By AMY O
This past February break, I had the pleasure of meeting the girl my now ex-boyfriend hooked up with a few times while he was studying abroad. Don’t get me wrong, we were in an open relationship and I was kind of dating two guys pretty seriously at once, so technically he did nothing wrong. But anyone who has been in an open relationship knows that “technically” doing nothing wrong means you still have a right to be upset. Sure, I’m a bit of a hypocrite, but yes, my feelings were actually hurt.
I later found out that said ex-boyfriend had been in contact with another girl while we were actually officially dating. I hated this girl. Like her name would be mentioned and I would become a literal cartoon character with smoke coming out of my nose and ears because I was convinced she was tearing our relationship apart. Luckily, I’m now friends with the girl (she’s awesome), and have come to realize that she was not, in fact, the one ruining my relationship; my boyfriend was.
Some people come to college and have amazing, successful relationships. My brother (the lucky asshole) and his girlfriend are one such couple. They were friends freshman year, started dating sophomore year and have been together ever since. They made it work when he was abroad, when she was abroad and even after they graduated. They love each other, take care of each other and really make each other happy.
And then there are those of us who date really terrible people. First, there was the cheater: My ex-boyfriend who cheated on me during our relationship and cheats on his current girlfriend, (sorry for that time he watched me shower via FaceTime in December). I swear we were happy at some point, but his fear of being alone means he can’t really do the commitment thing.
Then, there was the guy who wouldn’t text me back for weeks at a time, but somehow still thought we were “dating.” After six weeks of that bullshit, I told him I had promised myself to someone else when he invited me to his date night in front of his friends (kind of an asshole move, but whatever). He still pulls the same text-ignoring thing (who knew a, “Hi wanna grab a drink tonight?” text was so loaded), so I guess you could say we don’t talk anymore.
After that there was the resentful guy. With him, it was amazing when it was good, and just god-awful when he got upset. And lastly there was the guy who kind of forced me to stay with him after the summer. He was great, but a summer fling should stay that way.
Around the beginning of this school year, I looked at my past relationships and said to myself, “Wow, you have such a great track record!” Truly, I applaud myself. Maybe I’m the worst girlfriend/dater of all time (I don’t think I am), or maybe we’re just programmed to NOT date in college. For every one couple like my brother and his girlfriend, I watch countless others (all of mine…) fail miserably.
So I would like to pose the idea that we are not supposed to date right now. It’s not a new concept, (my mom has been telling me to play the field for forever … go mom!), and I’m not saying be like me and have sex with someone different every weekend. I’m not even saying that college relationships don’t ever work out. I’m just posing the idea that perhaps when we start hooking up with someone, we should keep it at that — no labels and no next steps forward.
I spent a lot of time hung up on my shitty ex-boyfriend before I realized he’s more than a shitty ex; he’s just a bad person whose self-destructive attitude took me down with him. And even though I joke about all these horrible guys I dated (they really weren’t all that bad), they still sucked up a ton of my time.
Since I stopped dating people, I’ve done more yoga, improved my GPA, spent more time with my housemates and made a lot of amazing friends. Most importantly, I’ve learned to deal with hardships in my life alone. I’m not saying these things are because I don’t have a boyfriend, but that they might be because I don’t have a boyfriend — less time focusing on someone else inevitably means I get to spend more time focusing on myself. So maybe, just maybe, we should take our four years of college to focus a little more on ourselves (whether that means having a ton of sex or having no sex at all), and a little less on finding a partner. Just an idea; take it or leave it.