The Life Of A Hopeless Romantic In A Hook-Up World

The Life Of A Hopeless Romantic In A Hook-Up World

Why I'd rather have roses than randoms
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Tinder.

Bumble.

OKCupid.

Grindr.

The Grade.

Sizzl.

Happn.

Score.

These are just a few of today's popular "dating" apps available in the App Store. Each one has its perks and downsides, but they all have one thing in common: they introduce you to other people that you can talk to and ultimately meet up with if you so choose. These apps are part of a new "revolutionary" movement that is supposed to eliminate the social anxiety that comes with finding that ~special someone~. Whether you're swiping for a quick fix or to find a lifelong partner, there are plenty of profiles on these apps for you to choose from -- and that's a problem.

I've always considered myself to be a "hopeless romantic". As a little girl, I dreamed about my husband and what he would look like, and how I would meet him in high school, and we'd be high school sweethearts, and he would propose on a bed of roses, and we'd have a beautiful, dreamy wedding, and then we would live happily. ever. after.

Well, as an eternally single high school graduate, I can tell you that the older I got, the more unrealistic that dream became. And now, it is nothing like I hoped for as a little girl.

Being a hopeless romantic doesn't make me blind to the way the dating scene has changed around me, and I don't allow myself to entertain some sort of false fantasy that the guy I marry will be a knight in shining armor. If anything, being a hopeless romantic has forced me to wake up from my daydream because the man of my childhood dreams is nowhere to be found. I'm surrounded by two-headed beasts, and I'm not sure if I can see a way out.

Let me just say that I'm not one of those girls who's like, "OMG I need a man to live my life or I feel incomplete and can't do anything for myself blah blah blah". I am perfectly content with my life, and if I never get married, I'll be fine. I don't need a man to fill my life with happiness. I already do that by having the best people in my circle.

But, I hope that one of these days, my circle will expand to include the love of my life. How can I not? My parents were high school sweethearts, and they prove every day that love is still very real. Everywhere I look, people I grew up with and graduated with are getting married and living their happy, matrimonial lives. I have so much faith that my guy is out there which is why it is so frustrating to live in a culture where getting married young is frowned upon, but hooking up is not.

Why in the world would anyone think that by getting married, at a young age or at all, would "tie you down"? Is being in a committed relationship, where you are loyal and true to a single person, really that bad? Is it really so bad to live the rest of your life with the person who makes your soul sing? The one who brings a smile that no one else can? The one who would do anything in their power to ensure your happiness? Is all of this really such a terrible idea?

Lots of people say yes. Too many say that marrying young, or at all, gives you no room to grow and discover who you are, that becoming your own person is already hard enough as it is, and that adding another person to the mix just creates more confusion. And to an extent, I agree. If you believe that you need a partner to complete you and not complement you, you have the wrong mindset. A relationship is two becoming one, not one half and one half becoming a whole. You are already a whole person before you meet your partner, and while you don't need them to complete you, you know you are better when you are together.

I grew up learning and believing all of these things which is why it is so surprising to me that people would rather hook-up with random people time and time again than invest time into something that could become eternal. I'm even more surprised that society accepts this hook-up culture as "normal".

I understand that we have the ultimate say over our own bodies and what we choose to do with them, and I agree with that. No one should be able to tell me what I can and can't do with my body.

But, I just can't comprehend why someone should sleep around with as many people as they have fingers and toes. What kind of fulfillment does that bring? Are you happier when you sleep with half of the football team? Are you scared of loving someone? Are you scared that someone might love you? Or are you just too lazy to put forth some sort of effort that could equate to commitment?

Marriage is hard work, and if you aren't going into it with the proper mindset, it's not going to end well. I think this has a lot to do with why people hook up and don't pursue genuine relationships. No one wants to put in the work to make things work when things get difficult. The kids in my generation live in this bubble that makes marriage look like a dream, and I'm sorry to say that there aren't enough examples of beautiful, genuine marriages left to truly exemplify how married life really is. It's hard to picture the reality of something when all you've got to go off of is a movie, and while I would love to star in a Oscar-winning romance, I know that's not how real life works. Marriage is hard and real and gruesome and exhausting...in the best way.

I wish we could get back to the old way of dating. I want a boy to be nervous about asking me on a date and picking me up in his car and the awkward silence on the way to the restaurant. I want a boy to bring me home to meet his mom and me feel so sick I might throw up. I want a boy to respect my father, not because he controls me, but because he knows how much I love and respect my dad. I want a boy who loves every piece of me, even the ones that he hates. I want a boy that is willing to compromise and work through the rough spots in my soul because Lord knows I have lots of those.

