AI: your next romantic partner

AI is slowly but surely becoming part of our romantic lives.

Artificial intelligence is such a fascinating invention. However, many consider it a threat to humanity. AI is invading the romantic world with its customizable partners—and as dangerous as it is, it’s inevitable.

People who are tired of getting ghosted, betrayed, and hurt, might consider downloading an AI application that replicates the emotions of human beings. Having an AI partner can be helpful to improve one’s relationship skills and boost confidence. It can also allow people who have been traumatized by a former toxic partner to find a safe space. 

But while AI may seem like a tool to end romantic loneliness, it isolates the person from the real world. It hinders them from facing their fears and healing themselves to establish genuine, healthy relationships. 

Out of curiosity, I downloaded an AI dating app last year. However, I felt bored immediately simply because the person responding did not exist. Receiving a good morning text daily feels good, but dating an AI sounds like living in a delusional world.

We must be mindful that dating an AI is way more dangerous than we think. People trying to build a relationship with their AI partner will share much of their personal information—not knowing that a company on the other side may collect all their data. 

As I think of AI dominating the dating scene, I imagine new debates emerging. Will texting an AI be considered cheating? Are humans now in competition with an AI? Will people find it hard to move on from their AI partners? Will AI increase anxiety in real-world dating? Many people are already addicted to their social media apps and I fear that AI will eventually become addictive, too. Being in a prolonged relationship with an AI will cause people to feel anxious when interacting with real humans. 

Imagine being intimate and vulnerable with an AI everyday. Reading and hearing exactly what you want will create a destructive comfort zone. It will hinder one from experiencing joy from actual dates and learning to evolve with a human partner. I also see it as a trap. When we constantly escape our reality to temporarily feel better, we only postpone our healing and the magic that comes with true love.

In Japan, over 4,000 men have an AI digital wife with a marriage certificate issued by tech company Gatebox. Although the number might seem low, it is still concerning. I firmly believe that this number will rise exponentially in the upcoming years. In the long run, the decrease in birth rate will be alarming. 

If things remain the same, AI will transform the world into a place lacking in deep emotions and human interactions. While change is sometimes daunting, we must always proceed with caution and choose to participate in what feels right to us. 


Hot take: It’s ok to “ghost” people

Before you cancel me, hear me out – ghosting is not that deep

I hear and understand you – ghosting sucks, and it hurts. But I’m here to tell you not to take it personally.

Full disclosure, my intentions are good. I’m not trying to gaslight you or invalidate your feelings. As someone who used to take ghosting really badly, I assure you that it’s not a big deal.

As the term implies, ghosting means to act like a ghost and vanish from someone’s life, abruptly cutting off all communication with a person you’re seeing or dating with zero warning or notice. Oftentimes, when people ghost, they leave the other person on either “delivered” or “seen” on all social media.

On an Instagram poll I created last week asking my followers whether they think ghosting is ok, 54 people voted yes, and 18 people responded it wasn’t.

“People don’t owe you anything. Sometimes getting ghosted is better than having your questions answered,” said 22-year-old Oliver Ocampo.

“I think being okay and used to [being] ghosted builds character and allows you to keep in mind that people are meant to come and go,” Ocampo added.

Some may argue that leaving the person high and dry with no explanation or warning is a lack of maturity. A recurring answer from my followers is the principle of mutual respect.

“It’s not a question of owing people. It’s a question of human decency. Imagine if everyone lived their lives on the basis of ‘I don’t owe them anything.’ The world would be a toxic place,” said Dean Dadidis, a third-year biology major at Concordia University.

I’ve had my fair share of ghosting stories. I’ve been ghosted, and I’ve also ghosted.

I do believe, though, it depends on the context and the person in question. If it’s someone you don’t really know who you’ve gone on a few dates with or occasionally talked to here and there, then I think it’s fine!

From my experience, the people I’ve ghosted were guys I didn’t particularly know well or care enough to reject them formally.

The way I see it, ghosting is still a rejection. I guess it’s a more “subtle” way of letting someone know you’re uninterested.

Personally, I don’t mind either way of rejection, whether it’s the formal message or being left on “read.” Both hurt the same, and I moved on. However, I do understand some people might need closure.

“It depends on the situation, but it’s always best to say something to close the chapter,” said Laura Matheuszik, a student at Dawson College.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you’re in a situation where you’re being ghosted, take it with a grain of salt.

