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Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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Bad Romance: the College Dating Scene

A couple days ago, I found a website where I could make my own conversation hearts. Seeing as it was nearly February, the month of love, I thought it appropriate to give the candy a go.

Before I knew what was happening my hearts were complete with comically depressing messages like the following: “so, so single,” “4ever alone,” and my absolute favorite – “this sucks.” When had I turned into such a love-cynic?

On reflection, I realized that I couldn’t blame myself for my not-so-friendly feelings regarding this month of romance. We are, after all, a product of our environment, and college does bad things for the concept of love.

When trying to meet someone at school, convenience trumps romance in the way that slamming a few beers is more efficient than sipping on a glass of wine. You aren’t going to go looking for love at the library, no matter how sexy whispering about calculus can be. No, you are going to take the easy way out, go to the bar or party in an outfit that would make your mother’s eye twitch, act like an idiot and blame it all on the alcohol in the morning. Apparently Jamie Foxx was on to something with this one…

And we mustn’t forget the ancient practice of dating, an old pre-mating ritual that our ancestors used to actually get to know each other. I know- it’s crazy. Dating’s distant cousin, “hanging out,” exists as a way for people to skip the pre-mating ritual and, well, get straight to business. No commitment needed. We students are certainly nothing if not direct!

I mean, it is no wonder that receiving attention from someone away from a party or the bar freaks us out. Even a cute guy asking me for a sheet of lined paper flusters me enough to freeze my tongue while my face contorts into a look best described as a constipated deer in headlights. Sexy, I know.

The sad part of this lack-of-love-story is the fact that we are the ones letting it happen. If you feel that casual hook-ups and one night stands work for you, then more power to you.

However, I would guess that, being humans, we are usually going to want more. We want to belong, to someone or some relationship, and that is a truth.

The hook-up culture allows us to forget that we are all valuable, and deserve to be treated as such. We lose sight of what being in a meaningful relationship means. I am not saying we shouldn’t have our “college fun,” but we must all be aware that the college idea of dating and relationships is not as good as it gets.

I think I will order those candy hearts, because not believing in college love and romance doesn’t mean I am a cynic- it means I want something more.

ccolleran@lanthorn.com



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