In my opinion, finding “the one” can be both mentally and physically exhausting, especially when we’re deliberately searching for them. Not only can that set you up for heart break, but it can start to take a toll on your excitement about love and marriage. It can begin to feel like a task you’ll never succeed at. Many of the people I’ve met and the experience I’ve had with love have led me to believe that love isn’t something you can seek out; it’s something that seeks you…in the most unexpected and, many times, silly ways.
These three women shared their stories with me about how they found love in college, so take a lesson from them and learn that there are no tips and tricks to finding love. I know this is probably the most over-used cliché, but it’ll happen when it’s meant to.
“I was just finishing my first week back as a junior at UF. Everyone was really excited to be starting a new semester after a long summer. It was a Friday night and I couldn't wait to see all of my friends again. After choosing which friends and which party I thought would be the most fun, I got ready and went out. I ended up at a friend of a friend that knew a guy’s house. I had never been there before, though I passed it all the time during the daylight. My friends and I were on the porch of this house hanging out for hours before we actually went inside. Then one of the guys who lived there asked if I wanted to watch him play beer pong. I paused for a minute and said..."I guess so." I waited another minute then went in to find him. As soon as I walked in the door there were a group of guys standing around. As I was looking for the guy who lived there. Brian said to me, "Are you looking for someone?" I said, "Yes," and I to this day still think he thought I was looking for him. (Haha!) I guess in a weird way I was. We stood there and talked to each other for hours and hours. From that day on we have been inseparable. After a few years full of football games, hanging out with friends and getting to know each other, we finished our senior year together, got engaged and graduated at the same ceremony together. We have been married for almost 3 years and are expecting our first child in the fall. I'm thankful every day I went to that party. I couldn't imagine my life if he hadn't used that cheesy pick-up line.”
--- Kristin Reap
“I went to get a job at Hickory Farms when I was at USF as a sophomore and Victor’s mom, Lleana, kind of told me they had all the help they needed for the season, but little did I know she was investigating who I was and where I came from (i.e. my parents), then called me back for a second interview and graciously told me she had two sons and would like for them to meet me. So I worked for them during Christmas season, and during the break I met Victor’s brother Jaime, and he kind of ignored me while, little did I know, Victor had the heart for me but was very shy! So when Christmas was over, my job ended as a cashier and I went back to my dorm at USF. About three weeks later, I got a message on the wall phone that a Victor called (remember we did not have cell phones back then), and I was like who is that? Later that week, he would stop by the dorm and bring me long-stem roses in a ‘beef stick’ sausage plastic bag – how tacky, but back then I thought it was romantic! So then he would bring me pictures of himself barefoot water skiing on a lake. Show off! It took him a whole month to kiss me, too. We would go clubbing/disco/bars etc., so of course 27 years later we are still in love and have two gorgeous girls.”
--- Annette Barcelo
“Kevin and I met while in college together at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, about 29 years ago. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this year.
One evening of my sophomore year at school, I was sitting with some friends on the living room floor of a friend’s apartment. She had a few people over and we were watching the last episode of M.A.S.H., which was an enormously popular TV show at the time, and had been airing for many years. A group of swimmer/water polo guys walked in who I didn’t recognize. Kevin was one of them. Without any hesitation, I turned to my friend sitting next to me and said, ‘There’s the man I’m going to marry.’ I then stood up, walked over, introduced myself and we talked together for the rest of the party.
Over the next two weeks, we constantly bumped into one another around campus – sometimes coincidentally and sometimes "arranged." Although I knew immediately we were meant to be together, it took some work on my part to convince Kevin, who was too involved in sports to have time for a relationship. After sliding a Valentine's card under his dorm door, arranging with his friends to make sure Kevin showed up to parties I was going to, and whatever other tricks I could maneuver, he started to buckle. For the next two and a half years until I graduated, we were virtually inseparable. Kevin still had one more year to graduate, so when I came back from a trip to Hawaii (a graduation present from my parents), Kevin picked me up from the airport and proposed to me on the way home. Okay, not very romantic, but then we had talked of getting married from the beginning. I decided to stay in Stockton, work, and plan for the wedding, which would take place right after his graduation.
Twenty-five years later, I can honestly say it was love at first sight...at least on my part.”
--- Cheryl Hernandez