Sex and the Cynic: The Price We Pay for Freedom

It’s Friday night. Boy meets Girl. Boy and Girl flirt while getting more and more drunk. Boy and Girl go home together, and hook up. This continues for a few weekends. Finally, Boy asks Girl to go steady, through a text message.

As a college student reading this, we are thinking to ourselves, “This sounds about right.” To anyone else, high school students included, this scenario is all wrong.

Things are out of order, and awkward. But, to us collegiate scholars, this is the way of life. This is our norm. From the approximate age range of 18-22, all dating scripts that we have come to know and will re-familiarize ourselves with in the post-college world are thrown out the window, and new ones emerge. All of the sudden, dating is characterized by drunken hook-ups, apathy, and a technological medium.

In the dating world outside college, people meet, get to know each other, and based on compatibility of personalities, decide whether or not pursuing a relationship would be wise.

By contrast, during our college career, “meeting” means drunkenly flirting at a party, and “getting to know each other” is more physical than mental. We are more than willing to strip our clothes off for someone, while completely disregarding the fact that we can’t remember if it’s Chris or Collin, Anne or Allison. For the next week after, we avoid each other on campus and play the “I was blacked out” card, and if we happen to meet again at a party, friendly relations surface again. If this continues, and things begin to get serious, our relations in public become more and more cold out of fear that we might look like we care about someone.

It is this aspect of apathy that boggles the mind most when considering college dating habits.

The first few months, and longer for the truly unlucky, are exemplified by a desperation to maintain your cool, and appear unaffected. We become paralyzed by the fear of looking interested, or even affectionate (God forbid!). In an attempt to compensate for this, we ignore that person in public, and conversations are had by means of technology.

We find ourselves talking about serious matters over instant messenger, or worse, text messages. Whether or not the reason for this stems from the desire for apathy or an absence of balls, it boils down to a lack of maturity on both sides. Though we are in the midst of acclimating to life on our own, our relationships are comparable to those two kindergarteners who push each other on the playground to show their affection.

As I considered all this, I searched my mind to come up with an explanation. Why? Why is it that when we are supposed to be maturing, we are losing ground. Then it hit me, that was just it.

Ironically, in striving to achieve our potential as mature adults, we digress in the relationship world. In college, we epitomize freedom. We aren’t constrained by family, or a career. Our only limitations are school-related, which proves pretty insignificant in the scheme of things. Because of this blatant dissimilarity from our previous high school life, we can’t help but feel cool.

Freedom goes to our heads, and we all feel like The Dude. In order to maintain our cool, we try our best to remain unaffected, and completely content with or without the person.

While in college, many aspects of the dating world change. The traditional progression of a relationship is lost, as is common decency when involved. But there is one thing that remains. As hard as we try to fight it, we do care, and always will. Whatever…