Lately, with everything going on in my life, I’ve been thinking a lot about love and how it is the only reason why we’re here at all. I don’t mean just romantic love; I mean all kinds of love (familial, platonic, eros, self etc). I’m talking about the genuine care to preserve and take care of our existence. We all want to love and we all want to be loved. Mumford and Sons put it best with: in these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die, where you invest your love, you invest your life. How we show others we love them, how we actualize our feelings into the concrete and how we make others feel transcends our immediate existence—it transcends even the moment itself. You touch another person’s soul in a way that remains as an imprint on humanity. You play a role in facilitating the recognition and self-realization of an Other—which is Hegel-speak for we need an other person through which we can further our own development. Soo romantic. I didn’t really know or understand what love was until I read section 158 of Hegel’s Outline of Philosophy of Right in POL320. Hegel was my first love. To count for something in the other and having an other count for something in me is just all kinds of wicked. I’m starting to think that political theory is my sexuality. It’s not normal how much conversations about the good life excite me. And I am attracted to minds more than I am to people. And U of T is littered with a lot of brilliant minds. So the mindblowing conversations I have had make up for my lack of a “love life.”
For the first three years of my undergrad, I refused to let myself be loved because I understood love as defeat or surrender. I hate how vulnerable you have to be and I could not allow someone to make me feel more powerless. All of first year, I felt so gross; my self esteem was blah and I refused to believe that someone out there would want to love me. I spent all of second year getting out of that darkness because I knew that it would not be healthy to start a relationship with so much internal chaos. And then spent all of third year as a coward, afraid of rejection who felt even more unworthy of love. There were nice guys here and there but I blocked out a lot of love because I just wasn’t ready and hated being weak. Throughout my time at U of T, most crushes used me for lecture notes or to edit their papers etc., then there were those who just never had the guts to be honest with me, there was one who ended up liking a friend, and there was one who had no idea I existed. But those were all little crushes I didn’t really care about.
But then life happened, and I realized I really need to be more open and brave. So I tried out the whole dating thing in January and it was, well, whatever. Some dates were great and some were disastrous. I learned that it is a very alienating feeling to be stared at like you’re an alien – every time I tried to explain my situation or talk about Hegel, I was met with blank stares. I once quoted Nietzsche on a date…..never again…so awkward. I don’t think there is someone for me at this time and maybe in this location. So I am going to put off my quest for now. I think right now I’m at stage one and have realized that a life completely independent would be incomplete and defective – which is a huge step considering I used to be very dismissive on all matters of love. My understanding of love has definitely flourished while at U of T but I’m still a cynic. However, I assure you there is progress!
Every time I come THIS close to losing someone I love forever I ask myself, “this time, did you show him or her how much you care? Was it enough that if they were to leave the world or your life in the next few seconds, you would be content with the way you showed them how special they are?” No, I don’t think I have shown the people in my life how much I love them—especially in terms of romantic love. At least I didn’t before, I am trying to now.
My goal for my last semester at U of T is not to find Mr. Right and read Hegel with him all day errday. My goal is to try to be honest with myself and with others and try to care for the existence of others as well as my own. I can love and be loved without a romantic interest in my life. I’m also going to give up on dating; it’s too robotic. Some things are meant to be not orchestrated by humans. However, if I do find myself crushing I am going to make the first move! Honestly, I’ve experienced much heavier things than rejection. I think I can handle a boy turning me down. ON TO THE NEXT. Clarity is a beautiful thing.
I just have to show people how much I care about them NOW because we can’t control when people leave our life. Sometimes they move to another country, sometimes they leave this world, sometimes they let you go, sometimes they just disappear. People come and leave; you can’t make homes out of human beings. All we can do is to show them what they mean to us in all of the moments between point A and B. Whenever you are in presence of someone you admire, treat them in a way that is in harmony with all that you feel in the Here and Now. Leave it all on the table. Be authentic. Or bear the risk of point B screwing you over and condemning you to living life in the space of What Ifs. A growing dissonance between how you feel on the inside and how you choose to represent yourself in the space of appearances can really inflict damage to your sense of self. Note to self: DONT BE SO CRYPTIC.
I think that maintaining a relationship at U of T is totally possible. I just can’t give you any advice on how to do so because well I suck at this whole dating and relationship thing. So I asked my friends from social media land for help and here’s what they had to say:
And many people have found LEGIT love at UofT! So there is hope !!! Have you found love at U of T? What are your thoughts on maintaining a relationship and dating in university?
oh, and Happy Valentines Day!!! Go be brave and tell someone you love them!