Friday, June 22, 2012

Shacking Up, Hooking Up and Courting---What's The DIfference?


      Remember when two hearts met somewhere within our crazy world and committed themselves to another in love and friendship without sex as the immediate focus, instead growing in intimacy and sensuality through flirtation and chivalry? You have to admire the individuals that still attempt it because in this day and age, as fulfilling as the journey is, courting is rare in the vocabulary of those pursuing a relationship yet many expect the elements of courtship in shacking and hooking up situations. Courting is for two people to get to know each other and discuss long term topics: spirituality, career plans, families functioning together and children. Most importantly, courting involves developing a friendship and understanding the true knowledge and nature of one another. One thing to note --- being able to understand someone’s true knowledge and nature requires that both individuals open up and express true knowledge, meaning disclosure has to take place, trust has to take place, patience has to take place.

Hook Ups

      A large number of girls and guys have experienced divorced households, domestic violence or bad break ups that have left detrimental effects on their definition of love and what a healthy relationship can be, bringing the value of love to the glass ceiling of immediately gratifying “loving” or “lustful” moments as the solution to dodging the heartbreak bullet. Truth is it doesn’t work as many see it to, outside of immediate gratification hooking up is having without truly giving; hooking up allows a person to have another, physically, without fully giving themselves over mentally; hooking up let’s a person enjoy pleasures of a relationship minus the effort it takes to get through rough patches.  Hence, the rule of thumb in this situation is usually no emotions or serious attachments. As laws of attraction would have it, someone inevitably wants more which isn’t surprising if one understands what an individual gets themselves into when hooking up. If you’re hooking up with someone consistently you begin to “micro-court” with them, getting small glimpses of long term topics, eventually wanting the things both agreed they wouldn’t give--- disclosure, trust and true knowledge.

Things Aren’t Always As They Seem

Due to this dilemma, hook ups have a small window of opportunity to become something more and committing, but most times it becomes nothing more than what it is, an iffy road of confusion, frustration and uncertainty.

Shacking Up

      More and more people are opting to “shack up” or live together before marriage. On one end it’s a chance to truly see and experience building a life with someone and determining if both people are compatible for each other in the long run without taking that long leap. There are many pros and cons to living together before marriage, in addition to other factors like an individual’s beliefs on marriage versus commitment ceremony, shacking up can be beneficial in firsthand experience but if living together doesn’t work if can hinder the outlook on committed relationships. Those couples successful in living together before marriage tend to be more successful due to being secure in themselves as individuals and have figured out more of the ideals and goals they would like to establish, and their partner to establish, in a committed relationship.

What do you think? Are shacking up, hooking up and courting separate paths or phases towards one outcome?

Regardless the path you are on, looking for someone or single, in any situation I believe what it comes down to are the individuals involved. If two people truly want to be committed to each other the effort will come to produce the outcome sought after; patience is necessary in a relationship---take some battles with the ease of a summer’s breeze and others by their throats, but choose them wisely.

photos courtesy of and

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