The Evolution of the Casual Hookup

Most people understand the basics of a one-night stand, and it usually involves meeting in a public place, doing physical things together, and then parting ways. Not so the “casual hookup.” For some, it’s as simple as going on a first date. For others, it’s much more complicated and involves more steps.

Whatever your “casual hookup” might be, here are some recommendations on the fine art of modern dating.

Sometimes, the casual hookup happens quickly. Sometimes, it’s more complicated than that.

There are all kinds of things that can happen between two people who are just having a casual hookup. Most casual hookups start with kissing at first, but the physicality can escalate at any point, and it doesn’t have to, of course. Sometimes, the casual hookup is just a prelude to what could be a casual fling or perhaps a casual relationship. And in other cases, the casual hookup is the only thing.

The more complex a casual hookup is, the more it involves meeting in a public place, doing physical things together, and then parting ways. The more steps involved in a casual hookup, the more likely it is to end in a serious relationship.

If the casual hookup is done in a public place, it won’t end in anything serious—in fact, it probably won’t end at all. Casual hookups are often done in dark alleys or parking lots. If you have to meet somewhere in the public, then the odds of being seen by friends or coworkers are higher and that, in turn, increases the chances that something will escalate. If you meet in a public place and don’t have anything in common, or you don’t have any clue about each other at all, then it’s more likely that you’ll be able to separate and go your separate ways.

Sometimes, casual hookups involve meeting in a public place, doing physical things together, and then parting ways.

Some people who have a casual hookup will tell each other about it over the phone, and if there isn’t already an attraction between the two, that’s usually the end of it. Many casual hookups start in one location (like a bar or coffee shop) and then move to another location (like a park or a dark parking lot). It’s very common, especially with heterosexual couples, for one person to lose their virginity, or
Hopefully, you’re already comfortable with your appearance, your sense of humor, and your dating style. But for anyone uncomfortable with any of that, we’re here to explain the nuts and bolts of modern dating. Here’s a guide for first timers, and then some tricks to help you get more dates if you’re in a bit of a rut.

First Date

It’s your first date, and you feel as nervous as you ever have in your life. But you’re not really nervous—there’s just a lot of misgivings that run through your head. The topics of conversation will be pretty obvious—you’ll want to find something that both of you are interested in, but the topics of conversation have to be a bit more open and a little more heady than average. The expectation here is that you’re not going to just go up to some random girl on a corner and ask her out, so you want to start with a topic that is between you and her. If you stick to this, you’ll have a much better chance of starting a conversation and hearing her out, or if not, at least you’ll know that you two have something in common.

Here are some possible conversation starters you can use before you get to the date.

Talk about where you grew up. Where you met, where you went to school, where you currently live, where you’re from. A shared interest or location can be a good way to start a conversation with someone. You can also talk about your families, or your friends and their families. Or you can talk about the types of jobs and careers you’d both like to have. Ideally, you’ll start out with something you’re both interested in, then segue into talking about the conversation topic you picked.

Another quick tip for getting a conversation started: If there is something about the person that really stands out, you can start there. “John showed up in a little suit to my cousin’s wedding, which I thought was just weird at first. But it wasn’t until I started talking to him about the suit that I learned that John was a lawyer. Then I learned that he grew up in New York and he now lives in Boston. By the end of the night, I really liked the John and I was pretty sure that he liked me, too.”

The conversation may begin very naturally, but if you need a little nudge to get started, here’s a list of topics to bring up.

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