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Sex + Relationships

Hopeless Romantics in 2018: Hitchhiker’s Guide

We’ve all been there, tucked under a blanket with a bowl of popcorn, a jar of Nutella, and a box of tissues at the ready while you saddle up for that Nicholas Sparks movie. It’s normal. It’s therapeutic even. It is some much deserved “Me Time” and thank god for it, because the rest of the world sucks. And I will explain why, but first let me clear the air. Casual dating does not mean sleeping around. Hopeless romantics do not always cry during a romantic-comedy. We do not all believe in love-at-first-sight or sometimes love at all, because we feel we can only find the love we seek within a movie or a book. We do not all love only romantic-comedies or chick-flicks. Action and horror movies are great too! And guess what, buddy? We are not all women! Male romantics still exist, people! They are far and few, but they are out there.

As a hopeless romantic, we expect a few (kind of) far-fetched things; however, they must be within our reach because someone else thought of them first and threw them in the script of our favorite movie… movies. Things like opening the car door after greeting your date’s parents at the door with a bouquet of flowers, are things people actually used to do! It happened people! It is real! But it doesn’t happen nearly enough these days. Romance has been consumed by “sliding into the DMs” and “hanging out” or “just talking.” There is no courtship –at least not in the traditional sense some of us still crave. There is no formal presentation of only the best intentions for your relationship. There are no cute photo-booth dates or walking someone home just to spend more time with them. Do dads even have “the talk” anymore with the shotgun lying on the table between him and the perspective date? (Yes, the threat is romantic. It makes us feel a little embarrassed, but also loved, protected, and it lifts the burden of explaining the proper etiquette expected for the first date.) You may say romantics are living in an ‘80s movie, and that may be true. The 21st century is not one for romantics. So, how do we survive?

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Here are some tips to survive modern dating while still looking for your knight-in-shining-armor:

  1. Indulge your fantasies by watching that movie or reading a book and reminiscing about the “good ol’ days,” but acknowledge it is someone else’s story. Someone else’s fantasy. Remember, the movie ends in the middle of the honeymoon phase and there is always more to the story beyond the romantic parts the story is built on. The stuff after is real life and has the potential for real heartache and real happiness.
  2. Focus on finding someone who compliments our passions and dreams. This does not mean they complete them. You are the only person who can achieve your dreams and live your passions.
  3. Live by your own timeline. Move slowly or move quickly but move at your unique pace.
  4. Communicate. Communicate your expectations and your boundaries. Tell them what romance looks like for you. Let them know what makes you happy and what you need more of in the relationship. Allow them to communicate their wants and needs as well.
  5. A relationship is a partnership. Work together and trust one another.
  6. Forget your “type.” No one really has a “type” anyway. It is about preferences, but maybe the person who checks all the boxes is not who fits you and your dreams best. Be open and honest about who you are, and they will be too.
  7. No none can make you happy.  That is not their job. The reality is, they join you in your happiness and help you foster and create it, but the happiness must come from you, not them. This helps create a healthier relationship with yourself and that special person.
  8. Be you. You have so much to bring to the table. You could be someone else’s knight-in-shining-armor or princess but better because you are real, and you have the rest of the story to invest in.

To all my romantics out there, romance is still alive and well, it just isn’t like in the movies all the time. Love in the movies is fantasy and we have the opportunity to create real love and a life with someone else. We get to see the end of the story and be grateful for the good, the bad, and the ugly parts that come with a partnership.

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Kayla Lee

Utah '22

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