They say that my generation “Doesn’t date.” We exist in a hook up culture, consisting of drunken encounters, one night stands, and then avoiding that person around campus for the next two months. To some, that’s perfectly fine. There’s nothing wrong with this. Some of us, however, avoid this by being in a relationship.
What defines a ‘serious relationship?’ Maybe how long you’ve been together? If you live together? How about being capable of getting through fights? If you’re in love? I suppose it’s up to the couple to decide. There's really no right or wrong answer to it. The thing about this is that while trying to stray away from that 'hook up' culture, they're judged for being in a long term relationship.
I hear more often than not that I am too young to be so committed, that I shouldn’t get so attached to one person because life changes, that I should wait until I’m older and various other things that I find myself rolling my eyes at when someone tries to explain.
I don’t know about anyone else but I’m tired of listening to it. The only people involved in my relationship are my boyfriend and myself. That doesn't explain why people feel the need to have a say in what's going on in it.
In the past year, I’ve grown up more than I had throughout high school. I moved into college, adjusted to this new life, met my boyfriend, began to rely on my family, had moments of both strength and weakness, joined a sorority, and began creating a life that I love. I've never felt more like myself. I feel as though I finally have a voice. Writing for the Odyssey and joining the sisterhood of Phi Sigma Sigma have made me find that voice deep inside of myself. I don't want to hide anymore; I want to be heard.
A huge part of my success I owe thanks to my boyfriend for. He believed in me every time I wanted to quit, every time I saw myself failing, and every time I felt too low to continue on. After my relationships in high school that didn’t work, I found a guy that was better than anyone I could have hoped to find, that cared for me and wanted to make me happy. He is there every time I'm stressing over an exam and he's there when I get an A so he can say 'I told you so.'
Believe it or not, we met online, both not expecting to find someone. Here we are, a year later still going strong. We’ve had our ups and downs but it’s easy to get through them. He’s moved from a short train ride away to a 4-hour car ride, making it harder to see him. We still find ways to make it work. He’s my rock, unmoving and always there for me to lean on when I need him. Nights with him are spent going for a walk, and then searching Netflix for a new ROM COM to watch (and it usually sucks). We enjoy each other's company. He makes me laugh harder than anyone else and I can’t stop smiling when I’m with him.
I find it funny that I’m “too young” to be in love yet my parents and grandparents were either married or engaged at my age. It doesn’t make much sense to me why they tell me these things when they were just as old as I am. Maybe they see something different, but I only see a difference in time.
So here I am spending my weekends driving to Vermont to see my boyfriend. Most of our time is spent grocery shopping, cooking dinner, washing dishes and doing laundry together. Call me crazy but I think I got pretty lucky with him.
I’ve had some of my favorite memories with him. It's the simple things for me: going to LaSalette, seeing him graduate, making nachos at 3am, cooking, and walking along the beach for two hours in the rocks collecting rocks and sea glass. Part of being with someone is because you don’t want to be with anyone else. You both have your separate lives, yet they overlap perfectly in one spot. This makes it so that even though you can be apart, it’s better when you’re together. That's exactly how I feel about him.
Maybe you still don’t understand why I am such a big fan of being in a committed relationship so young, but maybe you don’t have to. I’ll be off with my best friend and you can think about it. Think about what you felt like when you were young and in love.
And to my boyfriend:
Thank you for being my best friend. I don’t know how I would’ve gone through the last year without your positivity. The adventures with you will always be my favorite and I can’t wait to see what’s next. I love you.