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How to beat the hookup culture

Say goodbye to casual sex and plan for the romantic relationship you want

Is it just me, or do there seem to be more and more articles online about relationships, dating and the current "hookup culture" our generation is facing? I don't like it. The only people who seem to be writing these pieces are women, like we're the only sex that cares. Kinda sucks, right? Where are all the hookup-culture-bashing comments from men? I don't see any.

How our relationships define us

It frustrates me when the first thing out of someone's mouth has to do with their relationship status — or mine. Why do women automatically default to discussing men? There are so many other interesting things to talk about in 2015. With the upcoming presidential election, the inspiring new wave of feminism or even our Netflix bingeing addiction — I'm currently watching Narcos — why do we still think our love life is the most important thing about us?

Like it or not, human beings need — and seek — companionship. After the insane Ashley Madison hack, I think everyone turned inward to re-evaluate their own relationships, and many of us searched online to see if our partners would be caught in the leak. If you felt the need to do that, you probably already lost.

Why hookup culture can backfire on relationships

While the feminists decades before us paved the way for the amazing opportunities women have today, they also did something else. They made casual sex seem empowering. I'm not arguing it isn't, but you need to take your own biology into account. I just finished Dr. Wendy Walsh's revealing book, The 30-Day Love Detox, and it drastically changed the way I think about dating and relationships. Dr. Walsh claims that we have a "high supply sexual economy," in which men are too easily getting the goods.

If this seems too 1950's for you, hang on — Dr. Walsh isn't throwing out the same old-school dating advice your grandmother gave you in the hopes that you’d "act like a lady." Walsh wants you to know that it's in male DNA to spread their seed — and it's in ours to become hooked after a hook up.

If what you want is a relationship, Walsh says you need to do one simple, little thing: wait at least 30 days before having sex with a new dude. Not into games? This isn't for you to play hard to get, and it's not to avoid seeming "easy." It’s so your body doesn't bond you with the wrong guys.

Plan for the relationship you want

Dr. Walsh ties this into a bigger point by telling readers to make a "relationship life plan." Maybe a marriage or a long-term relationship isn't what you want. Maybe monogamy isn't even something you want. Maybe you can have first-date sex and not feel attached afterward, but it's better to know and make appropriate decisions than to just wing it.

And that Ashley Madison hack? I spoke to Dr. Walsh myself, and she told me it might be high time to stop talking about why cheaters do what they do — though she says this is a symptom of a bigger problem in your relationship — and instead start talking about whether monogamy is realistic for our biology and for our society.

You don't have to participate in the hook-up culture if it's not what you want. We need to use our brains before letting our hearts take over our lives. Do you want to have a casual fling with the hot guy next door? Or are you really looking for love? You wouldn't just go with the flow in your career or your finances, would you? Why are you doing it in your relationships? Unabashedly go after what you want — the right guy will appreciate it.

Follow Kim on Twitter at @kimdahlgren or read more about her at TwentyinLA.Com

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