Dating for the Right Reasons: Relationship Ready or Just Bored?

Story by Jordan Mcgee
Feature Photo by Amy Cain

I am not aware if I am the only one who notices this, but everywhere I go, I am bound to see love and relationships advertised.

Whether by the form of  “every kiss begins with K” commercials or silly Hallmark holidays such as Sweetest Day, it feels as if society tends to manipulate others into thinking relationships are the only option for happiness.

Frankly, I take umbrage at how forced romance is on every single generation. It feels as that society tends to manipulate others into thinking that relationships are the only option for happiness.

Every time I turn on the radio, there is always some sappy love song about a girl loving a boy or wishing he was hers to love. What ever happened to single empowerment? Why is it that Beyonce is the only one singing about it?

I could have sworn every remark about my friends dating or me being single I heard at the end of high school and into college was related to the ongoing journey in search for love and relationships.

It is quite scary when one sees their good friends pairing off, only to be abandoned and replaced. As dramatic as that sounds, this was my mindset on love during my first semester of college.

While I knew high school was not the time to even think about finding a boo, college made me want to go on the journey to find one.

With the many options here on this campus and I was sure that being in a relationship would heighten my college experience.

Oh, how I laugh at my naive, first semester freshman self.

Coming into college, I could have sworn I knew what love was. Boy, was I all wrong. Within my first week of college, I threw my 18-year-old self onto dating apps such as Tinder and Her in search for “the one.”

I had my first girlfriend right here in college. It didn’t last because neither of us were truly ready for what a relationship asks for. As this relationship came to a close and I spent the next three weeks back in home, I had a lot of time to think about my definition of love and what that means to me on which I had a revelation.

Throughout this ridiculousness, I did not realize that I was searching for love for all the wrong reasons. In the back of my mind, I knew I was not truly ready for a relationship, but rather because boredom began to permeate my college life.

I was re-reading one of my all time favorite books, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”. In one of Charlie’s final letters to his friend, he explains how intense his crush on Sam was. Sam did not like guys who just simply were infatuated over her.

The reason infatuation and boredom relate is because when a person is simply bored, it is fun to infatuate and fantasize about the perfect relationship. If someone is not focused on reality and is only infatuated with the thought of a relationship, they are bored and not ready.

This quote from Sam truly caught my eye: “You can’t just sit there and put everybody’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love.”

This cemented the idea in my head that no one likes immaturity. Not even the individuals who are being infatuated over.

If someone is excluding their own goals and well-being for a crush or relationship, they are not ready. Independence and stability are key to a balanced relationship.

Finally, it made sense to me. No wonder I never knew what love was when I would just be infatuated with close friends or other individuals that I found attractive, putting their happiness before mine.

Having time to reflect, I realized that I was lonely and bored. I was craving attention that I was not ready for. I needed to evaluate what my personal goals were before inviting another person to join me in achieving those goals. I knew I was not ready when I sacrificed my happiness to ensure that a crush was happy, which including looking and acting a certain way to impress them. That was a waste of my time because that made feel like I did not even really know myself and how to make myself happy.

To ensure that I love myself is the first relationship I need in my life.