Why Your Final Year of College is the Perfect Time to Fall in Love
A year ago today, I went on my first (and only) Tinder date. My roommate and I decided to try the app on a whim one night; I desperately wanted to delete it off my phone the next morning but decided I’d give it one week. From there, my roommate and I arranged one date each. Hers was the night before mine and was awful, so much so that I almost bailed on my date, but she made me stick with it. “Bailing hours before a date would just be rude,” she said to me. “Give it a chance and if it’s that awful, I’ll call you and you can make up an excuse to leave.”
So, I went. I still remember how I felt that night, getting off the subway and sprinting to the bar in my high-heeled booties, my hands shaking because I was so nervous. Not to mention I was late because I’d gotten off a subway stop too early. When I finally got to the bar, I saw his face through the frosted window and opened the door. And the rest, they say, is history.
If you had told me a year ago that I would end up falling in love and moving in with my only ever Tinder date, I would have thought you were crazy. After all, it’s because of stories like mine that we join dating apps and websites in the first place. We’re all secretly hoping that prince charming is one more swipe away. When I look back and think how easy it would have been for Niels and I to miss each other, it is crazy to me. Out of the over two million people living in Toronto, we just happened to be on the same app at the same time; what are the chances of that? What if my finger had slipped left instead of right and I’d bypassed him? My life would be so different now.
People will tell you that your final year of college is the worst time to fall in love, but I disagree. People will tell you that you need to figure out what you want to do with your life before you’re ready to fall in love and that a relationship is just adding stress to an already difficult time, and it’s true. But that necessarily doesn’t mean you should avoid it. Maybe I am a hopeless romantic, but I truly believe people come into our lives at certain times for certain reasons.
When Niels and I first met, I kept telling myself it was temporary. That I was not in a stage in my life where I could be in a serious relationship, yet day after day, I found myself anxiously waiting for our evenings together. He’d finish work, I’d finish class and we’d go out for dinner, or go skating at Nathan Phillips Square, or we’d cook dinners together and watch Netflix with his roommates.
Every day I fell for him a little bit more and I knew whether I liked it or not, I was falling in love. The first time we talked about our relationship was at his Christmas party, where we sat on his couch in our ugly Christmas sweaters. Quite literally out of the blue and with no context, I yelled “Ugh, feelings!” He nodded, “But I’m falling for you anyways,” he said.
I’m falling for you anyways. If I had to describe our relationship in five words, those would be them. There have been hundreds of times that it has been inconvenient for us and concessions had to be made, hundreds of times where the easiest thing for us to do would have been to give up and go our separate ways, but we always made it through. A month after we met, Niels turned down a job opportunity in New York to stay in Toronto with me. Months later, I turned down the opportunity to live abroad because he’d been accepted to school in the Niagara area.
Despite the struggles, I would not change how and when we met. That first year after university is one of the hardest years of our lives, so if you are lucky enough to find someone who stands by you through all that stress and uncertainty, hold onto them. It’s not going to be easy now, but when you look back on this stage of life years from now, you’ll be happy you had the experience of being in love when you were young, broke and uncertain. Because there’s comfort in knowing that no matter how crazy your life gets and how uncertain the future seems, you know one thing is for certain, you’re crazy about the person laying next to you.
[Photo by Julie Bloom.]