Dr. Tarra Bates-Duford
Dating or Hooking Up?
Unfortunately, some people are not honest when it comes to dating and relationships, i.e., they insist they want a long-term relationship, interested in monogamy/exclusivity, and dislike disingenuous behavior/people. Often many of the issues I work with pertaining to my single clients involve how to know if the person he or she is dating is interested, why do I keep dating the wrong person, what signs am I missing on a date. Many of the answers to these questions are quite obvious, for example, if a date is too "touchy feely", avoids revealing pertinent information about him or herself, does not appear as if they want to know you on a deeper level, refrains from discussing future aspirations or asks you about yours, etc. Individuals that are interested in a dating relationship want to know the person they go out with on a deeper level, they are attempting to develop a connection.
When someone is interested in “hooking up”, often they attempt to redirect conversations to superficial topics, or topics that are provocative in nature. By redirecting questions or answering them superficially the dater neither asks or answers questions that can potentially lead to a dating relationship. Individuals that are interested in hooking up will call at very late hours, agree to meet or come over with the intent to have sex, often referred to as a “booty call”. Another sign someone you are dating is not interested in a dating relationship includes not being available to tale or meet during the day or early evening, however can have long, often sexual conversations with you at inappropriate hours. When intensions and desires are not expressed there is a risk involved with accepting whatever is available or offered just to ensure you keep the person in your life.
Contact with someone interested in hooking up will also be sporadic and inconsistent. When people are initially trying to get to know one another they want to talk often and for extended periods of time, i.e., they can’t seem to get enough of talking to each other. Don’t assume because the person you are dating has a demanding job that he or she is too busy to call or return your call. When we are interested in another person we will make the time, we will find the time to call, email, or text just so they know we are still interested.
In hook up relationships they will never be an opportunity to meet his or her friends or family as they will always be “too busy”, “something came up”, or “next time”. The hook up will also avoid the perception of being with you in public. He or she will walk several steps in front of or in back of you, avoiding direct conversation with you in public. If he or she does respond to you in public they will respond in a generic manner as if they are talking to someone they just met, a stranger, or platonic friend. Please note if questions are answered they will be extremely brief, yes or no whenever possible. Questions answered in this manner are done consciously as they attempt to serve as a deterrent for any future questions you might have.
He or she will also avoid you on social media, refusing to accept your friend request or placing you on a restricted list which prevents you from seeing their activity and friends. By avoiding or blocking you on social media you do not have the opportunity to see how they interact with others or all the other woman and men that post comments, pictures, and messages.
Another cautionary sign to remember when trying to figure out if the person you are dating is seeking a dating relationship or hook up, occurs when you find yourself constantly repeating something you had already told them. This particular behavior suggests disinterested or feigned interest when it expressed to them earlier. Typically, we remember things that interests us, or people that interests us, so if the person you are “dating” can’t seem to remember anything you talk about, run rather than walk, if you desire a dating relationship not a hook up, that it would be best to explore other options rather than you can “change the mind” of the person you are dating.