a note on love, life, and relationships.

I know. I know I write on love and loss and relationships quite a bit. I know it might be strange to give as much relationship advice as I do since I’m the one who’s single. And I know there is more to life than finding him/her and spending your mornings waking up to the smell of blueberry pancakes and your favorite song playing softly in the kitchen as they take your hands and dance you around the kitchen.

I know that.

But this whole hopeless romantic who believes in love and fairytales and happily ever afters has been such a big part of me for as long as I can remember. I find joy in hearing of two people finally figuring their relationship out. I find comfort in knowing that somewhere there is a soul that matches mine.

Don’t get me wrong, I am as independent as they come. It’s one of my favorite things I got from my mama. And I think it’s one of my dad’s favorite things about her, too. She and my daddy didn’t just have a wedding 25 years ago, they have a marriage that has survived three kids, countless beginnings in new houses as we moved across the states and the country so my parents could follow their dreams within the Air Force, and the death of my older brother.

They still hold hands when we go out, and they spend quiet mornings on our front porch together enjoying a few minutes of peace before one leaves for work.

They still have fun doing even the smallest things together like grocery shopping or walking the dogs.

They love and they love hard. They are each other’s best friends and, from a biased daughter’s point of view, each other’s soulmates.

I believe in love because I see it in them each and every day. Even when I am not with them, I feel it.

My dad has spent my 22 years of life setting a high standard for the guy I will eventually marry, and my mother, a constant reminder of the way I deserve to be treated.

I don’t wake up each day hurting to be in a relationship, but after two serious boyfriends I naively thought I’d be spending the rest of my life with, I know now what and who I deserve.

Being a millennial, I’ve been grouped into what has been labeled the “hook-up” generation.

But I find myself on the outskirts of that.

The idea of finding myself in bed with a stranger I met at some bar doesn’t thrill me. The idea of giving myself to someone who doesn’t care enough to ask about my childhood or the scars on my legs doesn’t excite me.

I understand it, I do. People become so fearful of being with one person for the rest of their lives, and they can’t commit.

Being an old-fashioned romantic in a hook-up generation is easily one of the most frustrating and disheartening things.

I want the courting, the dating, the “will you be my girlfriend?” because there is an incredible magic found in all that that you can’t just find and never will find in a one-night stand with a stranger you meet at the bar.

I’m 22 now. And who knows? Maybe that someone will come in the next month, but I’ve got a whole life time to find them.

A relationship like my parents is worth that wait.