Valentine’s Day was last week and whether you spent it reenacting the pottery scene from “Ghost” with the Righteous Brothers warbling “Unchained Melody” in the background or you spent it getting ghosted, there is one thing that truly everyone but a complete psychopath can agree on: dating is not a fun time. It is comprised of feeling socially awkward, lying about loving to hike and immense jealousy toward other people.
Many make the mistake of signing up for dating apps in a fit of chaotic energy spurred on by a unique feeling of resentment and spite inspired by seeing happy couples on Instagram. In fact, many apps have reported there is a tangible spike in new profiles and matches during the week of Valentine's Day. Doing anything out of a blind, possibly alcohol-fueled, panic is never a great idea.
There is a great pressure for everyone to date in college and in life at large. You can’t look desperate and you can’t come right out and say you want a relationship — because that would be insane and way too easy. If you want this, you have to survive several awkward coffee hangouts that feel more like you are interviewing for a job at the smallest local business in the world.
After you’ve made it through the interview and the secondary interview, you then have to compete with the pervasive hookup culture that has taken over this generation, because everyone wants to get it on before getting to know you. If that is truly all you want, you have to be upfront about it, and get regular STD checks. Just saying.
Being set up by that one friend who has a lot of opinions about your love life is equally horrible. Those dates are full of good intentions, but are usually train wrecks. So, we swipe, match and talk to complete strangers, and act like it's our audition tape for “The Bachelor” because acting crazy during a competition will always inspire true love. Plus, no one meets in person anymore.
We all may dream of meeting someone in person like in a cute romcom kind of way, but we are all too weak to handle that. It's easier to use a dating app than try to look good every day — one full day of cute Instagram-worthy photoshoots is truly enough. Also, talking to strangers in person is stressful, and who wants to add more stress to their day?
Online culture is weird and has twisted things that used to be fairly simple. But during the age of Facetune, cat-fishing and stalkers, it is hard to tell who is real and who is just in the market for a suit made of your skin. As popular as true crime is, it is tiring to always be on guard in case a serial killer is talking to you, or, worse yet, someone who is a better texter than they are talker. Yes, Ted Bundy was criminal, but did he ever send a Snapchat of just his face? No, he gave the chase words of affirmation and quality time.
The biggest skill anyone can learn is how to not be a dry texter. I don’t know who needs to hear this but a Snapchat of just your face and no text is not interesting and it is definitely not attractive. We all need to stop lying about who we are, because, even as fun and as easy as it might be, it helps no one in the long run.
The second-biggest skill someone on this campus can develop is how to not be a stalker. While GU is small and you run into people you don’t mean to see all the time, do not actively seek this person out if you’ve only chatted online. This is unsettling to people. You might be getting ready to profess undying love to this person, but they might be getting pepper spray and a phone call to the police ready.
You shouldn’t let Valentine's Day, or any other day, make you feel some kind of way about yourself. Life is more fun when you have a level of self-confidence so high it is almost inappropriate. A week later, life is back to normal and couples are back to not outwardly caring about each other, the way God intended.
According to data journalist David McCandless, the day the most break-ups occur is Valentine’s Day. Now that the February cuffing season has ended, the people you used to be jealous of are back on the prowl and you hold all the power. You could be sympathetic or just real cruel — the world is basically your oyster.