I can’t pinpoint the number of conversations I’ve had lately about relationships. Everyone’s either talking about the one they’re in or the one they want to be in.
And the conversations don’t stop there. They spark from family members, faraway friends, a concerned relative or two and they all want to know the same thing.
“Have you found someone yet?” “Are you seeing anyone?” “Do you miss [insert ex’s name here]?”
Maybe that’s why my dad is so great about this.
With his only daughter already in her third year of college, the last thing my father wants to think about is the interactions I’m having with men — and rightfully so. He asks about classes, The Daily Collegian, my friends and what I do to relax.
He rolls his eyes at the dramatic retellings of my single friend’s stories.
And when I gripe about not having someone to take me out to dinner or surprise me with flowers or a new mixed CD, he’s always quick to remind me — “You don’t need to be with someone. You have all your life for that.”
While that’s one of the most fatherly things my dad could say to me — and I fully realize this — I can’t help but laugh.
Because my big, tough dad can still tell you the exact outfit my mom was wearing when he first laid eyes on her during their Christmas break senior year of college. He remembers the brown leather jacket, the peach turtleneck and a black hightops like he’s seeing it in front of him.
Heck, maybe he still is.
The thing is, that is the moment we’re all waiting for. That moment, when just like in the movies, the dream-like heavenly glow will float around someone’s head and tell us that’s the one we want. That’s the one who is “meant to be.”
We’re all having this same conversation. And no, it’s not about THON or alcohol or how much sex we are (or want to be) having. It’s about this sinking fear of being alone.
And we all have it. After all, Valentine’s Day is less than a week away, though I’m sure that comes as no surprise.
Between the discounted shipping rates for lacy lingerie and bouquets bigger than my head, it’s hard to miss the shiny, packaged holiday rolling around on Thursday.
Granted, some may call me a cynic.
This will be the first time in three years that I’ll be celebrating “alone.” But to be fair, I’m pretty excited for the 14th.
We don’t get many days out of the year where it’s not considered creepy to send your best friend since high school that text that says “I love you, thanks for sticking around all this time.” Or when it’s completely acceptable to walk into a grocery store, grab a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and a box of chocolates and head back to your apartment for a wonderful night in with your Netflix account.
As for me? I’m planning on dinner out with some of my best friends in the world celebrating another year still gloriously alive — and single.
Because why shouldn’t we celebrate?
Most of us are in our late teens and early twenties right about now, with no pressure to have children looming in the near future.
Half the world will tell you these are the best years of your life. And whether they are or aren’t, do you really want to look back on college as one perpetual search to find the love of your life?
I know I don’t. Life’s way too short to sit on the couch and pine.
As for those of you who will be cuddling up with their significant other next Thursday, Happy Valentine’s Day, and congratulations on finding someone worth sacrificing for. Because no matter what the movies might say, relationships aren’t always easy either and making one work in college can be even more challenging. Take it from someone who didn’t succeed.
But today — and probably for a lot of days to come — I’m just going to take my dad’s word for it.
Nothing fancy. Nothing too exciting. Just six simple words said with an understanding of a lifetime.
“When you find him, you’ll know.”
Well you know what, Dad? I hope you’re right.
Until then, I’m just going to enjoy the ride.
Brittany Horn is a junior majoring in print journalism and is The Daily Collegian’s assistant news editor. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.