Readers, I am currently writing to you from a rather gloriously sunny beach on the Island of Pag in Croatia. A remixed version of Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You is blasting through the sound system of Aquarius club on this interesting party Island, and after a week at Fresh Island Festival, I have a few stories to share. So this is why today’s blog is coming to you live and uninterrupted on a Friday…
Twenty-first century courting rituals acutely reside around a numbers game. Let’s take this week for example shall we. While our intention was not to go out whilst here and get as many numbers, snapchats, new Instagram followers and drinks bought for us as possible, it quickly turned into this. It also wasn’t one to find someone, but to listen to great music and have fun.
We found our week filled from the very beginning with conversations with guys from all over the world, wanting to dance, exchange numbers, Snapchats and to buy us drinks for the night. Now the sad, but almost thrilling thing about it was that it began to become exciting very quickly. Now I’m not, nor have I ever really been a party to this type of game. Never really being one to be noticed in the past doesn’t often make it easy for you to play, but alas, times change. However I understand why we are so keen as millennials to spend our lives courting and dating in this way.
It’s the thrill of the chase in both guys and girls. It’s the attention reciprocated by both parties involved and in short it makes us feel good. It makes us believe we are attractive enough, pretty enough, almost good enough to keep someone’s attention, and whether we admit it or not, everyone likes feeling important.
However it is also the makings of a hook up culture, which we are slowly realising and seeing, that does not make for a great future for humanity – if I’m honest…
On Tuesday night, at half 4 in the morning, i was perching on the side of a wall, waiting for my friend who was deep in a conversation with a guy she met earlier, when a guy came over and sat next to me.
There was nothing sexual or prowling about this interaction from either him or I. The universe sent two souls from two different parts of the world to spend the next hour and a half talking about the world we live in. So this man was 24, from Sweden and of Iranian heritage. Wise far beyond his years we spoke of the hook up culture and the numbers game that we have so comfortably sought to believe is normal and healthy.
He mentioned the friends he was with are succeeding in this hook up culture because in a place – Fresh Island Festival – which is predominantly black, and him being white, he wasn’t found to be most women’s cup of tea here. Which according to him, he found funny, but didn’t mind so much as he was more the type of person who was interested in relationships and the ever-dying art of conversation. In Sweden, it isn’t normal to see this typical hook up culture. Most people over the age of 25 are settling down and not found chasing the opposite sex for a random encounter and nothing more. It’s typically frowned upon – not that it doesn’t exist is what I mean.
He highlighted – as I’ve said so many times before – that social media makes the hook up culture appear to be the norm and – unbelievably – cool and the thing to do. Yet a hook up culture isn’t really truly giving anyone any amount of real happiness. It gives an incredible short term high, that doesn’t last, and the ache for that feeling again, gets you addicted to the cycle.
He was an absolute pleasure to talk to, and this is one of the most interesting things about exploring the world. Meeting new people with differing views, thoughts and experiences, enhancing my view and knowledge of the world around me. He is someone I will never see again, there was no exchange of details here, and no addition to the numbers game played on this party holiday. Which I think was entirely the point and the reason the universe allowed us to cross paths with one another.
So while a party island holiday such as this one is meant for the numbers game and typical to that of a hook up culture, it isn’t necessarily the norm, despite us thinking and being told to believe it is. While the thrill of the high and the chase is great and an experience, it will never ultimately leave us happy.