Last week as I procrastinated doing homework, I was bombarded with a stream of overly romantic posts in my Facebook newsfeed by a friend from high school. After reading the first status I felt somewhat happy for him and his newfound love. But after reading the fifth status, I had lost all interest and sympathy for his budding relationship. He kept these disturbing public declarations of “eternal love” coming for a few days — and as a result, I had to defriend him. I just couldn’t take it.
I know this sounds trivial, but it got me thinking. I’ve seen so many friends and acquaintances rush headlong into a new relationship, all the while making ridiculous statements like “we were meant for each other” or “I never knew love until now” — when they’ve only been dating for two weeks.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the excitement that relationships bring, and that we all do or say stupid things when we’re caught up with a new romance. I am definitely pro-love. However, I feel that many college-age students take this stupidity to a whole new level.
In most cases, I’m genuinely excited to see that a friend has found someone new that makes them happy. I take their posting of sappy love songs and quotes on Facebook as a sign of their giddy excitement. I’d like to give these hopeless romantics the benefit of doubt.
Yet, usually about a month or so after said person publicly declares that they have found “true love,” they become single yet again. It seems like some vicious cycle of students rushing into hyper-serious relationships that last two months, lamenting a tragic break up, celebrating the joys of being single for a week and then hurrying back into some profound relationship.
It seems to be almost like Dating ADHD. When did love become such a trivial word? When did we stop taking relationships seriously?
I think most students who suffer from Dating ADHD are so eager to be in a serious relationship that it doesn’t really matter who they’re with. It’s just enough to have someone. Their “love” is generic, because there’s really nothing unique about their relationship. They have none of the knowledge of small quirks or habits that comes with a true relationship over time.
Every time somebody says they have “found the one” or are in “eternal love” prematurely, they devaluate the meaning of those statements. They don’t actually respect the gravity of love. They fail to realize the seriousness of a long-term relationship and the commitment that it brings.
Based on the way I’ve seen many college students handle relationships, it comes as no surprise that our nation has such a high divorce rate. We need to wake up and realize that love and commitment is not something to be taken lightly. It’s not always fun or glamorous or easy.
It doesn’t matter how many people “like” your Facebook relationship status, or your extended couple photo shoots. What actually matters is the relationship itself. What matters is the connection between two people, and the happiness that it can bring.
A “love” that lasts is not one that is publicized on Facebook, or memorialized with dozens of Picniked photographs, but one that makes both people smile even when cameras and computers are not around.