Dating In College

I was supposed to write this for an essay contest months ago but at the time I didn't fully know what I wanted to write about; I hadn't fully gauged the dating scene yet. With a little more knowledge under my belt however, I feel ready to talk about it. It may be a bit of a ramble but rambling is good for the soul.

Dating in college is difficult. As soon as I feel like I have any kind of handle on the situation, Cupid seems to knock me down. I think the one advantage to dating in college is that you have a diverse set of groups to choose from in a focused area. Whether you like geeks, jocks, frat stars or punk-rock guys, chances are you will find your specific type. On the other hand, college is a transitional period in life and not everyone is going to be rooted in that same city or even state after you graduate. Sure, you may find someone you want to spend forever with but when winter break rolls around, you will most likely go separate ways for a month. This is true for summer, spring break and even occasional weekends during the semester. In a world where your living situations are so temporary, how do you make something last? How do you get into a relationship knowing that in just a few years, you may never see that person again? As much as I love Flagstaff, you are crazy if you think I will stay here, let alone anywhere in Arizona, after I graduate. As pessimistic as it may seem, all of this begs the question: Why try if it won't last? 
Another thing I have noticed is the fact that holding onto only one potential relationship is hard when your options are pretty much endless. Sure, it is tempting to get on Tinder and swipe left and right all day even if you are seeing someone continuously but I have gotten to the point where I can't only talk to one person at a time because it only sets me up for disaster. Every time I try and be completely exclusive to one person, it fails. I have a very hard time putting all my eggs in one basket when every guy in the past has proved to me, right and left, that they all eventually find a reason to leave.
However, the opposite is also true. When I am with a guy who genuinely only wants to date me, I get freaked out because I don't want anything serious. It seems that there is no in between. You either get, "let's just hookup" or "meet my parents".

Technology has done both a huge service and a huge disservice to the dating world. I understand the idea of these dating apps and the expectations that come along with them. When the guy sitting next to you in class can't muster up the courage to introduce himself, it seems much easier to just log in to whatever virtual dating website is on your home screen, but I miss meeting guys in person, out of the blue, and having that instant connection. With these computerized matches comes the concept that you'll have to really try while dating them. Forcing a connection is impossible and I have never once felt instant chemistry or the feeling that things are just right with those that I have met through Tinder. Just because a highly mechanized application says you two are a match, doesn't mean that in reality, it will work. When you do meet someone, for real, in person, and everything seems to kind of fall into place, you will get butterflies, the nerves will kick in and it will seem as if you are walking around on cloud nine. It is worth it to wait and meet those random strangers. However it sucks when those guys who make you feel so much, disappear. It sucks because you now know the feeling of real and you've seen it slip through your fingers. 
The saddest part of it all, is that there are genuinely great guys out there. My problem is though, I don't want those great guys. I, instead, run after the ones who don't treat me the way I deserve to be treated. Why do we want the ones who don't want us back?

All I know at this point is that I will not be the girl who sits around and waits for you to make up your mind. I am also not someone who forgets. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you for thinking I would fall for your game again. 
I'm sick of the guys who don't respond, the guys who are too invested in their "brotherhood", guys who bail, guys who think they should only put in as much work as you are, guys who think that a few smooth lines can get them out of whatever problem they have caused. I am sick of chasing guys. Is honesty too much to ask for? Is openly discussing feelings no longer something people know how to do?

When you boil it down, college is really just four years of figuring out who you are. How are we supposed to love everything about someone else when we don't even know what we love about ourselves? Then there is the fact that your success in college can determine your success in the real world. Add that to the list of stressful final exams, midterm papers and trying to stay afloat financially and you will see why, when it comes to love, sometimes all students want is something easy. But often times lines are skewed and a simple hook-up with an ex or someone who doesn’t treat you well, can turn into a mess. Sometimes, easy isn't an option. 
I wish we weren’t programmed to crave love. I wish I could be perfectly content with not having someone. But as humans, we seek companions and sometimes, that sucks. 
"Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to." 
Alfred A. Montapert