I agree and stand with Ocampo — honestly, I don’t think it’s that terrible.

Sometimes people have their own issues and can’t be bothered to let the other person know. Others are just not good at confrontation. That’s ok. That’s their problem, not yours. I’ve learned not to let it affect my self esteem or question my self-worth.

Whether or not you agree with my opinion, I hope you understand where us “ghosters” are coming from. Hence, do not let the act of being ghosted affect the way you view yourself!

Now, the question of the hour – should we normalize ghosting?

Graphic by Madeline Schmidt

How the lack of romantic validation in earlier years has affected my dating life as a young adult

I was never shown any romantic interest, nor did I feel approachable, which explains my deep-rooted psychological issues regarding dating

Growing up, guys never asked me out. No one showed any romantic interest, nor was I ever considered one of the pretty girls in school.

In high school, I spent a lot of my time with the popular and pretty girls group. They were gorgeous, funny and absolutely lovely.

When I think of my high school experience, I instantly remember my days spent at the cafeteria and class with these girls listening about their romantic relationships and talking about boys. The guys were constantly gushing over them and pining over them.

I, on the other hand, did not peak in high school. I’ve also lacked a lot of confidence. I thought I was small, scrawny and wore ugly glasses. I was always on the sidelines. I was the “other friend.”

Within my first few years of high school, I developed several insecurities about myself. I started to think that I didn’t receive the same attention because I wasn’t physically appealing, likable or lovable.

On top of that, being a person of colour who doesn’t fit into western beauty standards made it easier for me to believe I wasn’t appealing to most people.

With this mindset, I sought academic validation instead. I focused on my studies. Getting good grades and being a “nerd” were my only personality traits.

I wasn’t completely opposed to the idea of dating, but I wasn’t actively trying to date someone.  The opportunity never came up. I didn’t date in high school. I didn’t get asked out until a few years ago in CEGEP.

This lack of experience in dating and romantic validation in my earlier years affected my ability to hold romantic relationships as a young adult. I had such deep-rooted psychological issues and insecurities surrounding my appearance that I didn’t know how to act when someone showed a slight interest in me. I still don’t – I think.

During my two years in CEGEP, I tried to put myself out there and explore the dating world, but I blame my insecurities for never going beyond a hookup at the bar.

I eventually became friends with a teammate who showed interest in me. We spent a lot of time together training. He was sweet, and I enjoyed spending time with him.

Yet, once we crossed that bridge from platonic to a romantic relationship, it made me feel incredibly weird. I started to see him differently, and it made me uncomfortable to have someone think of me in any romantic way.

It was a foreign concept to me to think that I could be appealing to some.

I sabotaged that friendship and relationship, because I didn’t know how to approach it.

Since then, I’ve tried even more to put myself out there and be more open-minded about dating, but every time someone gets too close, I don’t know how to act. I’ve questioned myself and wondered if I was asexual. Although I’m a 22-year-old woman who feels uncomfortable thinking about romantic relationships, the answer is no. I’m very much attracted to men and see myself being intimate with them.

A few months ago, I met someone through a friend and didn’t really think it could go anywhere — you know, because of all those issues I listed.

We started seeing each other as friends, and once again, when we crossed the line between platonic and romantic — I didn’t know how to approach it.

He was genuinely a nice guy. It felt nice to feel loved and appreciated. It was refreshing to finally take that next step of accepting that kind of romantic love.

He was someone who cared for me and understood me. Yet, no matter how much I tried, I didn’t feel the same way towards him.

All the built-up insecurities are the reason why I couldn’t hold any sort of relationship with him. I subconsciously appreciated his affection, but it didn’t go beyond that. It wasn’t fair for either of us.

I continuously either sabotage myself or avoid relationship opportunities. Perhaps it’s because I’m still not past my insecurities and can’t be emotionally vulnerable and intimate with someone.

They’re right when people say you need to love yourself before you can love anyone else.


Graphic by Lily Cowper

Horror in Paradise

Spooky new statistics show a major uptick in breakups due to couples costumes this Halloween season, as reported in a study by a local ghoul. The study was conducted with hundreds of couples aged 18 to 28 in Montreal, but is representative of a greater worldwide trend.

Students make up 66.6 per cent of the demographic surveyed, with 13 per cent of them being Concordians. Of the Concordia students, a dismal two per cent of couples are slated to survive this Halloweekend without breaking up over their costume, and one per cent is expected to make it through without a heated screaming match.

