In Our Modern Day World, Romance Is Dead.

In Our Modern Day World, Romance Is Dead.

Are our relationships about compatibility or convenience?
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I've always been obsessed with reading. When I was little, I would read book after book, taking in one fantasy world after another. Not much changed as I grew older. I continued to read everything I could get my hands on, and I loved every minute of every story.

One of the many cliches that stuck with me through almost every single story had to do with romantic endings. The protagonist wins the love of their life, a perfect kiss comes after a perfect date, the "big" fight is resolved in their singsong relationship, and they live happily ever after. Maybe I was naive and young to fill my head with fantasies of my own Knight in Shining Armor.

I was never the girl who dated in middle school or junior high. I had too much to do, I was surrounded by my friends, and I had my books—I didn't need anyone else. In high school, though, it started to bother me. Why wasn't I getting asked out like everyone else? Why was I the only person in my friend group who hadn't been kissed, who went to the dances alone, who pretended like it was totally fine? I found myself wondering why I wasn't smart or pretty enough, wondering if I was too fat or too outspoken and opinionated for anyone to ever come and sweep me off my feet.

I'm still learning that none of that is true, and I work to convince myself of it every day. I still do not understand why it all happened like that, why I never had a relationship in high school, why I never had those "high school moments" that were supposed to shape me and prepare me for the big, wide world that is college.

When I got to college, nothing changed. I was still the one who was alone in my friend group. When we went to social events, they all got hit on while I stood in the back against the wall trying not to bring the group down. I didn't get it. I still don't, if I am being entirely honest.

I look around at my world and see all the dating apps, all the social media statuses, every single way of having a "relationship," but in every single instance...the intimacy and honesty of dating seem to be missing.

Why?

Is romance really dead or am I still stuck in my books? I know now that I don't need a knight to rescue me—I am perfectly capable of saving myself, thank you very much—and I certainly do not have to be in a relationship in order to define my worth or my identity. Even through this recently acquired self-assurance and confidence, I still question the world and what a relationship really means anymore.

Is it about the likes on your new profile picture together? If they Snapchat you every single day? Is a relationship about compatibility or convenience? Does it have to be all about the sex? If that's what you want, then power to you! But why does that have to be the new default box to check when we enter a room full of strangers, of potential partners?

It is not that I really think romance is dead—not entirely, at least. I see it in my parents and in the little things that they do for each other. From my friends in healthy relationships who talk about the late night talks and the sweet nothings that mean absolutely everything. Romance is still out there; it's just really hard to find.

I go through my life, living how I want to live. I will never allow someone else to determine who I am to love or how and when I am to do it. I will stay here waiting for the one to come along who sees the world as I do. We don't all need expensive dinners or fancy clothes or for our latest Instagram photo together to reach 300 likes. Just sit on the roof and watch as the stars go by. Watch a movie together and watch the movie. Nothing more. Laugh at your mistakes and do silly things at 2 AM in Walmart just because you're young and wild and reckless.

Romance has changed as we have changed, and maybe it has many more definitions than it once did. It might be for the better or for the worse, depending on who you ask. Either way, let it live on and do not settle for less. Get what you want, and do not let anyone keep you from reaching it. Find your happily ever after on your own terms. You can slay your own dragons, and you can find someone who will gladly stand behind you while you do. You deserve happiness. Don't let our world take that away.

Cover Image Credit: pexels

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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4 Signs That You Might Be A Pushover In Your Relationship

There's a fine line between being considerate and overly-accommodating in a relationship, here are some signs to help you determine which side of the line you're on.

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While most of us consider ourselves independent individuals who are secure enough to maintain our own values while respecting someone else's, the difference between being flexible and completely bending to a romantic partner's will can be a slippery slope.

Just because you're in a relationship doesn't mean that everything the two of you disagree on suddenly disappears. There are times when you'll have to occasionally make concessions in order to reach a solution, but you should never be the one to relent every on every issue. If you're not sure about how you stand in your relationship here are few signs that you may be a dating pushover.

1. You let them set the pace of the relationship

It can be hard to know if things are moving at a normal speed, especially if you're new to relationships. If you feel like things are moving too quickly or like the two of you aren't on the same page and choose to ignore it because the other person is content with where you are, then you're not giving your own feelings enough consideration. A relationship is not just about one person's emotions, disregarding the ones you're unsure about to avoid making waves doesn't make you peacekeeper, it makes you a pushover.

2. Your lack of an opinion is replaced by theirs

It's okay not to have an opinion on every issue plaguing our society at the moment, but it's not okay to allow your partner to declare a stance for you. If you're having a conversation with friends and politics are being broached and your S/O prefaces their statement with "We think," -knowing darn well that you don't have anything to say about Trump's administration and they think he's the best thing since Netflix started streaming "Friends"- and you don't interject with your true feelings, then you've just let them know that their preferences are more important than yours.

3. You conform to the way they see you

People are multifaceted and complex beings. While Tinder may ask you to describe yourself by a handful of defining characteristics to better match you with a mate, you are more than just "quiet" and "indoorsy". If you find yourself with someone who reduces you to labels that complement them, chances are that the more you're around them the more you'll start to only identify yourself by those labels as well. When you conform to the 2-dimensional image that someone else has of you, you lose parts of your identity and become a social chameleon.

4. You alter your dreams to fit into theirs

It's exciting to picture your life with someone you care and are serious about. Of course, you have to make some configurations in order for things to work for the both of you, but there has to be an equal amount of compromise for it to be healthy. If you're working towards a degree that would open doors for you to meet new people and have new experiences but your S/O has dreams to get settled sooner rather than later and makes you feel like you're overreaching in your life, don't abandon your vision for something that would fit into theirs.

Being a pushover does not mean you're a weak person. I don't think anyone sets out with the intent to be a chameleon dater. Sometimes it happens gradually, two people start off in a relationship thinking that they're compatible and then one person grows more comfortable and their will and opinions turn out to be stronger than the other persons'. Other times, you just make a poor judgment call and try to make things work with someone that wasn't meant for you.

If you find yourself to be a pushover in your relationship and you're unhappy about it, you can change. Take some time to learn about yourself and figure out what you want and who you want to be. You can't choose someone who really loves you and values your mind if you don't know how you need to be loved and understood. Whether you need a to step away from the dating scene, have a conversation with your romantic partner or even take a break from them, understanding yourself will strengthen all of your relationships in the long run.

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