In the timeless words of Swedish pop group ABBA in their song “Mamma Mia,” here I go again. Valentine’s Day is almost here, and for the second year in a row, I won’t be spending it in any sort of glamorous way.
Last year, I treated myself by seeing “Sonic the Hedgehog” on its opening weekend in theaters. I would highly recommend snacking on M&Ms while watching a speedy blue hedgehog zip across the screen as a Valentine’s Day activity.
Though I won’t be going to a movie theater this year because of a pandemic you might have heard about, I’ll probably just spend it like Harry Potter at the start of “The Chamber of Secrets.”
The Daily Nebraskan needed somebody from its senior staff to write a Letter from the Editor this week ahead of Cupid Day, and I guess it might as well be me, though I’m no expert on the ways of love and romance. If you’re looking for legitimate relationship advice, I would point you in the direction of our excellent relationship columnist Johnna Sisneros. But if you’d like to hear the musings of some random college dude who currently has a jaded view of relationships, well then, pull up a chair and come sit for a while.
I could give you the typical advice for single people for this love-filled season: It’s okay to be single! Learn to love yourself! Focus on developing the best version of YOU before you enter your next relationship! And while all of those one-liners are absolutely valid, it’s not really easy to hear that as I get close to two years of being extremely single.
I think the thing I struggle with the most on Valentine’s Day is the pressure I’ve put on myself that I need to find a stable relationship before I leave college. After having the sparse romantic experiences of most high school theater kids, I went into college ready to meet “the one.” I think the idea of meeting your forever partner in college is, well, romanticized, and as a generally romantic person who believes that there is true love waiting for all of us in this dark, cold world, I was fully expecting to find it.
And for a moment, I thought I had. I won’t get too much into it, but I met somebody right away freshman year and thought I was living out the “go to college and meet the love of your life” dream. But eventually, reality set in, and I realized that I had rushed into a relationship because I so desperately wanted that college fairytale.
Once that relationship was over, I honestly was quite glad to be single for a while. Being single definitely has its perks — I can pretty much do whatever I want and spend all my time focusing on things I like to do.
But right around when I was ready to get back out there, the pandemic hit, and any realistic chance of meeting somebody and dating normally basically vanished. Envy I’ve felt from scrolling through Instagram and seeing all of the happy couples I know has only increased.
It also doesn’t help that I’ve hit a wall of pandemic burnout lately that I know many others are also experiencing. We have all been incredibly isolated by this pandemic, and us single folk even more so.
When things get especially lonely, what I, and all perpetually single college kids, need to remember is that we have plenty of time.
While the pandemic has made us all confront our mortality and can make it hard to look toward the future, we still have so much time to figure our lives out. College feels like the perfect time to plan out your entire future, and in a lot of ways it is, but the reality is that life never goes according to plan.
If I never date again in college, that just means there’s somebody out there for me to meet in the real world. While I would gladly welcome the right person showing up in my last three semesters, there’s no reason to think that a lack of relationship luck now means none in the future.
Who knows, maybe I will magically procure a date by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around in a few days. The UNL Marriage Pact, which I took a few days ago, might match me with my perfect companion, and I’ll soon be laughing at all the people in the single club I’m currently a member of.
But in all likelihood, I’ll be emulating that famous wizard boy by doing absolutely nothing by myself in my room on Sunday. And that’s okay, I won’t be single forever (I hope).
Even though the world can seem like a bleak and lonely place, I still believe there’s somebody out there for me, and all of you lonely singles, who will fit just right.
Single and ready to mingle,