“My girlfriend wanted us to dress up as peanut butter and jelly,” said Ben Shee, a third-year computer science student. “Normally, I’d be all for a couple’s costume, but I’m literally allergic to peanuts,” he said tearfully during a phone interview. Shee explained that after he vetoed this idea, his girlfriend dumped him because he wasn’t accommodating her need to wear the thrifted pink crushed velvet dress she had gotten specifically for the occasion.

Perry Noid is a second-year sociology major who broke up with his boyfriend because of their indecision. “One day he wanted to be Toopy and Binoo, the next day he was set on Linguini and Ratatouille.” Noid lamented his six midterms in the coming hours, and his lack of time to deliberate and plan their outfits.

“Don’t you think my degree is more important than a costume?” he remembered saying to his partner, who replied, “‘Absolutely not.’” From there, Noid explained that there was nothing else to do other than end the relationship and dress as a Montreal Canadiens player for the seventh straight year.

Dating expert Diane Rott noted that this year’s breakup numbers greatly surpass those in the past, and attributes this phenomenon to what she dubs a “high-stakes-Halloween.” Those who have yet to soft-launch their relationships need a clear and concrete way to claim their beloved in a sea of Britney Spears and cats, and therefore turn to couples costumes. However, since people are so excited to properly celebrate Halloween after last year’s terrifying turn of events, they place an absurd amount of pressure on themselves to have the best costume and the best time, throwing all concern for the person they’re with out the window.

So, dear Concordia couples, please beware of these gruesome figures, and remember, the only thing scarier than being alone is having a lame costume.


Feature graphic by Madeline Schmidt

Long-distance relationships — could you make it work?

It can’t be that hard to live in different cities… right?

Long-distance relationships always seemed implausible when I was younger: how could two people be in a relationship, yet spend their day-to-day life apart?

I had seen my parents go on work trips for a week or two at a time and all seemed well, but my media consumption also showed me the well-known trope of girl and boy in a long-distance relationship: girl surprises boy, boy is cheating on girl, girl eats a whole pint of ice cream on a curb in the rain.

But while sitting at the dinner table during one of my parent’s dinner parties, picking the green peas out of my rice, I overheard my mom’s diplomat friend say something strange. “Yup! This fall, I’m moving to Sweden, while David stays back in Seoul until next winter. Then he will come join me…” A unique situation notwithstanding, I started to realize there are nuances in relationships, and different things can work for different people.

Fast-forward 10 years, and here I am, two-and-a-half years deep into a long-distance relationship. When I moved to Montreal two years ago for school, I was forced to leave my partner behind in our country’s quaint little capital. Although we had only been together a little over six months, and had initially planned to break up like most people do when they start this new phase of life, we decided to give it a go!

Ottawa to Montreal is only two hours by bus, train or car — so when I say to people my partner and I live in different cities and they initially give me a glance of pity, I must swiftly clarify that it’s a mainly-long-distance-relationship-but-is-it-really-long-distance since we practically see each other every second week.

When I tell people how long we’ve made it work, they always seem impressed — for me, it didn’t seem exceptional — we were just like any other relationship. It didn’t occur to me that we were doing anything different. Yet the more I think about it, the more I see the differences between relationships where two partners live in the same city, and those where they don’t.

Here are a couple things I like to keep in mind when trying to navigate the relationship landscape.

Communication is key

This may be one of the biggest relationship clichés, but it rings more true than ever when you have to decipher body language and tone over FaceTime or texts. In general, 20-somethings have trouble communicating their feelings efficiently, which can lead to frustration and miscommunication.

In my experience, I’ve found that I often get frustrated when my partner can’t match my “energy” when it is convenient to me: you could call it a remnant of immature childish behaviour. I tend to take my frustration out on him, which has led to me creating an unsafe space for him to express his feelings in the past.

Rather than shutting down and getting upset that my partner can’t relate to my current state of mind, I need to allow him to feel what he wants, without it impeding my own expressions. In short, it’s okay to be experiencing different things at different times — acknowledge what your person is feeling, and empathize with them without letting it impact you in the now.

The independent side of your relationship

When you’re in your twenties, everyone is always expected to be mingling — going out and meeting all kinds of people. And I mean, I like going to restaurants, or even the occasional party or park hangout. All around me there is a perception that being in a partnership — especially a long-distance one — could have a negative impact on the quality of your classic ‘uni life’ experiences, but I disagree.

