“Hooking up is like fast food. It can leave you full at first but only leads to cravings later.”
“Ya, but c’mon it’s delicious.”
A recent back and forth with a friend had me laughing out loud. Dating and food. Of course the metaphor was obvious (if only tongue in cheek ). But in all seriousness, I think I had a good point going…
If the goal is the feeling of closeness, what faster way to get it than to have a man’s arms wrapped holding you tight? Who cares if you know his last name?* “Instant intimacy! Just add a dude!”
Sarcasm aside, like a Big Mac, a hook up can be satisfying in terms of immediate gratification (think caloric content) but it doesn’t serve you in the long run (read: empty calories!)** We all know this, yes? Void of the nutrition you actually need these kinds of relationships only lead to cravings down the road – cravings for something real and wholesome. And then the cravings cause you to return to a fast fix like hooking-up. Cyclical and eventually sickening, a la Super Size Me. Fun for while but not a long term strategy.
“But it’s delicious!” she argued back. I agree it’s something definitely worth acknowledging. Especially when that craving for closeness is particularly strong. But we have to come to terms with the fact that fast food is intentionally constituted to make you want it even when, you know, you don’t. You want intimacy, but really, do you want the stuff that stops your heart? No, I think not.
Conjure up images of the food that makes you feel most alive. Where do you get it? What does it take to eat it? Consider this, food that has a history (comes from a farmer not a factory) is like a lover with a story. There is an investment, a valuing of origin. It takes time and a little effort to learn to prepare good food well, just as it takes time to learn a new lover’s flavor – how do you savor his unique combination of traits that makes him your favorite dish?
[I pause the post momentarily to really relish this metaphor...You do realize I could go on and on and on? Thanks for staying with me here! Conclusion below. ]
Don’t settle for nutrient poor fast food that leaves you feeling empty. Instead, choose carefully and wisely. Choose food that truly nourishes your body and feeds your brain. Allow a new relationship to blossom organically and enjoy the honest flavor–leading to a happy, heart healthy life. Literally and metaphorically. ♥
*As a heterosexual female, I am using heteronormative descriptors because they work for me.
**A great read on this subject is a book called Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both by Laura Sessions Stepp. I highly recommend it for an exploration into the culture of hooking up and the a study of the consequences.