Hooking up, that is, no-strings-attached sex, can be hot, mind-blowing hot. And it has become the norm for many college students, 20-somethings and even many 30-somethings. But there are high costs for this brief steamy pleasure. Impulsive in-the-moment sex is often fueled by alcohol or drugs, which makes it hard to remember that it is risky sex. Risks escalate if there is no condom, or if it sits in the back pocket instead of being put on. Chances are your partner is having sex with lots of others, no matter what he or she says. So the condom needs to be where it is supposed to be--protecting you from AIDS and other STDs. Not to mention saving you from having to deal with an unwanted pregnancy.

There are tons more reasons why old-fashioned dating rocks and hooking up may not serve you in the long term. Casual no-strings-attached sex can be an emotional boomerang that sets you up for heartbreak and disappointment both emotionally physically. Hooking up often leads a moth-to-a-flame burn-out: you get a giant surge of dopamine, the falling-in-love jet fuel that makes you crazy about your partner, plus oxytocin which bonds you to him or her. But often this hotwired attachment does not go both ways. Your partner may simply blow you off. Then you wind up discarded and heartbroken. This is the Flame Out Deadly Dating pattern that ruins your chances for a love relationship. It is the most common dead-end love pattern that I describe in my book, Love in 90 Days: The Essential Guide to Finding your Own True Love.

Meanwhile, the October, 2008 Cosmo (with Kate Hudson on the cover) has a must-read article called "The Truth About Hooking Up," by Laura Gilbert that you need to get. Laura cites all the latest research that shows how hooking up can be a big problem for women (plus she interviews me) I really want you to check out this article for some important surprises--like who is more likely to get certain kinds of sexual pleasure out of a hook up.

You can learn much more about the 13 most common deadly dating patterns and how to overcome them in my new book, Love in 90 Days: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Own True Love.

Author's Bio: 

Psychologist, Dr. Diana Kirschner, appeared on Oprah and is a frequent guest on the Today Show. For 25+ years she has helped thousands of single women find love. Her acclaimed new book is Love in 90 Days: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Own True Love. For her etips, blog, dating articles, daily affirmations & discussion forum visit http://www.lovein90days.com

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