Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Flying Solo

Diane Guo

The idea of dating in college can often feel foreign and, quite frankly, mentally taxing. It can feel awkward maneuvering how to meet people or what to do on dates. After many conversations with friends, acquaintances and family, I find that there is always someone contemplating the same questions. 

In a world of situationships, friends with benefits, casual dating and social media, the dating world has gotten so much more confusing. The ambiguity of it all scares many away from wanting to partake in our generation’s dating scene. Given that college is a period of growth and maturation, everyone is struggling to find their identities. So breakups, flings, and everything in between are nature’s passing storm. 

“I think a lot of people believe there’s no excuse to not have someone. You should only have someone romantically if you want it,” said health and society sophomore Isabella Flores. “I would say (dating) causes stress for people who don’t necessarily have someone because they feel like they’re the odd one out.” 

For those who don’t want to be in relationships, there can be a stigma around never having dated before or simply being single. There are so many reasons as to why people don’t date, ranging from wanting to commit more time to school or that there just aren’t many opportunities to meet new people. Dating is something that should be a progression instead of forced, and in the meantime, you can cultivate a love for yourself. 

Self-love is something that comes before a relationship, and practicing self-love is good for personal development and bettering relationships. In order to have a healthy, committed relationship, you should be able to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Although the whole self-love narrative may seem overplayed, forming a robust relationship with yourself is equally as important. Additionally, platonic relationships provide a place to seek advice, moral support and companionship without romantic pressure. 

“I feel like there’s a lot of things that you have to look upon yourself to understand why you’re feeling that way because there’s so many other factors that you can reach out to from other people platonically to get those things that you don’t need a romantic relationship for,” said environmental engineering sophomore Rheanna Patel. 

A romantic relationship isn’t going to provide you with ultimate fulfillment. Developing a relationship with yourself will give you the ability to love and appreciate other people. 

The collegiate dating world can be extremely difficult to navigate. Even in a school as big as UT, it can be hard to find “the one,” and you may feel as though your options are limited. The pursuit isn’t worth forcing connections or stressing yourself out over. Taking the time to cultivate a relationship with yourself will allow for better future romantic and even platonic relationships. 

So as the phenomenon of Valentine’s Day approaches and passes, perhaps we can demonstrate more love to ourselves instead of painstakingly stressing out over dating or not dating. 

Shenoy is an economics sophomore from Houston, Texas.

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