Dating is scary. It always has been and always will be. It’s scary because it requires complete trust in another person to show up, to be authentic, and to not be the one to let you down. Just as we see the many relationship success stories in movies, and all over social media, there are just as many failed relationships and heartbreaks happening right before our eyes. So then, how do we begin to jump into something new whilst knowing full well the kind of pain we could more than likely endure?
Humans are interesting beings, to say the least. We say it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all but try telling that to the girl who was just broken up with the man she had planned on marrying. I know people that don’t even date at all strictly because they have seen what real heartache looks like and would never want to put that pain upon themselves. So are we insane? If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, then we as humans should deem dating as insanity. It is no wonder why it’s scary, it is truly insane behavior.
The hope and promise of love, though, is too mesmerizing to pass up. Hope drives the broken pieces of ourselves to wake up in the morning and start our day. It drives the dreaded dating apps, the mingling at parties, and the ever so awkward first dates. Hope ignores all of the red flags and signs of trouble because if we saw dating as the impending sadness it really is, then we would never know true love. Loving means trusting, and these days it feels harder than ever to trust people.
Covid has brought about challenges with college dating. Many face the tough realization that they are dating somebody when they leave for break, but what happens if they can’t return back to campus? Even if they do return, that is still two months apart for the holidays. Couples that have been together for years can endure the 2 months apart, but what about those who have been on two dates with a guy that they really like and there is absolutely no obligation to one another while they are apart. Then right after that, it seems like summer creeps up faster than ever and there is just not enough time. So what on earth do we do? I’m not sure, but we can’t just sit and wait.
I think a steady theme of 2020 is that we are constantly waiting for life to get better. It feels as almost we have been on pause since March of 2020, and we are just waiting to resume normal life again. If I have learned anything in my 19 years on this earth, it is that we as humans are not guaranteed the time we feel that we need to be happy. Who knows how long this thing will last. My worst fear is that I’ll realize I have been waiting for the perfect time to get my life together only to wake up five years from now as a robot who did well in school and has a good job but never really lived. Tomorrow isn’t promised. Not to quote Nickelback, but what would you do if today was your last day?
There is no question that today’s dating climate is terrible, but that is no reason to give up. Keep living every day like tomorrow isn’t a factor. If he or she was meant to be ‘the one’, then time and distance are simply words used to scare the lovers from their destiny. It may work out, and it may not work out. The point is, you’ll never know until you try.