Someone once said, "I don't know why life always separates the closest hearts by putting miles between them." That same person told me that time is fickle. The person who said that was referring to finally finding the right girl, but at exactly the wrong time.

Now, I could subscribe to that theory, but I prefer to believe that deep down inside I am a romantic. I believe that there are only a few people in this world that are your perfect partner or "soul mate." In that vein, I think that you can make anything work between you. Some might say that this thought is naive. They might also say that the thought is endearing or maybe even terrifying.

Never mind that. I believe that if you care enough about a person and he (or she) feels the same, you can make it work between you, as long as you are both committed to the relationship; it's as simple as that. I have said before in my column, "Nothing should come easy if it's worth having." I stand by this statement. Anything that has meant everything to me in my life has come to me with hard work, and in the end it was so worth having.

Yes, I do believe in serendipity. I'm convinced that, whether you believe in a higher power, serendipity or even just fate, there is something that puts you and possibly your soul mate in the same place at the same time. It is up to you to recognize that though. Even if time and space separate you, possibly for months or years, one day you will find your way back to each other.

Naive? Maybe, but leave me alone in my naive place. I prefer to believe that romance and the right relationship can stand the test of time and space. I refuse to believe that I can't make something work if I have the right person in my life. We all know that life throws us some curve balls, whether we strike out or learn how to hit them out of the park.

It is clear to me that fate, a higher power or serendipity can be misunderstood as something trying to teach us this cruel lesson, by taking someone or something we love away, just to be mean. No, my perception is that the person we care about the most is often taken away only to realize their own dreams and to grow.

Then they become a better person for themselves and you. In turn, when you find each other again, your relationship will survive anything. It's only a matter of being at the right place and time. Yes, I am shameless ... I believe in romance, serendipity and real relationships. Perhaps I sound naive at times, but I'd rather be a romantic optimist than a pessimist. Maybe we'd be a little better off if we all believed in a little serendipity.

— Samantha Warchol is a sophomore in psychology. She can be reached at swarchol@utk.edu.