At Stanford University, a sociologist named Paula England has been researching the hook up culture for the past ten years. She has interviewed almost 20,000 students from over 20 colleges. Her research indicates that by the time one reaches their fourth year of college, 72 percent of students have had at least one hook up. A majority of people, college students in this particular study, have felt the need to test drive their relationship, or have given themselves to someone they met in class, at a party, or over tinder.
Why is hooking up such a problem in today's culture? For multiple reasons, but essentially the process of hooking up and breaking up is destroying the beauty of sex in the way that God intended.
Hooking up takes away from the beauty of intimacy and sex in the right context.
Despite the fact that hooking up promotes the very physical act of giving yourself to someone, it destroys the beauty of what sex is meant to be - and the whole intimacy surrounding the gift of yourself to another human being. In Love and Responsibility, Pope John Paul II wrote, "Love between a man and a woman cannot be built without sacrifices and self-denial."
Sacrifice and Self Denial.
Yet hooking up promotes immediate gratification and selfish desires. We are living in a world enamored with the idea of finding 'the one' but the solution is to go out with as many people as possible and give yourself away to whoever asks in the idea of test-driving what you like and don't like.
Hooking up is counter-intuitive to people who are looking for long-lasting relationships.
Sleeping with someone before marriage doesn't prevent relationship woes, or solve marriage. In fact, if anything, it can make it harder. With hooking up, your body is connecting with someone on a physical and emotional level long before you even know the character traits of the other person. It's a relationship or even a brief encounter when you jump automatically into a deep, yet unsustainable connection.
In the end, marriage isn't about how you are compatible with someone. As Jason Evert once said, "I'm a guy and she's a girl. We're incompatible. She thinks we need seven throw pillows on the bed. This marriage thing is going to be tough." What really matters in a relationship and in a marriage is how you as a couple deal with those incompatibilities.
You do not have to test drive someone physically to find out if they are the one.
And contrary to common concepts or slang, a person is not a car, or a cereal kind that you have to try out before you know if you are going to be compatible with or be able to have a relationship with them.
Here are things to do to find out if your significant other is the one that doesn't involve reducing them down to their physical body alone.
Pray about it.
Prayer is not about changing God's mind so that His plan for our lives finally lines up with what we think is best for us. Instead, it is about aligning our will to God's will. So if you're wanting to take your relationship to the next level and really show love for him or her, then talk with God about the relationship. Not talk at God about what you want the relationship to be.
Share Experiences With Them
Your married life with someone is not going to only consist of being with them physically. What does your weekend looks like with your significant other? Do you share passions? Have you conquered something together? Are you experiencing the adventures of every day life with them? Have you seen them in situations with their friends, or people who really know them? What are they like? How someone interacts with those around them is significantly more telling of how a life will them will look like, in comparison to how well you are sexually compatible.
Ultimately, keep striving dear friends. It's a hard life. We're living a counter-cultural phenomena - and are swimming against the current. It's hard....but it's so worth it it. Keep up the good fight.