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Heartbeat

by Claire Mueller ’22


I’ve made the executive decision that all of my previous unsuccessful relationships, situationships and romantic entanglements shall no longer be considered failures, but instead triumphs of growth. As much as I don’t want to rewrite my relationship history — because some of it is comedic gold — I now realize that rejection, with me as the initiator and the receiver, has been crucial to making me the individual I am today. Each person helped me learn something new about myself. Therefore, instead of cringing and looking at the floor as I pass an ex in Stav, I can now fully embrace each one of my ex-lovers with open arms and proclaim that our situationship failed in the name of “character development.”

Now, I know what you’re all thinking: “Claire, don’t be ridiculous. Maybe Alex Roca didn’t want to date you in the seventh grade because you were annoying and way too obsessed with the ‘Divergent’ series and not because there’s some huge cosmic plan set in motion with every rejection you actively or passively encounter. Don’t you think you’re being a bit dramatic?” And to that I say, “No, I’m not being dramatic. And I no longer want to be your friend.”

Let me explain, dear reader, how you too can revolutionize the way you view your romantic pursuits. Simply, all you have to do is picture yourself as the main character in your favorite book series or movie.  Once you remove yourself from your own personal attachments, you might be able to gain a better understanding of your relationship. For example, in the show “Friends,” the characters Ross and Rachel went through a lot of relationship turmoil before building the family they were destined to have together. Their relationship doesn’t come across as a waste of time; rather, they each had to develop more to finally be compatible together. 

As a society, we seem to value couples more than single people. I see a lot of students at Olaf putting pressure on themselves to find a partner, regardless of who it is.  Personally, I believe that this kind of dating will never lead to a healthy, long-lasting relationship.  If you only view your romantic partners as a means to avoiding the single life and then convince yourself that you wasted your time with them, you won’t learn any lessons on what kind of relationship or partner is best for you.

So, yes, I have decided that this is how I will now be approaching every failed talking stage, one-night stand or weird string of Snapchats that I’ve received at ungodly hours of the night. 

To my ex-lovers who are currently reading this, know that I don’t blame either one of us for it not working out. It simply was a side plot in each of our life journeys leading us to become the individuals we were meant to be and find the people we were meant to be with. For me, that person is Harry Styles. For you?  Who knows.    

Again, I know what you’re thinking: “Claire. You do realize you’re never going to date Harry Styles, right? At first, this idea of ‘character development’ was amusing, but it seems like you’re starting to take it too far.” To that I say, “You are no longer invited to Harry’s and my wedding.”


muelle12@stolaf.edu