Maybe I’m lucky in the sense that I hate clubbing — so even if I was single, it would never be something I would pursue — but I’ve found that if there is a basic sense of trust between you and your partner, you are able to do all the fun partying and mingling you want, without the pressure of flirting and/or rejecting flirtation. Instead, you get to go make friends and then come home to a heartwarming text reminding you to take some Advil from your boo thang.

Speaking of my boo thang, shoutout to him for being super kind and driving up to Montreal every second week despite the parking situation in the Plateau — love you.


Feature graphic by Madeline Schmidt

Netflix’s dating shows have a sex problem

The streaming service’s roster promises raunchiness but delivers an antiquated scolding

Since the start of the pandemic, Netflix has been pumping out reality shows left and right. Once the place to go for high-concept prestige TV, with early titles like “The Crown” and “House of Cards.” In recent years, Netflix has cast a wider net, venturing into the murky world of dating shows. This move makes sense, as while in lockdown, many yearned to be able to go out and meet new people, with casual dating being risky at best. So, what could be better than absorbing the sexy, flirty, and even awkward experiences of strangers, right from the comfort of your couch?

Unfortunately, Netflix’s quarantine roster did not deliver on the fun raunch viewers have come to expect from reality dating shows. Instead, it doled out a heavy hand of sex-negativity and falsehoods on basic human attraction.

This trend is no more obvious than in the streaming service’s breakout hit “Too Hot to Handle.” In this show, so-called “sex-crazed singles” are lured to an island vacation on the false promise of all-night parties and uninhibited hookups. However, in what can only be described as a horror movie-esque twist, they soon realize that they are actually going to be judged on their ability to remain celibate, while under the pressure of a cash prize that decreases with every sexual indiscretion. The show’s Amazon Alexa-style robot judge posits this test as a way to force the contestants to foster “real” romantic connections with each other, rather than focusing on sex.

What results is a show with a perfectly serviceable amount of relationship drama, where the contestants learn to be “better people” through activities like wellness workshops, and break a few rules along the way. But, despite the moderate fun, always in the background is an impossible-to-ignore puritanical view that casual sex is somehow incompatible with a happy and fulfilling life.

“Too Hot to Handle” is not Netflix’s only show peddling this ideology. Both the recent “Sexy Beasts” and the early-quarantine smash hit “Love Is Blind” fall prey to similarly regressive views. In “Love Is Blind,” singles meet each other through an opaque wall, with only their conversations to connect them. The aim of the show is to foster relationships not built on physical attraction.

Similarly, in “Sexy Beasts” the romantic hopefuls can’t see each other. However, in this show, that is because the contestants are decked out in ridiculous animal and monster prosthetics for their dates. This renders them unrecognizable, and rather ugly. Both of these shows argue that when dating, physicality is the least important indicator of compatibility, and in fact, we should ignore it all together.

The issue is, this isn’t exactly true. For the vast majority of people, physical attraction is, if not very important, at least an influential factor in determining compatibility. While yes, there can be a point in which someone becomes vain or overly obsessed with looks in their partners, as humans, we generally experience sexual attraction as a fundamental fact of life.

With that, pairing couples up with either no clue what each other looks like or no experience with each others’ physical touch could lead to some awkward encounters later down the road when they realize they just aren’t compatible in that way.

But that shouldn’t be punished, right? Simply not being physically or sexually attracted to someone isn’t a moral lapse. All these shows try to convince viewers that the sheer desire to be with someone you find attractive is a non-sequitur to romance and we should try to learn to date differently.

While I think most of us would agree with the cliché that inner beauty is what really matters, and that there are some real issues with contemporary hookup culture, it’s impossible to take physicality out of the equation for the vast majority of people. It begs the question why Netflix’s shows need to demonize this fact of life.

Furthermore, on both “Sexy Beasts” and “Love is Blind,” once faces are revealed (spoiler alert), all the contestants turn out to be wildly conventionally attractive. So, if all the options were thin, young, clear-skinned, seemingly able-bodied people anyway, what sort of message is this even conveying? What are the stakes here?

These shows seem to have to convince the viewer that the show has a reason for existing. Rather than relying on the fact that many of us simply want to watch a bunch of hot dummies create drama with each other like we have for two decades on Bravo and E!, Netflix needs to convince itself these new dating shows are all “social experiments” made to uncover some hidden dirty truths about modern romance. Thus, no, a show where singles dress up in animal prosthetics to go on dinner dates can’t just exist for fun. It must now spoon-feed viewers a moral on the importance of inner beauty. This leads to a series of shows with convoluted rules and uninteresting storylines.  There’s obviously space in the culture for thought-provoking stories on love and relationships, but come on, can’t Netflix just throw us a bone for once?


