Love is a many splendored thing. Love is blind. Love is a battlefield. Love is an ever-fixed mark. I know what love’ is, but what does any of that really mean? I do know what that means in the abstract—I’m no fool, though apparently love could take care of that too.

The sun is out again at BYU, and with it has come a new wave of chipper and freshly impassioned couples. Of course, the same thing happened when Jack Frost came through, also when the school year began… I’m getting the sense that this is not an event at BYU, but a constant bombardment. The exchange between the BYU atmosphere and its resulting pairing off has the unfortunate collateral damage of breeding bitterness in the continually single, but in me it only inspires bafflement.

I am particularly in awe of the girls that are making eternal decisions at the tender age of 18. Who gave them the inner authority or the power to make those kinds of decisions? I’m not saying that they don’t have it, and I know that you can get married that young and stay happily married for eternity, but I feel inside myself a giant hole where the confidence to make that kind of decision at my age would be. When big decisions face me, not even relevant to my eternal happiness, I’m the first one to declare myself too young to make that call.

If I am continually baffled by this hamster wheel of spouse-searching, I can only imagine what it feels like for the returned missionaries on campus still flying solo, and getting nearer and nearer to the dreaded 25 where their single status renders them additionally a menace to society.’

The feeling that immediately follows the hopelessness of the above situation is a reluctant rejection of the soul mate search and an adoption of the who can I be happy with” syndrome. I think that both options are valid, though it would be the stuff of novels for someone to turn down a lot of good ones in their life only to die alone because they never found the one.’

I guess I’ve been arbitrarily spoon-fed the idea of a soul mate my whole life (and thought it was delicious!). Between my inexplicable fascination with romantic movies (particularly those made before 1950), and my sincere belief that my own parents really are soul mates, I guess the soul mate avenue is the one I’ve always wanted to stroll down (preferably arm in arm with some wonderful man).

So when my returned missionary friends are reverting to the let’s just find a great person’ avenue, it feels like settling, even when I know there is nothing wrong with just finding a wonderful person that you are compatible with and faithfully loving them for the rest of eternity.

I’m mostly living vicariously in these thoughts- after all my bafflement with baby brides would include myself if I were looking to get married at this age, but BYU inadvertently (or advertantly) puts people in the marriage mode. The question remains though, even if I’m dead set in the once-in-an-eternity, stuff-of-fairytales, only-one-for-me kind of love; how will I know when I find that? Maybe that’s a dumb question, but on the off chance that I ever fill that authority for big decisions hole inside myself; there’s still the whole, being able to recognize something I’ve never had before. When you’ve never had it before, how do you know what it feels like? How do you know if this is it?

I was watching a movie the other day and there was a scene in which a girl has been fired from her job as a production assistant in a film studio and in a fit of desperation applies to be on the staff of a newspaper. Skeptical of her abilities with language since she’s only ever worked with TV the interviewer turns her away, but as she’s leaving says “define irony.” My answer to my own love query is the same as her answer to that irony question; “I can’t really define it, but I’ll know it when I see it.”