Hooking up involves the casual sexual activity usually outside of a romantic relationship. Usually, you just hook up with someone when you like to fool around with them but do not want to pursue a relationship with them. Two people date when they see something they like in the other person, whether it be appearance or a common trait, and they want to go on some dates with them in order to see if they’re suitable for each other. Seeing each other, I guess, would be like the border between dating and being in a relationship. You’re dating each other exclusively usually, but you’re not technically in a relationship.
I think kids our age do not want to say they’re in a relationship because of the stress that often comes with being in one. We feel like we’re young and that being in a relationship would just tie us down. Our youth is a time to explore ourselves and that perhaps means different things for different people. I know many girls who hook up with different guys and say that it’s because they don’t want a relationship. Then, sometimes, they’ll cry that they "don’t have anyone."
Personally, I’m one of those girls that likes to be in a relationship. In fact, I haven’t been single for more than a month since I’ve been in college. All throughout high school, I would have a boyfriend, and then between boyfriends I would meet guys that would turn out to be my boyfriend. I guess what I’m saying here is everyone is different. But I think in general, people our age have just discovered their freedom away from their parents, and they want to explore that freedom before being "tied down" to anyone.