By Kat Schneider
Today is Half-Priced Chocolate Day, which means yesterday was Valentine’s Day, a day where love is in the air along with the smell of fresh flowers and sweets. Or if you’re a single singleton like me, then it is not much different from any other day, and that’s okay. Regardless of whether or not you shared it with a special someone or your Netflix account and lab reports, Valentine’s Day is a holiday that reminds us to share a little love with those around us. Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to call your mom to tell her you love her and ask her to be your Valentine. However, before you can have an actual romantic valentine, you have to navigate this pretty tricky path known as dating.
I know some of those who are not currently in a relationship call Valentine’s Day “Singles Awareness Day” and lament the lack of a special connection with another individual. Well, that is just hogwash, let me tell you. Yes, being single in college can be somewhat disheartening. As a junior, just scrolling through Facebook shows me how many of my friends are in relationships, engaged, or married. Some are even welcoming little blessings into their family. Scary, right? I’ve never even been on a real date—or at least something that has been mutually agreed upon as being called a date—while people my age are already starting families. But that was their timeline, not mine.
I always struggled with that concept. I compared my lack of a love life with theirs all the time. Especially with social media, we college students are surrounded with relationship statuses and updates from our peers. We tend to say to ourselves, “Well, they are in a relationship. What am I doing wrong? Will anyone ever like me? I’m going to be forever alone.” (Disclaimer: No matter how many guy friends I have or how many years I’ve spent with my brothers, I am still not fluent in male. So while I understand them better than some women, I in no way claim I can speak to their viewpoints as well as I can women. Sorry!) For a while, I lived in that school of thought. Their dating path looked a lot greener than mine.
Then, in sophomore year, I talked to Carmen DeCelle, a wonderful woman whom I highly encourage everyone to talk to (especially the ladies). She literally laughed at my timeline. Not to be mean, but because it was my timeline, not God’s. I had it all figured out. I would meet this great Catholic guy at school. He’d ask me out. We would go on dates around Blacksburg. We’d fall in love. We would get married after graduation in June and then go on to do what all married couples are called to do. Cute, right? So why wasn’t it all going like I had it mapped out in my head? As Carmen pointed out to me, it was a map that I made for my path.
The path to dating will never be easy—almost nothing that is worth something is ever easy. But our maps that we plan out won’t make our journey much easier either. It might even take us off the correct path completely. That’s because it isn’t God’s map. In fact, God doesn’t even need a map to navigate the path. He already knows the way. He knows what, or I guess I should say who, lies at the end of the path. All He is asking us single singletons—who are worried about the journey or if there is actually someone at the end or how banged up we might get along the way – to do is to throw away our plans and put our faith and trust in Him.
Any person in a committed relationship will tell you it wasn’t easy. They will all have different stories of how they met, when they first started to fall in love, the struggles they had along the way, how they overcame them, etc. But one thing is always the same: a successful relationship is centered around God. Neither person has all the answers, but God does. Neither person is perfect, but God is. Neither person is capable of being the solution to all of the other’s struggles, but God is. Neither person can love each other fully and with all of their being more than anything else, but God can.
Those successful relationships are not without flaws. At Newman, we are blessed to have great people to talk to about successful relationships at almost every stage: dating, engaged, or married. I am sure each of them will tell you their dating path was not without hills to climb, dark areas to navigate, or a couple tumbles. But every person has God with them, offering a hand to help them up those hills, through the darkness, and up from the tumbles. Because no one can love us more than God can and does every moment of every day.
So, again I will say, dating is hard. And don’t I know that being single can be hard too. But if you can trust God, who will always have your best interest in mind, then it does get easier. If God is calling you to the married life, do you really think He would do it so you could be forever alone? He definitely has someone in mind for you. You may know the person, or maybe you haven’t met them yet. But what you think you need now and what God knows you need now can be different. God is beyond the human construct of time, so your timeline is kind of irrelevant in His grand scheme of things. You just have to put your trust in Him that He will help you find your future valentine.
Kat Schneider is a junior Multimedia Journalism major with minors in Pop Culture, Creative Writing, and collecting fun facts to share with all of her friends.