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Cuffing Season: What You Need To Know About Pairing Time

It happens like clockwork; every year, twenty-somethings have this sub-conscience need to couple up before Valentine's Day. It might be due to the blatant advertising efforts from card companies or the joys of social media. Still, I have noticed that people tend to rush into relationships to be a part of a coveted pair by February 14th. As someone not in a relationship, I want to tell you that while being in a relationship can bring one joy, it is not the summation of your worth. I want to tell you some things that can change your perspective during Valentine's season and be as confident as Maddie in the mirror from Euphoria.

(Gif courtesy of

1. You did not take part of The Mass Migration

You are not willing to sacrifice yourself in the name of being in a relationship. In college, I first witnessed a phenomenon called Mass Migration. When friends began to date their significant others, they would migrate their lives to fit into their partners. They would no longer have time to do the activities they loved in favor of keeping their partner's lives intact.


The Mass Migration could result in two things: you absorb your partner's friends and ecosystem, or if the relationship ended, you were in the social desert seeking the oasis of friendship. If you or your friends are beginning to trek onto The Mass Migration, realize that your partner likes you for you. As a result, your hobbies, friendships, and passions are a part of you. You are the whole package, and maintaining activities allows you to continue growing.

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2. Dating ≠ job hunting

I had a crush on a guy; let's call him Marcus Aurelius. I grew up with Aurelius and, in fact, had a crush on him in high school. In the year between college and graduate school, Aurelius and I met for coffee to discuss a business opportunity. At the time, I was still getting over my Warner Cunningham and didn't have the mental capacity to begin to see someone new. Currently, Aurelius found his possible Faustina and is happily in a committed relationship.

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Image depicts The Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius on Capitoline Hill, Roma)

When I thought he and Faustina broke up, I direct messaged him on Instagram asking to get coffee. I wanted to see if the connection was still there. He said sure but never got back to me. A week later, he consistently posted about his time with his empress on a holiday they took together.

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On paper, Aurelius and I would be great. We are both hard-working and have the same values. But, I realized something fundamental. I should not have to sell the idea of a possible relationship to him. I realized that in the past, I would always think of myself as a job candidate and how being a girlfriend would be like a job. Dating is not job hunting. I understand relationships take work; but, the other person should realize the value-added you bring to the table.

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3. Act your age

Growing up, my mom used to say that you can only have 365 to be your age. You can not be that age again. In the age of Vampire Dairies and Pretty Little Liars, television would extol teenagers to act like adults. As a teenager, you could stay past curfew, or your parents owed you the latest G-Wagon. But, there is only a certain time in life you can be your age.

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COVID-19 has exacerbated a distinct divide among people my age. They are the haves and have nots. The haves are those people who have fast-forwarded through their twenties.

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You know those people. In two years, those who got into a serious relationship got engaged/married and are working towards putting money down on their future mortgage. The have nots are the people who are stuck in carbon like Han Solo. These people have regressed in the face of significant change. They went back home to revert to high schoolers with valid IDs. They have dead-end jobs or are in dead relationships, desperately waiting for the eureka moment. The moment of clarity.

Here is a video of what a Have Not is: Opening Scene from 2007 Universal Pictures' Film Knocked Up directed by Judd Apatow starring Seth Rogen and Catherine Heigl.

I am in the middle of this spectrum. COVID-19 made me realize that I am my judge, jury, and executioner in life. I can create a better tomorrow for myself today. I can invest in myself by working out or reading books. I can enrich myself with the friendships I have. I may not have found my forever guy, but I am content with my current solitude. I promise you one day you will find your forever person. I can't tell you when, how, or why, but it will happen like an inhale that follows the exhale. Please do not put an alarm clock on your life due to societal pressures.

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Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my blog! Please reach out if you have any ideas for content, partnerships, and more!

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