Photo collage by Kit Mergaert


Age gap relationships: Why we should stop judging and let people love each other

Who are we to judge what a “socially acceptable” relationship is?

I will start this article with my own personal experience. I’ve been in an agegap relationship for the past three years and I’ve never been happier so as a full disclaimer, I may be a little biased. My age gap with my boyfriend is 18 years; he’s 39 and I’m 21. For many, this may appear as an unacceptable relationship.

When we first started dating I had just turned 18, so you can say we received a lot of backlash and negative opinions about our relationship. To make matters even more controversial, he has two kids, ages nine and eleven. You probably just did the math in your head; I am closer in age to the children than to my boyfriend. Shocking, you might be thinking, but to me, everything is completely normal because we are a family just like any other.

I understand that it’s an unusual situation, and one study has shown that only seven per cent of married heterosexual couples have over a 10 year age gap (where the man is older), making my relationship quite uncommon. On a side note, women are older in only one percent of 10-year age gap relationships. It’s also understandable that you may have questions for me such as “How do your parents feel about it,” or “Do his kids like you,” or “What about when you want to have kids?”

Curiosity is an essential part of human nature and my current situation sparks the curiosity of many. Most of the time I’m open to answering these questions when they come without judgment because if I weren’t in this relationship, I too would be curious.

Knowing myself, I would be intrigued to know how a couple with an 18 year age difference can be so successful.

At the beginning of my relationship, it wasn’t always easy for me. All I knew was that we were two people madly in love, as cliché as that sounds.

The backlash I received was brutal. I lost most of my friends at the time (looking back, they definitely weren’t real friends) and he received a few negative comments from his entourage. To make matters worse, the people I was “friends” with at the time did everything to try and sabotage my relationship with him —  it went as far as inventing defamatory stories about my boyfriend. Also, they constantly tried to tell me that I would be missing out on my “young adulthood” by being with an older man. I was also constantly told that people would judge me when we go out in public because our age difference is obvious. For a while, I wouldn’t even hold his hand in public in fear people would judge us or think negatively of me.

For my boyfriend, one comment he received from a friend was in regards to a calculation you can do to see if your relationship is “socially acceptable.” You divide the oldest person’s age in two and add seven, and the answer is the age of the youngest person you can date. If we would have followed that calculation, the youngest person my boyfriend could have dated would be 25.

For a while, we were so afraid of what society thought about us. Every time we would go out we would feel ashamed for being together when we had absolutely no reason to be. I always think back on how I would have missed out on this amazing relationship if I would have listened to what is socially “acceptable.”

After asking people on social media how they feel about age gap relationships, to my surprise, lots were “pro-age-gap.” Many believe that if both parties are legally consenting adults, the relationship should not be an issue to anyone. I am in complete agreement, but some believe otherwise.

Many people are misinformed about age gap relationships. They believe the narrative that the older man is a “creep” or a “perv” and the younger girl is a “gold digger” or has “daddy issues.”

“We can’t make generalizations about all relationships,” according to Kristen Finn,* who I spoke to through my survey on social media. Kristen and her husband have a 21 year age gap —  she’s 35 and he’s 56 —  and they have been together for almost 11 years; married for six.

Another woman surveyed stated that “It’s just not right” for couples to have a significant difference in age and “The older person in the relationship is predatorial on the younger person who is impressionable.”

“I don’t think people should judge on what’s right for other people’s relationships as long as both people are consensual adults, they should decide what’s right for themselves,” said Isabella Hernandez. Isabella and her boyfriend have a 14 year age gap and have been together for over a year.

The definition of the word predatorial is “(someone) seeking to exploit or oppress others.” Calling someone “predatorial” is a serious accusation and it could be seen as defamatory if not backed up by evidence.

I have never felt my boyfriend has been “predatorial.” Since the day we met, he has been nothing less than kind, loving, supportive, and respectful.

“We don’t decide who we fall in love with,” said Romane Bocquet. She and her boyfriend have been together for over two years and have a 23-year age-gap.

I believe that people need to be educated on what it means to be in an age-gap relationship.

Love is love and that fact is independent of gender, sex, race, or age.


