Dating in college, part 5: Becoming a cat lady

Chris Slattery

You really put yourself out there, wore your heart on your sleeve like some Bravo reality show told you it was “in” this year.

You tried so hard to please that special person in your life — maybe by changing who you were or maybe by staying the same — and it still wasn’t enough to win their affection in the chess game of love.

You wrote songs, you bought expensive dinners, you even made a collage.

And now you’re left high and dry. You want to cry and die and maybe ask, “Why?” Don’t be shy. Sigh…

People may be telling you that it’s time to get over it, that you’re so much better than him or her, that they don’t deserve you. So flip the switch in your brain and move on — it’s that simple, right?

We all wish.

Instead, we’re stuck inside of our own pathetic thoughts of self-loathing: “Why won’t anyone love me?” “I’m going to die alone.” “I should start owning 47 cats.”

It is because of these thoughts that people turn to romantic comedies, a movie genre that has such a firm grasp on reality that their methods simply have to work. We call non-stop in hopes of slowly breaking down our interest’s will. It shows persistence, commitment and a total lack of psychological well-being.

While some may see this as charming, it’s more likely that the other person will find this annoying. We call it harassment, and society frowns upon it.

Don’t even get me started on holding up a boombox outside someone’s window.

We work so hard to force this relationship on someone else that we forget the obvious: if they eventually give in, it’s not going to be for love or even a mutual appreciation of each other — it will be because it’s the only way to stop the endless Facebook messages about common interests and hopeless devotion. In fact, we need to give these people credit for stamping us out when they did, instead of stringing us along for some hollow relationship where they won’t give us the time of day anyway.

Getting over someone really is one of the hardest things to do. It’s an addiction, and sometimes going cold turkey is the best way to go. There’s no patch or gum for the unreciprocated affection of another human being (Hubba Bubba is currently working on a formula), so we have to do this ourselves.

Cue the “Getting my life back on track” montage, complete with uplifting music and smiling at ourselves in the mirror. Of course, this process takes longer than the two-minute scene suggests, but it feels great to come out the other side a better person. We can become that person a few months down the road to makes our past admiration think, “I’ve made a huge mistake.”

Vengeance is a dish best served with a side-order of, “You snooze, you lose.”

You look better, you feel better and, eventually, you can date better. Finally, a relationship … But be warned, relationships in college suck too.

[email protected]