Every February, I always ponder what it means to truly love another person. With so many people thinking they’re too good for anybody else with a “forever alone” attitude, true love is rare to come across these days. The effort just isn’t there.

I think back to my grandparents, and I wonder what happened to the type of love that existed back in the ’40s. My grandfather served in the army during World War II, but the distance between him and my grandmother didn’t stop him from trying his damn best to communicate with her as much as possible. They sent letters back and forth to each other with photos of family and children included in the envelope. Writing these letters on whatever stationery he could get his hands on was all my grandfather had to look forward to.

They knew how special these letters were. So special, in fact, that they saved all of them and are now in my mother’s possession. Whenever I doubt the possibility of love, I pick a letter at random and read it, reassuring myself happiness is possible. Almost every letter starts with “My darling Dorothy.” It’s these terms of endearment that you don’t hear too often. Instead words like “girl” or “bitch” are used by single men to refer to women. Times have surely changed.

I’ve always searched for the type of relationship my grandparents had, but maybe I have to realize that this type of genuine love is almost extinct. Instead of writing heartfelt letters, we choose to send one to three-word text messages to conjure our partner. “Wanna come over? ;)”

These encounters are so transient that often love is confused for sex and vice versa. No longer do men ask a woman out on a date. Instead, swilling alcohol at a college party leads to a sloppy one-night stand. We expect no-strings-attached relationships merely for our own pleasure. Simply put, lust has conquered love.

Some wake up the next morning and don’t even remember their partner’s name. I hate to be a pessimist. I hate to think that love is dead. But rarely do I see couples on campus who look truly happy with one another.

The realization I’ve come to, however, is that love takes time to find two people ready for a serious relationship. And it’s also OK to be old-fashioned.

I still enjoy delivering flowers to a woman’s house. I treat them to lunch or dinner. In general, I try to take things slow before I hop in the bed with somebody I don’t know too well. A relationship like my grandparents’ is ideal for me. There’s a reason why their generation was penned the greatest. Unfortunately, I have a different outlook on mine.

Email Chris Burek at opinions.cardinalpointsonline.com.

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