Every now and then, an inspirational quote comes along and knocks your socks right off. Trying to find some inspiration and guidance in my life, I googled “quotes about love” and this Dr. Seuss gem popped up: “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
If I had read this quote a few weeks ago, I probably would have swooned and sighed and done all the things that are expected of a 20-year-old girl. But times, they are a-changing, and instead of saying, “One day I will be happy!” I shook my head in disappointment.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fierce advocate of love, and I’m all for taking a leap and seeing if things work out with your crush (that’s where the heartbreaking rejection column came from). But do I sit idly by, waiting for Prince Charming to come and sweep me off of my feet? No, thank you. Do I stand around, crafting the image of my perfect man and hoping that I finally meet him sometime soon? Bucket for my vomit, please.
When did love stop being something that pleasantly falls in front of us and become something that we must actively pursue? I understand that everyone gets lonely sometimes. I understand that being in love is the greatest feeling on earth. But what I don’t understand is how people are willing to sacrifice their happiness in the present for a hypothetical future.
Seriously, when did we all stop getting strong and start getting psychotic? When did Facebook-stalking your crush become the norm? Oh my god! He likes 30 Rock? I totally heart Liz Lemon — we’re soulmates! And how often have we sat in the Cinema Library stacks — a dungeon of infinite proportions — in order to casually “run into” that cutie from 190?
Folks, I sense a problem here. Instead of living our lives individually and being pleasantly surprised by meeting our soulmate at any given time, we’ve decided to embark on a quest to find them. And no matter how romantic you think Edward was in Twilight when he basically stalked Bella — if not for his attractive looks, he would probably be given a restraining order — it’s not a good look on the rest of us.
And frankly, it’s also not a good start for a relationship, either.
It might sound incredibly hackneyed but love — true, encompassing, we’re-definitely-soulmates love — happens when you’re least expecting it. It hits you, and then it forms organically — with no force needed.
Unfortunately we’ve become a bit too antsy, and instead of living our lives freely, we’re waiting around with a target on our forehead screaming “Hey! Soulmate! I’m over here, duh!” And though you might think that you’re ready for a relationship, the universe might have a different plan in store for you.
So get that preconceived notion of love out of your head. Erase all hopes of finally meeting “the one” at the 9-0/a rave/a crowded airport terminal. Start living your life according to what you want to do. Study, have fun, hang out with your friends, explore the world. When you start being happy with yourself, that happiness will attract others.
Being desperate is pathetic. It’s not sexy, it’s not cute, it’s just plain sad. You know what sexy is? Seeing that person who’s so happy that a light radiates off them with the power of a thousand Apollos, or meeting someone who has their life so put together that you know they must be an incredible person.
I know what you’re thinking: What if I’ll only be happy when I’m with someone? To answer that, I will channel our Vice President Joe Biden and say, “Now that’s just a load of malarkey.” As great as love is, it’s impossible to love someone else completely without loving yourself first. You need to embrace the single life and be OK on your own before you bring someone else’s life into it.
If that doesn’t sway you, just think about all the things that you can do when you’re single that you can’t do when you’re in a relationship. First, you can fool around with many different people. You can also have an extreme nighttime grooming routine that keeps you looking suave but would be embarrassing if anyone ever caught you applying that acne spot treatment and heel therapy — complete with special socks — at night.
Being single gives you the chance and the freedom to live for you and only you. You have the rest of your life for a relationship, but only a few years to get a little crazy in college.
I don’t mean to bash those who are in successful relationships right now. As I previously mentioned, love is great. But ask any of these happy couples how they got together. I bet you that at least 75 percent will say that A) they had just gotten out of a relationship and then BAM!, B) they were going out, having fun and then BAM!, C) they were trying to focus on school/work/taking care of my pet beta fish and then BAM! or D) some variation of the three.
Remember, Love Happens isn’t just the name of a horrendous (and I don’t use that word lightly) Jennifer Aniston movie. Love does happen.
You just have to let it.
Sheridan Watson is a junior majoring in critical studies. Her column “Lovegame” runs Thursdays.