Falling into Like

When I was younger I imagined my twenties to ensue in that distinct, rosy, film-esque way I was brainwashed to believe in based on every movie, TV show, or book, ever. I would be frenzied and foolish, but also incredibly put together and wear a wool suit with nothing but lingerie underneath. I would meet men in coffee houses during open-mic hour, or on a park bench where we would flirtatiously discuss Virginia Woolf. I would have sex with Australian actors with second jobs as professional athletes and third jobs in a British boy band. I would be wildly wine drunk the whole time. I would be fiercely and restlessly in love.

To be fair, real life has not that far drifted from the former archetype. Undoubtedly, I am foolish, but instead of a wool suit, I wear a Club Squash sweatshirt, and instead of lingerie, I wear nothing. I’m not sure if Blue State qualifies as a coffee house, and if it does the only man I’ve ever met there has been my TA. My romantic experiences on benches are limited to falling asleep on one after an obscured night out. I do know someone from Australia. I am, at times, hammered. But where I lack-- fully and shamelessly--is that I have not once in college even come close to being in love. I’m not even sure I’ve been “in like.” 

For background let me say, that in High School I was almost always in like or love; if it wasn’t the kid in my Spanish Class erotically rechanting the subjunctive tense, it was my boyfriend; and if the answer to the question “Who do you like?” was left ambiguous, everyone knew you were lying. But at Yale, my friends talking about wishing they liked someone--they could have the privilege of being into someone. Can it be that students here are inherently unlikeable? 

I’ve decided to narrow down three factors which make it hard to like someone (forget loving someone) in college.

  1. Lack of Meet-Queue Circumstances

It is difficult to meet new people, especially under circumstances that would allow you to get to know the person in depth. Where am I supposed to meet someone? Class? It’s difficult to meet people in lectures with hundreds of people; it’s even harder if you don’t go to lecture. My friends claim section is a goldmine, but as soon as someone opens their mouth in section I immediately decide I dislike them. The easiest places to meet people is probably at a party in which case you probably either hook up (the case in which your romantic meet-queue is tainted by scandal) or you never see eachother again during daylight hours. 

  1. Perfectionism

Because we are older, we have higher expectations for our partners. People we want to commit to liking, need to fit a curated set of criteria--meaning, nothing short of perfection. Maybe it is a sign of maturity to be incredibly particular in who you like, but if you don’t give imperfect people a chance you might be alone forever.

  1. We don’t take the time to really get to know other people

    Sometimes we don’t have time for other people, and that’s OK. Between classes, extracurriculars, and eating, we hardly have time for ourselves, let alone a whole other person. Maybe we don’t fall into like or love because we don’t give ourselves the time to do so. It takes time, more than anything, to get to know someone and be engaged in their life too.