Spring was definitely in the air. Although it was no more than 40 degrees F in Urbana at the moment I wrote this post, I could feel its first signs. The air smelled different even though no trees were blooming yet. The days have become longer, and I have gradually stopped waking up in a kind of stupor. And of course, the romantic targeting of every single advertiser in the area reminded me that I was still single (despite being a pretty) young woman. Actually, I’ve never had troubles with my relationship status. The love of my life was not around, and I had so many interesting things (like traveling, volunteering, and just enjoying the moment) to do in the meantime. But as spring was approaching fast, love fever was getting to me as well.
Do not get me wrong—this post is not about how bad boys are in the US. It is rather about a stereotypical attitude to romance that can give any of us a hard time, just like it happened to me in the past few weeks. I believe that every girl experiences similar things every now and then. And, I hope my post can be really useful to someone.
It all started on a bright Friday morning when I witnessed one of my classmates meeting up with her boyfriend on the way to campus. It was an absolutely idyllic vision, for both of them were beautiful young people in love. It is not often that I get jealous of others, but this was exactly the moment. I believe I got lucky in many aspects of my life. But I still wonder why it is always someone else going hand-in-hand with a handsome and talented guy from my campus.
To make things right, I decided to go out to the local club the same day and discover how realistic it is to get on with someone cute from campus. The place was packed with college students. Some people I knew personally, and others were common, as I saw them somewhere once or twice.
I’m not really a party-person, but I try going out sometimes so I don’t feel like an alien. Obviously, “sometimes” was not good enough to get a decent date. This time, I joined a company of girls I knew well. We chatted and cast curious glances to the billiard table where a few good-looking guys stood. From this point, I got shy enough not to approach any of the boys. And luckily (or not), I did not have to.
The next tune on the DJ-list was a romantic melody for a slow dance. To my great excitement (and great fear) one of the guys turned in our direction and approached our table. You cannot imagine my surprise when I found him stretching his hand right to me. I recognized him as one of the future graduates who also played in one of the campus bands. Too beautiful to be true, don’t you think? Because I clearly lost my ability to think for quite a while after that moment.
I will skip to the part about my desperate attempts to dance well and make small talk—both of which failed. I really started to like this guy (never mind his name), and that romantic feeling always gives me some flavor of inferiority. I do not usually suffer from low self-esteem, but being tet-a-tet with a cool guy, I always try to seem cooler than I am. No wonder that was a huge mistake. We went out Saturday and Sunday night as well. Despite my feeling of awkwardness, everything seemed perfect. I kept imagining us in a week or so holding hands on our way to campus. But as you may have guessed, it was not meant to be.
The guy just never asked me to be his girlfriend. Next week, I saw him at the same club hanging out with another girl from our campus. We exchanged our hellos, and that was it. Another disappointment took the place of a beautiful dream. Needless to say, I spent the next few weeks in rumination. Scenarios of rejection invaded my head, and I could not concentrate on what mattered. I skipped some classes and violated several deadlines. I felt disastrous and behaved even worse.
Frankly speaking, I’ve always been cautious about dating American boys. The gap between our cultures make relationships hardly possible. But this time, it occurred to me that our nationalities had nothing to do with my personal crisis. It looks like I need a trophy-guy, and the guy I met does not need a girlfriend at all. Our ambitions were completely different, and it does not matter how good or bad any of us is. What really matters is to look in the same direction.
It was Antoine de Saint-Exupery who said, “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” One day I’ll discover such a person—I know for sure. In the meanwhile, I’m going to enjoy life in full swing.