Valentine’s Day is upon us! From what I gather talking to some of the sadder, less blessed members of the Gazette staff, not everyone is as excited for this joyous holiday as I am. Indeed, I hear that a great number of you on campus may actively despise the 14th of February due to your pitiable inability to find “The One.” Your plight moves me, and thus, I present to you the greatest Valentine’s Day gift of them all: unsolicited dating advice from a smugly satisfied partner in a long-term relationship.
Tip #1: Put yourself out there!
No one ever found the love of their life while sitting around moping. Start a book club. Join a dodgeball league. Audition for community theater. Do whatever floats your boat, but just make sure that you get out there and meet people. You never know which new acquaintance might end up being “The One”!
Tip #2: Be yourself.
Why would you want to be with someone who can’t love you for who you are? In an era where we try so hard to craft the perfect façade of a life on social media, it may be tempting to do the same thing when you meet someone new and exciting. Don’t fall into this trap though—the strongest relationships are always built on honesty and acceptance!
Tip #3: Don’t settle for anyone other than “The One.”
If you’ve ever endured a break up, someone has probably tried to reassure you by telling you that “there are plenty of other fish in the sea.”
This is a terrible lie. There is only one perfect fish in the whole sea of humanity. If you fail to find and catch this fish, you will be doomed to a never-ending succession of unfulfilling relationships. You may eventually grow weary of failure and settle for one of the imperfect bottom-dwelling creatures you’ve stumbled across—a misshapen, grotesque angler-fish of a relationship, if you will—but as your parasitic partner fuses onto your side and gradually absorbs into your bloodstream, you will always wonder what might have been if you’d only stuck it out and found that majestic marlin of a catch.
Tip #4: Once you’ve found “The One,” take your time.
You might think that your counterpart will be as excited as you to find out that they have just met the soulmate they are destined to spend the rest of their life with, but declaring your eternal love on the first date might not go over as well as you’d expect. When in doubt, play it cool. You don’t want to screw this up!
Tip #5: Seriously, don’t screw up. There is only one fish. Also, try not to think about the crushing odds against you.
Whatever you do, do not fall into the trap of trying to calculate the odds of finding your one true soulmate. You simply do not have the time to waste on the math required.
I mean this quite literally. There are seven billion people in the world. The average person lives for about 2.5 billion seconds. If you want to be assured of meeting your one true love before you are consigned to an old-folks home, you need to start meeting something like three new people per second, assuming you never sleep again. That’s a lot of dodgeball.
Tip #6: Don’t let fear push you into making a commitment.
Think of some of the worst relationships you’ve ever seen. How many of them were propped up by fear? Fear of financial consequences (“I can’t afford the rent on my own!”) Fear of disrupting social networks (“We share all of the same friends—what if everyone sides with her?”) Fear of being alone (“What if nobody else will ever love me?”) Don’t fall into this trap. Don’t let fear cloud your judgment. Live boldly!
Tip #7: Things are actually much, much worse for you than I realized.
This may be a bad time to bring this up, but I failed to factor population growth into the calculations I gave you earlier. I mean it might not seem likely that a baby might be your one true love, but babies grow up, and May-December romances are definitely a thing, so we have to account for them.
You’re going to have to pick up the pace. Right now you have roughly 7,000,000,000 people left to meet. If you meet three new people per second as planned, you will meet 946,080,000 people over the next decade. Unfortunately, the earth’s population is supposed to grow by a billion or so over the next ten years. Therefore, even crossing off three people per second, you will still enter 2026 with 7,053,020,000 people left on your to-meet list. You will have spent a hellish, sleepless decade continuously throwing yourself at strangers like some desperate second-year law student at an endless firm mixer, and you will still have over fifty-three million MORE people standing between you and true love than you do right now.
Tip #8: Consider dating your friends.
I can attest to this one from experience! They share your values. They know your secrets. They make you laugh. Since great relationships are founded on friendship, why not evaluate some of the contenders hanging out in your friend-zone!
I mean sure, statistically speaking, even a loose definition of friends probably only covers 0.0000001% of your total possible matches in the world—but that should kill at least six minutes at the pace you need to maintain.
Tip #9: Honestly, I’m not sure why you are even still reading this. Do you want to die alone?
The average person reads about 200 words per minute. In the time it’s taken you to read this far, you should have introduced yourself to an absolute minimum of 630 people just to maintain your already abysmal odds. I’m here looking at my serenely beautiful fiancée sleeping next to me as I type this, and all I can think about is how you are never going to know my happiness—this blissful wholeness of being—unless you start taking this seriously RIGHT NOW.
Why keep reading? What more advice do you possibly think I can give you? You might as well ask a Powerball winner to train you to win the lottery…except the Powerball odds are about 25 times better than your shot at true love, and they aren’t getting worse by the second.
Have you even considered the possibility that your one true love lives somewhere afflicted by war, or famine, or some sort of horrible viral epidemic? Time is of the essence! DEATH WAITS FOR NO MAN!
Tip #10: No matter how tough things get, always stay positive.
Forget whatever you might have learned in science class—positivity attracts positivity. Remember, the sun won’t shine until you put your umbrella away!