Romance is dead and that’s okay

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As the month of romantic outings, cheesy gifts and cheap chocolate sales begins, it’s not unreasonable for an SMU student to wonder about the point of it all. Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, but it isn’t likely be much of an event.

Students at SMU participate in and perpetuate their own hook-up culture. That is, there is less interest in long-term relationships between students and more in short-term flings. Yes, one night after coming back from Homebar Thursday counts as short-term.

But inevitably, as the hallmark-card holiday creeps closer, more and more complaints about singledom will arise. The bitter rebranding of the day as “Singles Awareness Day” will litter Facebook feeds for weeks. Galentine’s Day, a Feb. 13 holiday initially popularized on “Parks and Recreation” to celebrate female friendships, will inspire more fanfare for the school’s unattached women than the prospect of dates the day after. On the opposite end of the spectrum, single SMU men tend to forget the day entirely. For them, Feb. 14 is just another day like any other.

What won’t be forgotten are the dating apps. Popular among SMU students are Tinder and Bumble—the latter was even created by an alumnus. The apps are an easy way to achieve whatever desired activity when getting together with another person, particularly those one-night-only special appearances and subsequent disappearances. Indeed, long live the swiping!

Sure, mating rituals have fallen into patterns of flings and passively flipping through options on our phones, but so what? Just own it. Own that hook-up mentality. Own your Friends-With-Benefits status. If you want to see a different person every night of the week, that’s fine! Be a college student, be a young 20-something, learn what you want and don’t want. Have fun.

There will be time for a significant other and 2.5 kids later in life if that’s what you choose.

But don’t act like someone you aren’t. Don’t spend 11 months out of the year enjoying your hook-up culture, then complain about not having a steady relationship during February. Don’t be a complete person on your own only to fall apart at the seams with the first mention of romance and chivalry dying.

Be who you are unapologetically. If you dwell on what you don’t have to keep up appearances, you’ll only lose out on what’s in front of you.

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