I’ve never been a fan of casual hookups, but I’ve done it before. There was a time when I thought that in order to get a guy to fall for me and to stand out in the sea of amazing single women, I had to prove that I was the total package by putting out. Sooner or later, however, I realized just how silly that notion was. I stopped allowing myself to get dragged down the rabbit hole and stopped going on dates with guys who only wanted something casual. Very quickly, my dating life changed for the better.

  1. I became more secure with myself. A new sense of security washed over me when I stopped hooking up. I no longer had to deal with the post-intimacy anxiety of wondering when or if a guy was going to call me again, which made it easy to keep my mind at ease and stopped me from setting my hopes too high. It made me truly realize my worth and that I didn’t need to use my sexuality as a way to get the right guy’s attention. It empowered me.
  2. I started weeding out the jerks early on. If a guy was only looking to hook up, he didn’t stick around long after he realized I was looking for more. As much as it sucked to be looked at by so many guys as solely hookup material, I was happy to watch them exit my life knowing that sooner or later, one guy would look at me as long-term and forever material. One man’s “I’m not ready” is another man’s “I knew the second I saw her.”
  3. I started having more quality connections. I swiped left to “just see what’s out there” and unmatched guys who started talking to me in a sexually aggressive manner. Instead of being told what a great butt I had or fending off wandering hands under the table, I was going out with guys who actually gave a crap about having good conversation and getting to know me as a person. It was welcome new territory.
  4. I became truly comfortable with being on my own. I found myself more confident and happy on my own, and I even felt sexier than ever before in my day to day life. For once, it wasn’t about finding a guy who liked me enough to have a relationship and doing whatever it takes to get there. Instead, it was about finding a quality man to share my life with.
  5. I stopped punishing myself for failed attempts at love. I used to look back and dread my choices with guys a lot. I would torture myself and put myself down for making rookie mistakes. I focused heavily on dating handbooks that told me no guy would ever respect a woman like me, and it made me feel awful. Finally, enough was enough. Sure, I may have made some rookie mistakes and I may have fallen into a trap of thinking I needed to follow the hookup culture trend, but making those mistakes lead me to having higher standards for myself. For now on, I’m choosing to go against the grain and only take that next step with a guy who’s truly worth it and into me for real reasons.
  6. I started dating guys who were genuinely interested in me as a person. I was sick of meeting guys who would say just enough of the right things to lead me to trust them. I would always be fooled into thinking something more was happening when all he wanted was to get into my pants and be on his merry little way. Since I decided to say “Screw it!” to this lame hookup culture, I started dating a lot less as a result. However, when I did go out with someone new, my douchebag senses were more on point, and I finally started dating guys who actually liked who I was and not what I could give them in pleasure.
  7. I stopped dwelling on the guys who weren’t into me. I turned down lame invitations for Netflix and chill or lazy attempts at dating me. As a result, some guys would fall off the map fairly quickly. It used to upset me, and I used to allow myself to wallow in a sense of rejection until I realized it had nothing to do with me. I developed the attitude that if a guy wasn’t into me because he couldn’t easily hook up with me or make any real effort to know me, he wasn’t worth my time in the first place.
  8. I started having fun again in my dating life. I wasn’t worried about what was going to happen next and constantly obsessing about the “what ifs”. Instead, I was focusing on the moments again and getting to know the guy in my company more thoughtfully, which made reading his intent a lot easier. There’s too much focus on the physical stuff these days, and I finally started realizing what’s more important — someone who connects to my soul.
  9. I actually found love. Maybe it’s the fact that I no longer gave a crap, or maybe it’s because I raised my standards and commanded respect silently by restraining myself from the madness of hookup culture. Maybe I’ll never know. What I do know is that turning down meaningless hookups took the stress and pressure off of my dating life, and miraculously, I actually found exactly what I’ve always hoped for — love. Go figure.