Calling All Lovers

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Whether it is the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet or the glorification of Disney, romance is always on our minds.

Obtaining that pure, unblemished relationship is deep within the hopes of any student enteringcollege.

Finding love while in college can be quite beneficiary, in the aspect of helping partners prepare for dealing with a relationship while also handling other aspects of life, such as children, careers, and finances.

Dr. Steve Potter, a counselor at Western, attests to the fact that these aspirations of love are prevalentin the mind of a young college student.

“As humans, we are always trying to connect with someone,” Potter said. “We have the need to love and be loved.”

There are many levels to the modern relationship. A variety of couples meet in a plethora of different locations.

Western students Elliot Swope and Lindsey Stubbs have met their significant others in completely different atmospheres but, like most relationships, share the same issues amongst young college lovers.

Swope, who has been with his fiancée since 2011, met his other half on a study abroad trip to Paris. He had seen her several times beforehand, but didn’t fight the nerves he had to talk to her until they were at the airport for the trip.

They spent the entire trip together and that was the start of their progression as a couple.

“When we got back, she wasn’t sick of me, so we started going out,” Swope said. “Which says a lot about her.”

Stubbs, on the other hand, met her boyfriend a little under two years ago at the admissions office, where they both work. Living together and working together is a lot of time to spend with a person, but Stubbs believes that it’s good to have similar passions with their workplace.

The one strong similarity that both of these couples hold is a constant amongst most young couples at Western.

Very few couples are in the same graduating class, which brings up the issue of “what next?”

“Since I’m graduating first, I’m trying to find work locally. And once she graduates, we plan to move to Kansas City” said Swope, who is a majoring in Cinema.

It’s a topic of high importance amongst these young lovers, to know where they stand and where they will stand in the near future.

Stubbs plans to get her masters degree after she graduates this year, which is a two-year program. Her boyfriend has two years left on his time at Western, so their plates seems to line up properly.

With these plans for the future of relationships, personality traits often come into play. Ringing true to the stereotype, men are often more laid back and confident that the future will work itself out, as to where many females are more concerned about what they can do to make sure the future pans out correctly.

Swope finds truth in this. While this theory can seem problematic to someone on the outside, it helps relationships in the end.

“Sometimes, I have to pull more of the weight and she has to kind of dial down,” Swope said.

These opposite styles of approach between the genders play to the “opposites attract” theory as well.

Stubbs believes that while these stereotypes can be true, the height of them can depend on the relationship.

“Me, being older, I find myself being the dominate one… having sway on making decisions,” Stubbs said.

This is obviously a switch in gender roles from 50 or 60 years ago, where the male would always dominate the relationship. This doesn’t necessarily show that we’ve gone through a role-reversal in our society, as much as it does show that we no longer approach relationships with presuming ideas of who a person is, based upon their gender.

We now approach relations as two individuals, and nothing more.

Probably the strongest and most prevalent factor in the modern relationship is the presence of social media.

While social media can be a great way to keep in touch with people and build marketing and new connections, it can be harmful to romantic relationships.

Stubbs believes it to be the main drawback for the current young generation.

“It takes the mystery out of dating,” Stubbs said. “You don’t have to try so hard to get so much information out of somebody.”

15 years ago, to find out anything about a possible romantic interest, you’d have to take them to the local eatery and actually ask questions about their interests and hobbies.

In this current time of courting, we can go on Facebook and find out about all their favorite movies, where they went to school, and who they work for.

Then we can go onto Twitter and discover all their “secrets” and discover what annoys them the most and what strikes them as engaging and attractive.

It also produces this thought in the idea of invincibility inside the head of many people. They often flirt through messaging, comments, and tweets. Even “liking” a photo could cause a stir.

“It makes making poor decisions a lot easier,” Stubbs said. “Thinking there may not be consequences for their actions.

It’s often said that college is where you discover who you are and ultimately become the person you are meant to be in your life.

College romance is one of, if not the, main reason for this. Relationships can shape who we are.

“Sometimes you take on the person’s mannerisms,” Stubbs said.

Many young romantics often try to find interest in the interests of their significant others, ultimately discovering their own new interests and hobbies, creating a new personality in a sense.

“I’d say I’m more confident in myself,” Swope said. “I think I’m a little nicer too.”

College relationships make us who we are. Many students also focus solely on academics and avoid any romance, so that they can establish their future. A forgotten thought is that finding love in college shapes who you are as an individual and can make you even stronger.

Most people don’t just have one relationship in college. They go through several.

They fall deeply in love, then drop into devastation over a break up, and then rediscover the exhilaration of that euphoric emotion all over again.

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