*This name was changed to protect the identity of this individual


Photo collage by Christine Beaudoin


The Broken Hearts Gallery: The art of holding on (and letting go)

The Concordian staff discuss what items they’d include in the Broken Hearts Gallery

Lucy is, to be quite frank, a hoarder. Every imaginable surface of her room is covered with a bauble or an ornament. She sees everything as a piece of art: her bookshelf is lined with trinkets — so much so that you cannot really see her books — and a selection of random items are taped and pinned to her walls. These items, however, are not as random as they may seem upon first glance. They all have one thing in common: each item is a souvenir from a past relationship.

I guess you could say Lucy has some trouble letting go.

Directed by Natalie Krinsky, The Broken Hearts Gallery follows a New York City gallery assistant, Lucy Gulliver (Geraldine Viswanathan), as she curates an exhibition consisting exclusively of mementos, souvenirs, and knick knacks from past relationships.

While by no means a cinematographic masterpiece, and despite its ending being obvious within the first 15 minutes of the movie, it’s predictability lent itself to being a somewhat comforting, feel-good film — in the same way that most cheesy rom-coms are.

That being said, its exaggerated attempt at creating a romantically-inclined protagonist, alongside the incredibly loose and ill-defined use of the word “relationship,” led many questions to cross my mind throughout the duration of the film.

Among them, how is Lucy able to fill her room with mementos from all the people she has dated? And why is she heartbroken after seeing someone for a little over a month? Ultimately, leading my cynical self to think: No wonder she is miserable and if she is always that devastated after only a few weeks … maybe she shouldn’t be dating.

Despite these shortcomings, the film did yield many relatable moments which offered opportunities for a good laugh. Subsequently, this made me forget the apathetic questions I’d been asking myself throughout its duration, and the irritation I often felt towards Lucy’s overt optimism.

One question, however, did remain at the back of my mind: What item would I include in the Broken Hearts Gallery?

Here is The Concordian staff’s very own Broken Hearts Gallery:

Lorenza Mezzapelle, Arts Editor

I only have one item remaining from past relationships: a stuffed toy duck. My two dogs use it as a toy now. Do with that information what you will. Depending on how loosely we are applying the term “relationship,” I have a roll of unused black and white film that was gifted to me over a year ago… it’s probably expired. I guess the toy duck is what I’d exhibit, chew marks, drool, and all.

Elyette Levy, Assistant Commentary Editor

Maybe the matching phone case I got us on a whim one day. We were both very spontaneous people, and I think that’s a bit what that represents to me: having fun by doing things on impulse. I also really like to tell people I got it for $8 at Lionel-Groulx metro.

Chloë Lalonde, Creative Director

I’ve been in a relationship for the past seven years. But from before that, I’m pretty sure I have a stuffed Spider-Man somewhere in my parents house (too iconic to get rid of). And if deep, ex-friendships count, I have a pink flowery mug and a little wooden tray that goes along with it, which still hurts to look at. There used to be a spoon and a little teapot-shaped infuser, but the spoon broke and I lost the infuser. That would be what I’d exhibit, I think.

Michelle Lam, Social Media Manager

My partner and I recently separated. For my birthday last year, he gave me a necklace that I’ve been wearing ever since. Maybe one day, if I have it in my heart to take it off, I will include it in the Broken Hearts Gallery.

Hadassah Alencar, News Editor

I’ve been with my partner now for 10 years, married for eight of those years, so I really had to dig around my house to find something for this gallery. After all my Marie Kondoing last year the only memorabilia I can find is a hard cover, comic book version of The Little Prince, given to me by an ex in the beginning of a relationship that just wasn’t meant to be.

Christine Beaudoin, Photo Editor

I’ve been in a relationship for the past three years. Before that, I spent several years as a single lady. During that time, I moved a lot, so all I have left from my past relationships are Facebook photos taken with Mac’s photo booth application. Applying rainbow-coloured filters, we made weird faces and kissed in front of the screen. For this gallery, I think I would have one of those printed and framed.

Lillian Roy, Editor-in-Chief 

I have a USB-key full of pictures from my first serious relationship that I couldn’t bring myself to permanently delete. While I could care less about looking through it now, I hope to stumble upon it one day as an old lady. I’ll spend a lovely afternoon getting tipsy and looking back on old memories.

