From break ups to make ups and everything in between, “Love U” captures the nuances of college students’ relationships. “Love U” runs in DeeTs on Mondays. Do you have a love story to share? Send Love U submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
I was a freshman. Never before had I been in a place where there were so many options, so many gorgeous options. And never before had so many guys actually been interested in me. So I was giving my number out to anyone who asked — and capitalizing on any opportunity for free food. And while I chose to see this as “giving everyone a shot” because “you never know what a person is like until you get to know them,” it’s more likely that I had a problem that actually stemmed from my insecurities and inability to say no.
One night I was at a party playing rage cage when I saw someone walk past me in my periphery. I did a double take. This guy was very attractive, he had style and I was instantly drawn to him. Later that night, a few of us were on the balcony. We all introduced ourselves and talked for a while, which allowed me to get to know the boy, whose name I learned was Max*, in a casual group setting.
When I got home later that night I checked Facebook to find that Max had sent me a friend request. I couldn’t help but feel a little giddy that he had at least enough interest in me to hit the request button. I gladly accepted and proceeded to stalk.
I kept seeing him around campus and at parties in the weeks to follow. I would always kind of look at him to see what he doing and hope that maybe we would make eye contact. A couple weeks after our first meeting, I was dancing with a group of my friends at a frat party, and he walked up to me and asked to dance. I said yes. We danced and talked until the party ended, after which he got my number and texted me immediately. We texted until we both went to bed.
They say you shouldn’t meet someone you want anything serious with at a frat party. Oops.
The problem was, a month prior I had met an older guy named Jason* at an orientation-like function. So then I was going on dates with two different guys. I couldn’t help myself. I felt guilty because I had never dated two guys at once, but I was really into both of them and my friends said it was okay. For a few weeks, I found myself lying to them about where I was when I was with the other one. They also lived in the same apartment complex, which made things all the more complicated.
I knew I had to make a decision eventually. My feelings toward either one of them could no longer grow and develop if I continued to hold onto the other. After making a hefty pro versus con list, I chose Max. He was charming and well mannered. He had called me Ubers home on multiple occasions and thanked me for letting him take me out after every date. He was ambitious and had the same interest in music as me. He was also one of the tidiest people I’d met, which I needed in my life.
Since then, I’ve questioned whether or not I made the right decision. It’s been a year since our first date, and he still hasn’t committed in either a public sense or an emotional one. We went on dates and shared intimate moments, but now I’m starting to question whether or not I’m being taken advantage of.
To me, commitment in a public sense means Facebook official. Not just for the status, but so girls can stop messaging him thinking he’s single. Commitment means posting pictures of me on his social media, so people know I exist. Finally, commitment means I don’t have to keep asking how important I am to him. While I am bae, babe, baby and boo, I am not a girlfriend. I get all the heart and kiss emojis you could imagine, but I can’t get an “I love you.”
I want an emotional connection. I want to be invested in someone and to have him invest in me. I want to feel wanted and to be put on display without feeling like I’m being judged. He claims he sees himself with me for the rest of his life but cannot post a picture me, whereas all the other important people in his life have been highlighted.
When I confront him about commitment, he claims he’s too scared. That he’s had bad luck with girls in the past. “Too scared” should not be an excuse. But isn’t that my excuse? Isn’t that why I’ve been going along with this for a year now? Why I’m still here when all my friends have told me to end things multiple times? When I have told myself I can’t do it anymore? I’m too scared to lose the little spark of a relationship I do have. I know he likes me a lot, and I’m scared to lose that. I’m scared I will ruin his already tarnished outlook on love. I’m just not sure how long is long enough. I’ve been bombarded by thoughts and opinions of what love means in college, but there comes a point when I have to draw the line and say, hey, this is what I want and need.
I’ve managed to stick around by reminding myself that relationships in college aren’t serious, that they don’t need labels. But after a year I’ve started to yearn for a deeper, stronger connection that doesn’t make me question whether or not I’m making the right decision. Maybe someday soon I’ll wake up from this delusion of college romance and decide I really do need something more. But for now, I’m hopelessly in love.
*Indicates names have been changed.
The author is a sophomore majoring in human biology.