Sex love and dating
It would be hard to fold a partner into all of that, especially when the future is so uncertain.
‘For example, I’m thinking about pissing off to Zambia for eight months’, says Benjie, a 24-year-old from Britain.
Sargisson thinks that mindset informs relationships, too: people become disposable.
‘This is not a product you’re going to keep forever.’ Marta, an international business pre-master student from Poland, thinks that the consumer effect makes students too insecure to pursue the honest relationships they would like to be in.
Even says if he had met ‘the one’ along the way, he wouldn’t have committed.
Which is pretty typical, says Valeska, a German master student.
But I was wrong; the picture is a lot more complicated than that.
From a consumer behaviour perspective, the easy availability of superficial sexual connection ‘depletes the value of the consumer item, which in this case is human relationship.’ Students are used to buying something, using it once, and throwing it away.
When I decided to investigate love, sex, and dating at the RUG, I thought I knew what I would find.
The Netherlands is famous for frank sex education and legalised prostitution, and RUG students are coming of age in an era of meaningless, tech-mediated hookups.
But paradoxically, most of them studiously avoid commitment anyway. People hop from relationship to relationship because they are afraid to be alone.’ Media studies student Alejandro agrees.
‘I’ve had a lot of those superficial romances where you just pick a person who fits your need at the moment.
‘Instead, we pass time with Netflix binges, homework, or superficial relationships.’ It’s living, but not really , she says.