Growing up, I always remember watching a lot of comedies with my mom. Shows like "Friends," "Frasier," "How I Met Your Mother," and other movies along that same theme.
One of the most heart-wrenching scenes from "How I Met Your Mother" was the moment where Ted Mosby realizes he's all alone at MacLaren's and the pictures running to his future wife's apartment professing his love and saying how much he desired to have every extra second with her, including the 45 days before he met her. I loved that scene because it's that sort of hopeless romantic love that ends up working out on the screen. It's very fairytale-like, but it feels real because you've become invested in the characters.
I'm also a fan of the show "This is Us," which I wrote an article on a while back. It's one of my favorite shows because of how much it focuses on people and their problems. It also has this central character, Jack Pearson, who's the family patriarch and is such a potent force in the family. Watching the show always give me that feeling of intense emotion, whether it's a profound feeling of sadness, loneliness, or happiness.
The emotions are all brought to the surface and it's amazing to feel like you can feel again.
However, in my own life, I don't actually want that. I don't want to be in a relationship, and I don't plan on having a family with kids. I probably don't ever want to be married. Anyone that knows me knows that I'm definitely not a virgin in any sense. In the past two years, I've done a complete 180 from the innocent Catholic school girl I used to be. I'm loud and have no qualms talking about sex with anyone.
After reading through a lot of articles about relationships on Odyssey, I consistently see titles about "hookup culture" and how it's ruining dating or how being single is fine. There's love, there's heartbreak, there's regret, and there's happiness. However, I barely ever see anyone talking about being a part of the hookup culture. A lot of it can be true. And maybe hookup culture is ruining dating and relationship culture, but for most people I know, they all want to find love, they want to find that one person. There are still people who really desire that great love.
For me... that's not what I want.
I keep listening to this song, "Love Not Lovers" by The Script and some of the lyrics go, "No more going under the covers / No more one bed to another / 'Cause you will never find love, you'll only find lovers." And yes, going from one bed to another if you're searching for love is a bad idea. You're going to end up in a lot of heartbreaking situations.
For me, I know that's not what I'm doing. I had a boyfriend and during that relationship, I was entirely miserable because he was such a great guy and I didn't love him, not like that. I don't think I've ever loved a guy. I've liked guys, but never actually liked them for them, just what I wanted them to be. I've also had a lot of encounters with a lot of guys, hookups, fuck buddies, and the like. But the misconception I think a lot of people have, especially my ex-boyfriend, is that I'm damaged from that. That there's something in my past that has made me give up on love. I'm not hurt. I'm not trying to protect myself from love. If it comes down my way, maybe, but that's not my aim.
This isn't also "just a phase."
This isn't just an "oh I'm immature and will change in the future." If I do one day end up with a boyfriend or married, this doesn't make this a phase, it's a legitimate stage of my life. Marriage isn't the only end state. It isn't this inevitable end that is some sign of maturity. Growing up, my mom and my grandmother always told me that marriage was an option, but that's it. It's just simply one option that I have. Other family members that I've seen who've been married and have had kids tell me that they wish they hadn't and that I should make sure it's definitely what I want if I so choose it.
I know what I want. I know I like sleeping around. I like meeting different people, having different experiences, and being fulfilled in different ways with a myriad of people. I never shy away from being completely transparent about my sex life, to my friends and to those I sleep with. The only times I feel like I'm forcing it and trying to fit in is when I talk about relationships and that maybe I want to be in one. I feel like saying I want a relationship in the future makes me feel more normal, but I know that that's farther away from me.
I like being just me.
I like having a very separate identity. Even in my house and amongst my friends, I like being able to withdraw. I don't want to compromise my "me" to become a "we," and I only think that's selfish if I am like that in a "we" situation. I never feel lonely during the day, wishing I had someone to come along in my daily life, life cleaning, food shopping, or anything else. If I feel like I want company I only have to walk into my housemates' rooms and I'll be fine. I admit I'm a bit lonely at night. I like having a guy there to sleep with and who will stay the night. But I don't care about having "the" guy. I care about having "a" guy. Even in a relationship, you're not always going to have someone there for you when you want to be alone. Maybe because there's someone out there connected to you, you won't feel alone, but I don't know about that, personally.
So yes, I hookup.
Yes, I don't care if I see some of them again. Yes, I don't always know everything about them. Yes, I see multiple people at a time, sometimes in a single night. Yes, I'm free sexually in many ways. And yes, this might seem slutty to you.
But no, I don't want a relationship.
No, I do not need to be in a relationship. No, I do not need your approval as long as the guys I'm with understand the situation. And no, hooking up or having a fuck buddy does not mean I automatically will end up having feelings for them.
You can have your "one," but I just want my ones.