Rose-Marie Dion, Graphics Editor

Last semester, I was in Melbourne, Australia for a student exchange and sadly had to come back earlier than expected due to the current situation. While I was over there, I went on a date to see a movie at this cute movie theater down the street from where I was living. I kept the movie ticket and put it in my travel journal. Everytime I see it, the first thing that comes to my mind is: aahh, what could have been.

Maggie Morris, Head Copy Editor

I ended a three-year-long relationship a couple years ago when I went back home to Ottawa for Christmas. When I got back to my apartment in Montreal a month later, I got wine drunk and took down all the photos I had framed and hung around my apartment of the two of us. I couldn’t bring myself to throw them out, and wanted to keep the memories (just, not on display to look at every day) so I bought a pretty box and filled it with the photos. I keep it on a bookshelf; there if I ever need to reminisce.

Student Life

The art of being single: Having patience vs. wasting your time

Last week, I saw a tweet pop up on my timeline that said “you gotta know the difference between being patient and wasting your time.”

While both may involve waiting on someone or something to come around or to change, there is a difference between being patient and wasting your time. It may not always seem like there is much that distinguishes the two, but the difference lies in what the end goal is and if you have any control over the outcome.

If you’re interested in someone but they say they aren’t ready for a relationship, believe them and let them be. Conversely, if you see that someone is interested in you but you’re not ready for a relationship, don’t lead them on, no matter how interested you may be in them as a person.

This might be controversial—so please don’t come for me—but I don’t think there’s such a thing as the right person at the wrong time. If it seems like it’s the wrong time, it just means it’s the wrong person, no matter how right it may seem at first. People tend to forget that there’s more than just being interested in someone for it to be “right.” Think about your mental stability, your emotional availability, your willingness to commit to someone—when it comes to people’s feelings, yours or another person’s, don’t half-ass it because that just ends badly for at least one of the people involved.

What does this have to do with knowing there’s a difference between having patience and wasting your time? Keep an eye out for these things to know where you stand with someone. If someone is showing interest but isn’t making the effort, let it be. If someone says they’re not ready to embark into a new relationship, let them be. If you’re only interested in someone for what they do and not them as a person, let them go.

What’s it like being patient, then? It’s being around them and feeling yourself become happy. It’s feeling their energy shift after a few days or weeks of seeing each other regularly, whether in a group or on an individual basis. It’s also sharing some tender moments and not feeling rushed or pressured. It can be spending so many nights cooped up in a car having late night chats, and your favourite thing about it all is the way their eyes smile when you look at them, or the way their hugs are a bit tighter every time you say goodbye.

And sometimes, it’s having a mutual friend that knows what both of you are too afraid to admit to each other.

Graphic by Loreanna Lastoria

Student Life

The art of being single: Rejection

How do you deal with being around people you’ve rejected? Better yet, how do you deal with being around people who’ve rejected you?

Were you rejected by someone that you asked out from your class and then had to spend the next 10 weeks in a group project with them? Did you turn down someone that you see on a regular basis, such as at your local coffee shop or the gym? Did you become close with someone, shoot your shot, were rejected then remained friends? How about the contrary situation where you become friends with someone, very clearly have chemistry with them, shoot your shot, get rejected then never speak again? Well, if any or all of these scenarios have happened to you and you’re trying to navigate being rejected or rejecting someone, you’ve come to the right place.

Whether you are the rejected or the rejecter, I think the same can be said for people in either position. The first thing to try to tackle is understanding the external circumstances, i.e. the possible previous relationship you had with this person or the routine you had developed with or around them. Do you absolutely have to be around this person again? Do either of you make it awkward when you—if you—interact? Is there bitterness on either end about things not working out as hoped? Truly, at the end of it all, does any of it matter?

The second thing to consider is the internal circumstance, i.e. how mature you are. This might be calling some people out but, hey ho, someone has to: if you cannot deal with being rejected or rejecting someone that you have to be around after the fact, get your head out of your ass and be mature about it.

If you are the one being rejected, don’t take it too personally—unless they’re bashing your entire existence, in which case, kick their ass—and don’t let it affect your day-to-day life. If you’re not mature enough to do so, I also have this to say: don’t make your feelings other people’s problems. Own up to your actions and emotions and don’t take it out on the other person for being honest with you. If you’re the one doing the rejecting and the other person makes you feel like shit for it, don’t. Rejection is a natural part of socialization and you shouldn’t feel bad for being honest.