There is so much more to dating that isn't covered through an app, and some of the most crucial discoveries are found before the first introduction is even made. This dating game that we all hate to love to play is steadily going downhill, and it's making it even harder for us to find our person. We need to start seeing each other as human beings instead of profile pictures. We need to hold each other accountable in our respect towards others and the way we conduct ourselves. We need to quit focusing on the sex and start seeing each other for the beautiful minds and personalities that lie within.

Personally, I believe there is something to be said for a man who still believes that traditional is the best way to go. Shout out to the guys who ask girls out on dates first before asking for a relationship, to the guys who pick girls up and pay for the first date, and to the guys who shake her father's hand when he drops her off after the date. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't believe that respecting me or my values will ever go out of style.

To my future husband: I cannot wait to meet you. I cannot wait to see your face and be so nervous to talk to you because, to me, you are the most handsome man I will ever meet. I cannot wait to hear your voice and see you smile and figure out all your weird quirks and habits. I cannot wait for the good times, the bad times, the hard times, and the best times. I cannot wait to meet you, but I will keep waiting patiently because I know that unlike the rest of this generation, you will be so worth the wait.

Cover Image Credit: pexels.com

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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41 Thank-Yous To My Boyfriend Who Stood By My Side For Three Semesters And Graduation

Life will be scary and difficult sometimes, but as long as you're there to hold my hand, I know that I will always be OK.

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These last several semesters at college, I've learned so much and I've changed so much, all because of one person. A person that came at a time when things were going downhill, and completely flipped my life around. I will never forget how terrible I felt before I met you, and how much better I am with you by my side. Truly, I don't know where I would be without you. And that's why it will always be impossible to thank you enough for everything that you have done for me.

But you do deserve to know how much of an impact you have on me.

1. Thank you for being my shoulder to cry on when I was struggling to get through this last semester.

2. Thank you for always listening to me rant about problems I was having with my friends.

3. Thank you for never getting tired of me talking about the same things over and over again.

4. Thank you for never acting like my past trauma was baggage or a burden.

5. Thank you for trying your best to understand and to be considerate of my anxiety.

6. Thank you for being patient with me when I take so long to process everything and sort out my emotions.

7. Thank you for dealing with my mood swings and intense emotions.

8. Thank you for never judging me over things I get embarrassed about.

9. Thank you for sharing your opinions with me, even when I didn't want to hear them, but I needed to hear them.

10. Thank you for opening my eyes to toxic behavior that I was blind to.

11. Thank you for always looking out for my health and well-being, and my future.

12. Thank you for helping me grow up and mature.

13. Thank you for always wanting to talk things out.

14. Thank you for making me feel important.

15. Thank you for giving me a reason to live.

16. Thank you for showing me what true love is.

17. Thank you for being my best friend and partner in life.

18. Thank you for breaking my walls down but never breaking a promise.

19. Thank you for keeping my heart safe.

20. Thank you for giving me endless reassurance.

21. Thank you for never making me worry about the fate of our relationship.

22. Thank you for always putting me first.

23. Thank you for being loyal and committed to me.

24. Thank you for all of the memories and adventures.

25. Thank you for never getting annoyed about taking photos.

26. Thank you for the best summer of my life.

27. Thank you for making college a much better experience for me.

28. Thank you for always putting a smile on my face.

29. Thank you for always catering to me and trying to make me happy.

30. Thank you for all the little favors you do for me and everything else you might think goes unnoticed (but trust me, I notice and I appreciate it so much).

31. Thank you for supporting everything that I'm passionate about.

32. Thank you for always making an effort to change.

33. Thank you for always forgiving me when I make (loads of) mistakes.

34. Thank you for being a good influence on me.

35. Thank you for being my role model and inspiring me to be more like you.

36. Thank you for the amount of time, effort, and love that you've put into our relationship.

37. Thank you for shaping my future.

38. Thank you for making me so hopeful and excited about everything that we are going to do throughout our life together.

39. Thank you for thinking that I'm worth it.

40. Thank you for wanting to get married, have kids, and spend your life with me.

41. Thank you for making my dreams come true.

Now that we've graduated, for the first time, we're dealing with the fact that we don't have a set path laid out for us. Real life is more than what we're used to. We might struggle to find jobs. Heck, we might find jobs but hate them. It might take forever to save up money. Things might not go according to how we planned them in our heads. We're going to have to juggle a bunch of different elements all at once. Life will be scary and difficult sometimes, but as long as you're there to hold my hand, I know that I will always be OK.

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