Dear Tippy Maple,
Can you have a relationship with the person after a one-night stand?
Thanks for asking this question, as it’s one I feel a lot of students at these schools, including myself, wonder about. Let me begin this article by saying that yes, it is possible for relationships to come from one-night stands. I have several friends who are in long-term, happy, and healthy relationships that originated from (drunk, slightly random) hookups.
That being said, and this probably isn’t what you want to hear, I don’t think that relationships resulting from one-night stands are especially common on these campuses. For my first few months here, I didn’t understand why the one-night stand/morning-after abandonment pattern was so prevalent. If you hook up with someone once, and it was good, you should try hooking up with them again, right? So why is this so hard to do?
I think the answer has something to do with the fact that we are currently living out the four most babied, cared-for years of our adult lives. Despite whatever mountains of student loans we will be paying off in the near future, for the time being all of our immediate necessities are taken care of. These schools cook our food, clean our rooms, and provide us with parties, alcohol, and our own housing (without parents). Really, when you think about it, we are part of the ultimate system of gluttony: We are allowed to eat, drink, and have sex as much as we want to … (oh yeah, and to study sometimes, too).
What I’m trying to say is that we are at a point in our lives when we get all the benefits of being adults—independence, alcohol, etc.—but we don’t have to deal with the consequences of the real world: the dangers of going home with a stranger you meet at a bar or of being wasted on the streets of a major city at three a.m. Add to that how small these campuses are (you will almost certainly run into your one-night stands at the salad bar), and your “random” hookups aren’t as risky or anonymous as an actual random hookup would be. So, when you think of it in this way, right now we should be having all the one-night stands we can get because we’ll never have this kind of opportunity again.
But now, on to more practical advice on how to one-night stand:
1. Know your limits of what you are or aren’t okay with before you go out if you’re intending to hook up with someone. If you leave a party with someone, it’s always a good idea to say what your boundaries are as you’re walking home together to clear up any miscommunication that could happen later on.
2. Before you go out, make sure you have plenty of condoms, dental dams, or both, depending on your preferences and where your night could take you.
3. Have fun! As long as you’re “living in the moment,” have the craziest (consensual) hookup possible because that’s the beauty of the one-night stand.
4. Exchange numbers. Even if this person will never be your true love, it can be nice to have some kind of way to stay in contact, whether to set up future booty calls or to retrieve the bra you accidentally left behind.
5. Don’t fixate on having future hookups with this person. If it happens again, that’s great, but know that it might not. Don’t feel like you need to pursue a relationship to make the one-night stand “count.” Relationships shouldn’t be pursued just for relationships’ sakes.
Know that this environment won’t last forever. All my one-night stand experiences outside of the 5Cs have resulted in much more commitment than anything here, possibly because I would never have seen any of these people again if we hadn’t made a concerted effort to stay in touch (or possibly because straight men in the rest of the world have more game than those in Claremont). For better or for worse, hookup etiquette changes after college. So if you are craving a relationship, fear not, your time will come. But until then, one-night stand while you can.
Due to the influx of submissions we received, I’m continuing the list of craziest places where people have hooked up on the 5Cs:
1. In the basement of Honnold-Mudd Library
2. On top of one of the tables at the Motley
3. Scripps garden
And please keep submitting your anonymous answers (and any other questions you have) at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/372C298.