website OkCupid when people were asked, “Would you date someone just for sex?” every single group said no—the yes answers have decreased by nearly 10 percent since 2005.
  13. Hooking up isn’t always what you think. When college students were asked about hookup culture, 91 percent of students said that their college campuses were ruled by it, according to a study published by UC Merced, the university of California. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that “hooking up” can mean different things to different people. For some, it’s about making out, not sex, which means that those hookup numbers are falsely high!
  14. Is ghosting a result of hookup culture? We tend to think that since people aren’t interested in commitment because they’re hooking up, that’s why dating trends like ghosting and fading out have become so popular. But maybe the two aren’t linked – they really can’t be if hooking up isn’t as much of an epidemic as we thought. Maybe the real issue is that so many people don’t know how to deal with relationships properly or they have way too many options than before, not that they’re looking for something casual. It still means that ghosters are douchebags, though.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.