I don’t want to be someone’s ‘friend with benefits.’ I don’t want to be someone’s ‘maybe,’ someone’s ‘almost,’ someone’s ‘just-for-tonight,’ someone’s ‘thing.’
I don’t want a temporary commitment with no rules or real purpose, no substance or genuine affection. I don’t want a one night stand that means nothing in the morning, lips met with disinterested goodbyes that don’t carry weight.
I don’t want someone to lean into me only because he desires something physical, only because he’s too scared to get to know what lies even deeper than my skin.
I don’t want the two of us to give ourselves to one another only to end up where we started, still searching, still broken, still longing to be filled, but too afraid to really let the other in.
I don’t want to be the girl he has just for a moment, who soon becomes a memory, fleeting, forgotten.
I don’t want to be a person who’s disposable, thrown away when the next one comes along. I want to mean something, to matter, to have a connection beyond the physical, the replaceable.
I mean more than just a temporary embrace, a touch, a moment where our bodies mesh but our hearts don’t.
I don’t just want to touch skin, but leave our minds wandering somewhere else, unattached, uninterested. I don’t want to waste time, falling into something that feels empty, purposeless.
I don’t want a hookup, I want something real.
I want the kind of intimacy that spills over to every secret, every fear, every dream. I want pillow talk that’s about our deepest desires, what we wish for ourselves and the people around us, what demons we’re fighting, what battles we’ve risen from, what scars we wear proudly on our skin.
I don’t want to know how he longs to feel my body, but how he wants to touch my heart. How he wants to learn my mind, who I am, what I believe, what I think about, what I love.
So I’m opting out of the hookup culture.
I’m opting of Tinder matches and drunken one nights stands, of purposeless connections and contact with a person I’ll never talk to again. I’m opting out of meaningless kisses, of dates with people who are only looking to get laid, of nights at the bar desperately searching for someone to take home, of mixed signals and empty mornings and people trying so desperately to fill a void that they’ve created in keeping their hearts at arm’s distance.
I don’t want any part of that.
Our world has become instantaneous, wanting something right here, right now. We’re too timid to take the time to get to know people. We’re too nervous to show someone our pasts. We’re so damn scared of letting people in, scared of getting hurt, scared that someone might see us for who we are and not want us.
But the beauty in that fear is what lies on the other side—something real, something genuine, something like love.
And I’d rather hold out for that.
I’d rather wait until I find the right person, wait until I fall headfirst, wait until I stumble across someone who wants all of me, indefinitely, and not just for the night.
I’d rather be patient until I find a person who’s interested in my mind, my heart, my soul, not just my body. Who appreciates me for who I am, not what I can give.
I’m opting out of the hookup culture. Out of purposeless connections, pointless embraces, meaningless attachments because this life is too short for anything without intentions.
I’m guarding my heart until I find someone who is genuine, someone who values me, someone who isn’t just looking for sex, but something real.
Because I deserve that.
Because I don’t want to settle for anything less.
Marisa Donnelly is a poet and author of the book, Somewhere on a Highway, available here.