Dating in College: More Complicated Than It Should be

I've learned over time, with the relationships my peers and myself have had, that the majority of our generation sucks at expressing our feelings and communicating what we want. We put these tight views around how we imagine things to be. Before things like Tinder, we didn't have these social anxieties that other generations didn't even consider during their time. We spend nights considering 100 different outcomes for ourselves with a particular person and it turns out that none of them are correct. We sometimes forget that just like us, the other person in the relationship probably feels the same way. 

Before we over-analyzed (or under-analyzed) our relationships, we had those little schoolgirl crushes that were the start of a slippery slope; beautifully innocent relationships were spent holding hands, picking flowers and trying to not feel guilty about sneaking cheek kisses at recess. These relationships were the best things in our lives because we were having our first connections with another living being—growing with another human. Getting to know who they were and how they were different from you was, and still is, the most exciting part about caring for someone. But it was also the most heartbreaking time because we were beginning to understand disappointment. Disappointment was our first step into the relationship insecurities some of us hold. 

I believe the struggle stems from the fact that being with someone has such an unknown ending, and we've all become so outspoken and organized that we can't stand being unable to control something. The outcome is always unknown, and you go day by day seeing what will happen next. We can’t swallow our fears so instead, they eat us whole. We allow this self-abuse when it comes to keeping us from what makes us happy—we are our own worst enemies. For myself, no matter how much I ignore that voice in my head, she finds a way out. Feelings aren't something to be embarrassed about. It's brave to show who you are. To bond with another human is something we found to become a cliché, but most things are. 

Tinder, a social media app that has been around since I was a junior in high school, has taken over what we call a dating scene. Tinder has been a great way for us to get out there and meet people; the range you have to explore different kinds of people has opened our worlds. It gives us a place to politely excuse ourselves but also slide our way into conversations. How could anything be wrong with it? Tinder has produced many different outcomes; often a hit and quit and rarely a relationship. When it comes to the relationships, the idea that you met on Tinder can become an inside joke or for others something that haunts the idea that it's even real. This comes from a lack of communication, something every relationship has an aspect of. Conversing in a relationship is the best remedy, but we forget that when our emotions take over. 

More than times than I can count, I have found myself in the crippling loop of wanting a relationship but enjoying my freedom. But why can’t relationships be freeing? If we can keep our past traumas as the past we won't have them to hold us back from giving the same chance to the right one. We all grow and learn differently because of our pasts, so we hold back from telling or showing people we care. But when we hold back from the conversations we want to have with the people we want to be with, we make the chances of something happening less possible. We should be having those conversations! We should speak up about how we feel and use our fear to encourage us to live and not suffer in silence. 

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5