I have good and bad news.
The bad news is, according to Facebook's breakup timeline, the upcoming season is forecasted to hit romances hard, especially within the next three months. So this article is for all of your heartbreaks waiting to happen.
Now for the good news. There is someone better to date — you.
The dating scene has become a sad and pathetic engagement. As both a witness and a player in this game, I can safely say I know of zero healthy college relationships.
It is even sadder to see the rings on some friends whose decisions I can't support.
These discouraging observances come from a vital mistake some of us have made – by disregarding the option of dating oneself.
Here are some telltale signs you are in desperate need of dating yourself: Do you hop from one person to another in need of intimate affection? Does being by yourself scare and bore you? Are you the culprit more often than not for ruining a relationship? Have you not been truly alone in the last year?
If you answer yes to more than one of these questions, continue on.
Now I know dating yourself sounds like movies, sweatpants and cuddling up in a pool of your own tears. But in reality, dating yourself is fun, exciting and exploratory in nature.
Here are some fun dates you can go on with yourself: Get in your car and aimlessly drive. Sit on a bench around campus and people watch. Meet new people with the notion that you are taken, by yourself. Go out and treat yourself with gifts and encouraging thoughts. Go on a walk and leave your cell phone at home. Meander to a coffee shop and write down your long-term goals for the next five, 10 and 15 years. Really get to know yourself.
I can distinctly recall the year I dated myself – oh, 2012. It was the toughest, most fruitful year of my life. Moving out to California, going to a community college, and essentially living by myself proved to be one long, difficult date. Embarrassingly enough, everything listed above I've done. However, these dates yielded a healthy relationship, one that is guaranteed to have my back.
I have a guy friend who has also successfully dated himself (though he probably wouldn't call it that) by safely escaping the college dating scene. While explaining his desires to marry a rock climber, he listed off his dream girl's qualities as "strong, flexible, enjoy the outdoors and presumably be chill." While the first two were technically references to the bedroom, they equally transfer into admirable qualities outside of it, too.
It's unfortunate to admit that causal dating left us in high school, so having a flexible checklist of qualities seems like a smart way of contextualizing and compartmentalizing who it might be you're looking for. The easiest way to create a list of this sort starts from dating yourself.
The window of opportunity for dating yourself is coming to a close. Now is the opportune time to get a better grasp on what you want out of life, people and yourself; because according to the Population Reference Bureau, the average age of marriage for Tennessee women is 25.
For many of us, this is only a few years away. And while I think 25 is entirely too young, I can't ignore the demographic truth and neither can you.
So, while wallowing in a pool of your own tears might be an effect of dating yourself, it won't be the only one. And if you want to be among the minority of healthy relationships in the college scene, you must struggle through the tough and lonely nights to reap the benefits of happy mornings to come.
Julie Mrozinski is a junior in English. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.