Hooking Up and Hanging Out – Dead End Relationships that Derail Love

Hooking UpHooking up doesn’t usually end with love

For many people, connecting casually has become the new normal. A guy
you met online texts to say he’s out with friends and asks you to join him. This isn’t an official first date, but offers a low risk way to meet. From my perspective as a dating coach, this seems to be a symptom of a growing rejection-adverse culture that fosters casual behavior. As a single woman, you think this is harmless enough. But let me define Hooking Up for you so we are on the same page.

 According to Wikipedia, hooking up means:

To meet up, or make a connection between people.
Slang term for courtship, especially of short duration.
Casual relationship or casual sex.

Given the common understanding that this is a casual type of relationship, doesn’t that tell you that it probably won’t blossom into long-term love? Naturally there are  exceptions to every rule where things do progress to love, but for the most part, this is very rare.

Let me give you a couple of scenarios:

Scenario #1: You meet a guy online. He asks for your number and you start texting. One night he’s out with friends and texts, asking you to join him. You go for it and end up having a fun evening. Perhaps you have a few too many or  feel in the mood when he says he really  likes you and wants to go to your place. You hook up for the night and hope to see him again.

Scenario #2: Or maybe the guy you just met asks if you want to hang out. He’ll get a pizza and you’ll watch a movie at his home or yours. Sounds harmless enough so you say yes. One thing leads to another and you never finish watching that movie.

As a dating coach for women, I understand you have “needs”. So if this is about getting your rocks off, Okay, I get it. Not all women become emotionally attached to the men they sleep with right away. That does make a casual arrangement a heck of a lot easier to handle.

Proximity Causes Deeper Feelings
However, if you are the type of woman who bonds after intimacy, hooking up or hanging out with a man is not the best idea. The longer you stay in this non-committed casual situation, the more likely your desire for love with that man will deepen.

Whether you can handle casual sex or hope for more, you will be spending time with a guy who doesn’t have any long-term intentions. Yet, he will take up space in your heart. This is totally natural and a result of what I call “proximity” –  spending time with someone you enjoy leads to feelings of affection or more.

Why Love Is Derailed by Hooking Up or Hanging Out
Sticking with a casual relationship hoping for more is how you get derailed from love. Because you have growing feelings for a man who is not boyfriend material. You will start to put up with behavior and treatment that is substandard so you can spend time with him. Last minute invitations or late night booty calls. If you aren’t careful, your self-esteem could be eroded and you might start believing he’s the only man for you. All this from innocently hooking up or hanging out.

I Don’t Recommend It!
If casual is not what you want, don’t get started. When you first meet a guy, it’s true you don’t always know his agenda. You can’t be sure he’s looking for love or a girlfriend or a wife. On the other hand, you can tell quickly if he’s hoping to hook up or hang out because he’ll make a move on you or use those very words. And when a man does this while you are looking for a serious relationship – be smart, guard your heart and simply move on. That’s the easiest way to avoid heartbreak and shorten your search for lasting love.


Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. She put her skills from personal development and her spiritual path to work, dating 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to manifesting and midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late to help smart, successful women find love or live an empowered and magical life. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC, is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000s of midlife women with her Love & Magical Life Coach services. She’s the host of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast and has been featured on NBC, ABC, & Fox News, NPR, BBC, eHarmony, MSN.com, and Connecticut Magazine among others. Also, Ronnie is the author of 6 books which are available on Amazon.

2 thoughts on “Hooking Up and Hanging Out – Dead End Relationships that Derail Love”

  1. So….I guess I need some advice. I should already know the answer. I ended up falling in love with someone. We started as friends then eventually told him the truth. He has said, “I don’t want a relationship.” I gave up then allowed him to pull me back in. He might feel the same but then he flip flops on what he says. It has been extremely hard for me to let go. I haven’t been in love like this before and its painful. Being away from him is even more painful. I feel like it can be hard not to talk at times for both of us. But he has a hard time sharing feelings. We are both very much attracted to each other. I’m not sure what to do. He always says he is confused and doesn’t know what he wants. Should I give up on him regardless of how much it hurts or try to keep a relationship that refuses to advance?

    • Hi Michelle,
      Attraction is not enough for a lasting relationship. When a man says he doesn’t want a relationship- that’s when you must BELIEVE HIM! His flip flopping shows you he doesn’t know what he wants and he has told you that too. More time will not resolve his inner conflict. This relationship has no chance because of his indecision. For your own dignity and sanity, leaving him is your only option. But you’ll have to cut him off completely or you won’t be able to do this. I recommend reading this book Women Who Love Too Much – it’s an excellent resource for the kind of relationship that you feel you can’t give up.

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