Graphic by Loreanna Lastoria


Violence against women and Valentine’s Day

Heart-shaped balloons, chocolate and teddy bears are all part of Valentine’s Day’s trademark. We usually take this as an opportunity to spend some quality time with loved ones, or with ourselves. 

In June 2017, the University of Calgary released the results of a study on the connection between sporting events, holidays and domestic violence. The study revealed there is an increase of calls to authorities regarding domestic violence on numerous holidays, including Valentine’s Day.

As the holiday frenzy dies down, I wondered: how does Valentine’s Day affect women who are survivors of domestic violence? How were they possibly feeling on Feb.14?

Following the passing of two women, Jaël Cantin, a mother of six, who was murdered by her husband; and 22-year-old Marylene Levesque, who was murdered by a client, I read horrible comments made about the victims on social media. People partly blamed Levesque for her death because she was a sex worker.

This made me realize that we must address domestic violence and femicides more than we currently do. The Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability revealed that in 2015, women murdered by their partners counted for 45 per million population, which is five times more than the rate of men killed by their partners.

Femicide is defined by the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability as “the most extreme form of violence and discrimination against women and girls.” Femicides are primarily perpetrated by men.

We should see a lot more prevention measures about crimes against women, such as programs in schools about healthy relationships and gender equality, a lot more commercials about the issue, etc. The media must report on such tragedies. But what comes after awareness? Are we making a difference? Are we looking to change things?

A lot of women who report domestic violence to the authorities feel as though they are not taken seriously or do not have the support they need. Because of this, they are less likely to ask for help if their partners commit another assault.

This must stop. Our society must ensure a safer environment to allow women to speak up. We have to stop blaming and shaming women for something they cannot control. Parents and schools must educate children and teenagers, but mostly young boys on how to treat women respectfully. We must teach the importance of healthy relationships

As a society, it is our responsibility to come up with firm ways to learn how to prevent violence.

Just like self-defence is taught to women, we should continue to teach the importance of consent and the consequences of violent behaviours. This education should not only apply to men, but to everyone. Giving special attention to proactive measures such as consent training will empower people in terms of understanding the effects of domestic violence and consent in a fair way, rather than implying that reactive measures like self-defence, are the only ways to handle the issue.

Women need emotional and legal support. They should be able to feel secure and loved by their partner without any fear.

Valentine’s Day is not just about flaunting our idea of a ‘perfect relationship.’ It’s also about acknowledging the women who are suffering behind closed doors.

As we all enjoy the day to celebrate love, we also have to remind ourselves of the negative impacts that Valentine’s Day may have on women in an abusive relationship. Let’s not just talk about domestic violence, let’s find a way to change the way things are. 
Photo: Sasha Axenova

Student Life

The art of being single: Expectations

Why do people have so many expectations? 

If you’ve been following along since the beginning, or if you know me in real life, then you know that I used to use dating apps to try to find ~the love of my life~. I would spend hours upon hours swiping left and right, matching with many strangers, chatting with some of them, getting further than simple small talk with only a handful. I’d get attached to two or three, spending countless days and/or weeks talking to them on the daily, hoping that one of them, nay, expecting that one of them would be “the one.”

Extreme? Perhaps—at least I’ve acknowledged it and learned from my past, right? But even without the perhaps extreme nature of my previously delusional thinking, expectations in the dating world, well in general, are real and they are a cause for unnecessary stress, dissatisfaction and disappointment.

Why do people have so many expectations of another person? Why is there this idea that if you’re attracted to someone, you have to date or hook up immediately to satiate your innate, primal hunger? Why does so much time have to be dedicated, especially right at the start, to spending every minute of every day talking to them, getting to know them, seeing if they’re worthy, or even worth being with at all? Why is it that, if you like someone so much that there’s undeniable, palpable tension that can be seen from a mile away, you have to consider everything else: school, work, family, friends, etc.? Why do expectations rely on the circumstances you’re in?

If you find yourself attracted to someone, if you want to get to know them more, if you want to maybe even end up dating them, just go with the flow. The more expectations you put on yourself, on others and on situations, the more you put on the line and the more you risk losing or messing up.

Just talk, take things easy, hang out—with no expectations. I’ve learnt it and I’m here to pass my wisdom (lol) along to you all. Live life with an idea of what you want—I’m not saying you should abandon your goals/dreams/aspirations for the end goal—but be willing to go with the flow, to take things in stride and live with no (at least less) expectations for the journey to get there.

Graphic by Loreanna Lastoria

Exit mobile version