On Feb. 14, Valentine's Day will arrive.
Many couples have been waiting in anticipation for this day, eager to prove their love and dedication to each other. However, there are others who are much less enthusiastic about having such a day – those who are single, either unable to find love or heartbroken from love lost.
As many people may know from trying to explore such a topic, love is a difficult concept to identify. It comes in different varieties, depending on each person's interpretation of it.
For those who have had happy, fruitful and fulfilling relationships in the past, "love" can be as simple as spending time with a person that you always enjoy being around, on good days or bad. On the opposite end, for someone who has had terrible and unhappy relationships, love could be as difficult as finding hay in a needle-stack – the more you search for it, the more painful it gets.
When you feel attracted to someone, is it love, or is it lust? Many have thought they were in love, only to realize it was simply love of the flesh. Owing to its confusing nature, people have confused it with admiration or even ignored it completely for fear of the unknown.
Some, aiming for physical love, aim solely for one-night stands and hooking up with strangers, not realizing the negative effects that their "hit-it and quit-it" ideology can have on themselves and their one-time lovers. Using their natural charisma and talent, they can woo people with little effort. Others require much more luck and time to find his or her partner.
No matter how much you put into your relationship, there's still a chance that your partner could still ditch you anyway. You put yourself into such a vulnerable state when seeking love – you give someone the ability to control you and possibly even crush your world. Why would you leave yourself so open?
In a relationship, everything is magnified. Small things can quickly become huge points of conflict, and jealousy and doubt can haunt both you and your partner. Having a relationship is also a drain on your resources, which can throw wrenches into your academic and family life. Lastly, being in love can make you blind to things you would normally notice by yourself – you can find yourself doing crazy things, all to satisfy the whims of your partner.
This all begs the question – is love in college worth it?
In one of my old high school newspapers, I wrote a different article on love – should you use your heart or mind? Looking back on what I wrote and knew back then – as a high school senior – and comparing it to what I know now – as a college senior – I can say I've learned a lot. Although I am no guru on love, I will say that love is what you make of it.
Love does not solely encompass one aspect – it is made up of many things. It's not just physical or emotional but both of them and more. In high school I used to think that I did not need a partner, as I had the love of many friends and family to rely on.
That was my definition of love at the time. Since those times, my own definition of love has changed by the pressure to find my own partner. After all, people were right – four years will pass by, and before I know it, opportunity will slip away.
As I've experienced it, however, love should not be rushed. If it seems that you and another person develop feelings and have that certain, special affinity for each other, let them run their natural course.
I do think that in the end love is still worth the vulnerability and pain it contains.
So for those of you with your significant other – keep loving them. For those who are single – love yourself. That's the first thing that you need if you're going to find that special someone.
Jan Urbano is a senior in biological sciences. He can be reached at email@example.com.