When I was little, I had my whole romantic life planned out. I’d have a sweet mutual crush in middle school. Then, in high school, I’d do some casual dating and have a really cute prom date, but nothing too serious. Finally, in college, I would meet my soulmate, and we’d get married a year or two after graduating, just like my parents did. I’d have my happily ever after, ready to take on whatever life threw at me.
I think it’s safe to say that so far, things have not gone how I had planned at all. High school was frighteningly uneventful for me romantically, and I came to St. Olaf with a glimmer in my eye, ready to find my first love. But, surprise, surprise — that didn’t happen. Instead, I graduate in 17 days and I’ve had six dates, a handful of uneventful crushes, and exactly zero relationships. No first love for me.
Despite how hard I try, it’s difficult not to reflect on my dating life and think, “What’s wrong with me?” I’ve been ready for a relationship. I think I’m a pretty nice and interesting person. My friends tell me that it’s just a matter of time. But, I mean, I’m nearly 22 years old — there has to be an explanation.
I have gone down a lot of rabbit holes trying to explain my relationship troubles. I have contemplated whether I’m aromantic or asexual, but I don’t think that’s quite right. I have wondered if everyone I know secretly hates me — possible, but, dare I say, unlikely? I have pondered the idea that I have girlbossed a little too close to the sun, and am therefore just too wildly cool for anyone to fathom dating me. This could be true, except for the fact that I listen to show tunes for fun, which I think automatically disqualifies me from being considered “wildly cool.” I am not wildly cool. I’m more moderately competent and entertaining, and that’s okay.
At the end of the day, when my brain finally shuts down because it can’t overthink anymore, I finally settle on this sad fact — that there isn’t an explanation, and there probably won’t ever be. My logical brain wants a logical answer, but the thing is that life, and especially love, are not logical.
I’m not writing this to throw myself a pity party. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. I’m writing this because I want people to know that there is no shame in graduating college without finding love or getting your heart broken or having a binder full of crazy first date stories. It doesn’t mean you failed. It honestly doesn’t mean anything at all.
But I will say, if there’s one piece of advice I have, it’s to take advantage of the time you have here. Even though I don’t have serious regrets about my love life while at Olaf, I’m still faced with the panic of making my last two weeks count. Because, if I’m being honest, I still feel like there’s more I want out of my time here. I’m not sure what it is — maybe a whirlwind romance, a wild rendezvous, or just a heart-to-heart with an old friend. But, regardless, I’m not ready to be done just yet.