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There is so much pressure to find true love and a significant other in your young adulthood. Almost every book and movie has a love story mixed in. Because that's what the masses want to see. Something they can relate to or aspire to have. While young adults are still finding themselves and phasing out from childhood there is so much weight in finding a partner to share your life with. But what many fail to realize is how you can start a life with someone else when you don’t even know what you want your life to be. There is so much unpredictability in life, finding someone to share your life with so young that will continue to grow and stay at the same pace in your 20’s is sometimes unrealistic.

I spent a lot of time wanting nothing more than a boyfriend. I spent so many hours on Tinder. Swiping and swiping. Talking to guys I thought could be the one. But what many of these 20 something guys had in common was that they didn’t know what they wanted, in relationships or life or didn’t have the emotional intelligence that an adult relationship required. I had to learn the hard way you can’t force someone to love you. Even if you are completely ready and willing to wait for someone to change. You have to love yourself enough to not settle just because someone looks the part. I am glad I didn’t settle for just someone. I waited for my person. I was so burnt out from so many situationships.

In my freshman year I had HMXP, an ethics class at Winthrop University. On the first day of the class I sat across the room from a curly haired, brown eyed goofy boy. I noticed him the first day and I left class and for the rest of the semester told my friends about the cute boy in my class. We talked a few times and I felt like a little kid so giddy and enamored. But nothing ever went much further. In retrospect, I am glad. At this point in my life I was not in the position to be in a healthy adult relationship. I was still very heartbroken over my first love and unsure of what I truly wanted. Summer passed and the fall semester started. I had deleted my Tinder about six times since I actually saw the curly haired boy on tinder. I was too afraid to swipe right on him. I was afraid he’d think I was creepy for thinking he was cute knowing we had class together.

Then I started working for a student publication. I needed to interview fellow students about campus employment. I remembered that this boy, Riley, worked on campus. So I messaged him on Instagram. He let me know that he no longer worked on campus but that he was curious about what I was writing about. I let him know if he ever wanted to study together I was up for it. I gave him my snapchat and then a week later we were dating. I’m not endorsing rushing into a relationship lmao. As me and Riley got to know each other I learned that when we initially had class together he was not in the right position to have been in a relationship either. I am glad I took the time to get to know myself and unteach bad habits so I could be a better partner. Because of this and the continual efforts we make to continue to grow as an individual we make it work.

Relationships even under optimal conditions are not easy. Despite all the hardship faced within our lives and relationship. Riley is my best friend. He knows me without speaking. He makes me breakfast and washes the dishes. He lets me listen to music in the car even when he's tired of Folklore and the sister album Evermore being the only music I listen to. He tells me everyday how much I mean to him. He makes my bed and takes out my trash. He enjoys going down every aisle in Goodwill and Dollar Tree with me.  He knows me and all my annoying quirks and my moods and continues to show up. Our relationship is constant work and it takes a lot of patience some days. But we have created a life together that is beautiful and fulfilling. I am so glad to have waited for this.

AnnMarie Juarez

Winthrop '22

hey guys!! i am a imc major at wu.
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