Oh, love. After observing others and their romantic endeavors, I’ve come to not care about love for right now. It’s ultimately made me happier in the present and more hopeful for the future.
In my teenage and early college years, I remember constantly comparing myself to my peers who were dating and in committed relationships. I can count the number of serious romantic efforts I’ve had on one hand.
I felt left out, with nothing to contribute to love-related conversations. A friend catching up and asking, “Anything going on in your love life, Keegan?” was always met with the dreaded “No, not really.”
It wasn’t until about a year ago when I really began to realize how silly it was that I cared so much about this imaginary obligation.
I saw others at social gatherings with their dates and partners looking happy, but there is another side to love. Hearing my friends talk about their own dating experiences and relationships, I came to realize that having a serious relationship or coordinating a romance is a lot of work.
Think about the process of dating: meet someone, get to know them, feel comfortable enough to ask that person to get know you more in a personal setting, realize that, a lot of the time, it won’t go beyond that step and reset the whole process with another person. That’s pretty taxing.
Even if it does work, a relationship isn’t like owning a gold fish. You don’t just casually visit it every now and then to make sure it still has what it needs to stay alive. It’s more like starting a garden. It needs careful attention, time and effort. Most importantly, it is a commitment.
Working two jobs, one 25 minutes from my apartment, attending CSU as a full time student and maintaining a fulfilling social life was hard enough. Adding a relationship on top of everything else? To quote an ancient proverb, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
In case you need another metaphor: I have two cats, but I want a dog more than anything. I love dogs and really want to hang out with a big, doofy animal at my leisure. Then again, I also live in an apartment with no yard, have very little extra money and not a lot of time after all is said and done. I know I’ll probably get a dog in two years or so, once I’ve been graduated for a while and working as a professional.
The same is true with love. I’m busy, but I know it’s going to happen when it’s supposed to and when I’m ready for it.
I could try to be ambitious, but I know what can happen when people don’t have the time and resources to do something and go for it anyway. If I got a dog right now, it would be out of my apartment within a month, and I would be upset. I’ve seen other people take on romance unprepared, myself included, and it doesn’t usually end well, either.
Now, I look at the big picture and realize, “Yo, self, you’re 20 years old going into your senior year of college with a job you enjoy and some great friends. You have it pretty good.”
I give serious props to people who actively pursue love in college. It’s uplifting to know that love can be so powerful that it is worth the stress, patience and time that comes with it, on top of every other commitment a college student has.
I really don’t care that I’m single. I know that something is going to happen eventually when it’s the proper time. Relationships and love are stressful and require legitimate effort. Why would I stress myself out over something that is difficult and optional?
Collegian Features and Entertainment Editor Keegan Williams could also just be a lazy romantic comedy hater. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.