Ask Jasper: Tips For Troubles With Finding Love

Graphic by Sophie Reingold

Dear Jasper,

Everyone seems to only see me as someone they want to hook up with, rather than someone they want to spend time with and get to know. It’s flattering at times, but it’s painful more often. All I want is to find someone to fall in love with me, as I learn to fall in love with them. What should I do?

Sincerely,

Looking for Love

Hi, Looking,

First, I’m sorry about the hook-up situation you describe. Hook-up culture is toxic at times. Keep in mind that these people may not not want to spend time with you, but part of what makes this culture so toxic is that it discourages more long-lasting, emotional connections.

Hook-up culture favors detached physical relationships, which can be fulfilling for some people, but empty and disappointing for others. You are definitely not the only one who may feel hurt by hook-up culture.

Now, on to finding love. This might be an unsatisfying answer, but I think the best thing to do is: wait. In my experience, seeking love out, more often than not, backfires. Things don’t work out, or I get hurt, or the other person gets hurt, etc. Love happens naturally. Trying to force it by actively seeking it out won’t get you very far.

The more you might try to find love, the more you will lose yourself in the search. It is exhausting to actively search for love. Do yourself a favor, and take a step back. Relax. Be yourself. Focus on parts of your life that give you joy — whether those are friendships, academics, art, sports, writing, etc.

Love will eventually find you. It might suddenly appear, or maybe you will one day realize it was in plain sight.

Regardless of how it happens, I am a firm believer that things fall into place when they are meant to. There isn’t a whole lot that you can do aside from keeping an open mind and putting yourself out there when you feel ready.

I know that it is tough. But hang in there.

Wishing you love,

Jasper

***

Hey Jasper,

I’ve been feeling kind of down lately. Every girl that I ask out just straight up rejects me. I mean I have so many close friends that are girls that I think we would be good as a couple together, but they always totally end up friend zoning me. It’s gotten to a point where I [feel that I] will never find love. I just don’t get it, I am a smart guy, who is nice, a feminist, and not a douchebag. I’m just so confused why girls want to have sex with, go to dinner, and date these assholes who don’t even care about them, when I am a perfectly good suitor who will treat them right. Thanks in advance Jasper for any insight.

Sincerely,

a nice guy

Hi there, nice guy,

First of all, good for you for putting yourself out there. No one likes getting rejected, but you have plenty of time to find love. College is not the only time or place to pursue romantic relationships.

I know that rejection is rough, but keep in mind that there are a lot of different reasons why someone might reject you. You might never know why someone rejected you, and they may not even know why they didn’t have any romantic interest in you.

Attraction is weird. Sometimes we are inexplicably attracted or not attracted to people. There isn’t any logic or science to it. You could be the smartest, nicest person in the world, and that still wouldn’t guarantee anyone is attracted to you.

Your friends, however, do not owe you anything. I mention this just because you use the phrase “friend zone,” which can be problematic (with its popular connotations of heteronormative assumptions and entitlement), but hopefully you don’t mean the phrase in this way.

Like I said in the previous question in this issue, I recommend being the best version of yourself, and the rest will fall into place.

Be patient and respectful, and don’t lose all hope. College is a singularly weird time for romance — casual hook-ups or serious relationships. There is still time and space in the future to find the kind of relationship you are looking for.

Keep your chin up,

Jasper

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