We all have that friend—the one who has never been in a long term relationship, yet possesses a mouth big enough to contain all the relationship advice one could ever want (but does not)—and we do our best to take them seriously.
However, logic would dictate that experience is usually a prerequisite to giving useful advice, but not everyone gets the memo. I find myself somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, as I have never been in a “serious” relationship, but I have found myself in a bizarre array of romantic/comically terrible situations that, I think, grants me a seat at the table.
Because I almost always struggle with deciding what to write every week, I decided that it might be fun to get ahead of the Valentine’s Day swarm of unsolicited relationship advice, so without any further ado, let me give you some of my own unsolicited relationship advice.
My typical approach to helping my friends and peers solve their romantic woes goes one of three ways:
1. Dump him. Dump her. This is usually my go-to. I love break ups. I love the cleanliness about it, I love the drama of it all and I especially love how close a friend group gets through all the various post-breakup adventures. Most of the time, this is a win-win because there is no greater feeling than watching your friends shrug off the weight of commitment and be cleansed of the evils of monogamy, and I get a friend with a much more open schedule. All in all, your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner is trash and you are always better off on your own.
2. Ghost him/her/them. This may be my second favorite piece of advice, though I do not get to use it often. What makes this fun is all the drama that follows. Even though thousands of us live on or right next to campus, if one is trying to avoid someone else, the opposite happens. All of sudden, someone my friend met with maybe three or four times suddenly starts to appear at every late-night Wal-mart trip, open mic night at Jackson Avenue Coffee, or even in one of their bigger classes. Every seemingly mundane activity suddenly becomes a top-secret adventure as the whole friend group suddenly avoids the tripwires and lasers that are talking about real issues, which brings me to…
3. Just talk about it. This is my least favorite piece of advice, as it usually is the most effective. People, regardless of their current relationship status, walk around like gilded balloons. Sure, someone may look golden and perfect on the outside, but there is nothing but hot air on the inside. That being said, issues can be gilded, too. Confronting an issue directly is the only way to solve it, and not every hard conversation has to end badly, but if it does, please refer to the first tip.
I am obviously writing satirically, but my words are meant to hold a little weight. College is too short to invest all of one’s anxiety into romantic issues. After all, we are millennials and we have much bigger things to worry about than happiness. Just think, some of us are lucky enough to have student loans big enough to swallow our annoying significant other whole.
Abigail Carlin is a junior English language arts major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]