Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Are People More or Less Selective on Hookup Sites Than in Person?

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Going online to find anything or anyone -- from your next pair of sneakers to your next date -- can feel a bit like bellying up to a buffet. The choices can feel limitless. No matter where you look, something (or someone) looks appealing and you need to know more. For some people it can be overwhelming, and for others, it’s like going on a treasure hunt. Still others think the choices will always be unlimited.

For some people this means they make quick decisions without thinking through their options. Others might get analysis paralysis because they have too many choices. Does the same thing happen when you’re ready to hookup? The answer, as with anything that deals with people, is that it depends. Some people will be more selective and some will be less, depending on a few factors.

Hookup Site Newbies

First off, let’s go over what hookup sites. They’re pretty much exactly what they sound like – websites where adults can create profiles and find people in their area who are looking to hookup. Not sure what those are? This list of hookup sites is a good start.

Hookup site newbies fall into one of two camps -- nervous and apprehensive or excited and a little naive. The nervous types will likely take their time getting to know someone online before committing to meeting up. They may be even overly selective because they’re unsure of whether the process will work for them or not.

Those who are excited but naive about hookup sites may not know how easy it is to be ghosted or that hookup sites don’t guarantee great hookups by default. These newbies may be less selective. Everyone looks amazing and fun, and there are so many people to talk to! You can almost imagine them ready to hookup with the first person they chat with.

Hookup Newbies

A subset of the hookup site newbie is the hookup noob. They want to meet someone and get naked for a night or whenever, but they’ve never done it before -- online or in-person. The entire process is brand new. Do you remember the first time you hooked up? Were you nervous or overly eager? There’s a good chance you weren’t very selective no matter what.

Hookup newbies often want to pop their proverbial hookup cherry. Get the first one done to say they did it. Even through their nervousness, they may not be as selective as they could be, saying yes to the first person who shows interest. Even if the person offering is completely wrong for them. Experienced people know that incompatibility doesn’t automatically mean the sex will suck, but it won’t help either.

Hookup Oldtimers

No one gains experience without going through some stuff -- good and bad. The person likely to be most selective on a hookup site is the person who’s been doing it for a long time. Maybe they’re new to the site, but they’re not new to chatting with people and figuring out if they’re DTF. From the outside looking in, it might seem like they’re not selective. Their decision-making is faster, and they seem much more self-assured. The oldtimer needs less information to decide. That’s called experience.

After enough time hookup up, if you’re paying attention, you get a better sense of who’s real and really wants to hookup -- and who doesn’t. You know what you like and won’t you don’t like. Some people pay more attention to their intuition and trust that feeling in their stomach. They’re not less selective because they decide quicker. They’re more efficient because they know what will work for them and won’t.

Why It’s Important to Be Selective

The real question isn’t about being selective in person or online. The question is whether being selective at all is important. The answer is yes. You’re not looking for a soulmate here, but you are looking for a good time that you both (hopefully) enjoy. Taking a little extra time to have a quick chat and make sure you’re on the same page won’t hurt anything, and it will help make for a better hookup experience.

Being selective means you’ll say no more than you say yes. It also means that you’re likely to talk to a lot of people. You may feel like you’re repeating yourself or seeing the same types of people over and over again. That can be exhausting after a while and might make you impatient. Don’t let a lack of patience be what makes for a bad night -- or a let down when they no-show.

Be careful that online hookups don’t become so much of a game that you stop caring if you find the right person to hookup with. Those moments can be when you slip up online and stop being selective. If you’re thinking that it doesn’t matter because “no one is real” online, then it’s time for a break -- and to go meet someone in person instead of online.

It’s not cynical to know that some people are going to ghost and quite a few will catfish you. If you’ve been burned by bad hookups, use what happened to figure out where things went wrong. Did you ask to meet up too soon? Did the conversation seem ridiculous or implausible? If your BS-meter is going off, listen to it. That person might be fun to flirt with, but probably won’t be worth the time required to hookup.

Being selective about who to hook up with isn’t necessarily an online vs. in-person thing. It’s more about personality, experience, and how patient you are. If you’re overly cautious, you may always be highly selective. If you’re really impatient, you may not be. But once you’ve had a few hookups, especially through a hookup site, you’ve got experience that can help you make better choices about who to hook up with.

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