I anxiously sit in my Romance, Sex, Love, and Marriage class with my legs crossed, my foot shaking uncontrollably. As my professor goes on about love, I get light-headed, and at times, I feel as if I might pass out. My mind is not focused on the lesson but rather on my future and how worried and afraid I am of dying alone.

My heart races and breaths shorten. I’m what you call a constant worrier. I worry about how others view me, my awkwardness and, most importantly, never finding the right person for me. My approach to love has always been reminiscent of the “Old Man and the Sea,” but I never get a single bite.

I go through bouts of caring and indifference toward love. I hastily dress myself each morning in my cluttered room, not paying attention to what I’m putting on. Dirty clothes create a sea on my floor that not even Moses can part. Month-old coffee sits in my coffee maker as a petri dish of mold sits at the surface. I know the likeliness of women entering my room is slim, so the need to keep it tidy just isn’t there.

The more I invest in finding love, the more I have to lose. Even though I’m still pretty young to be looking for love, I hate and am tired of the hookup culture we’re surrounded by. I’ve had my fair share of hookups, but the “no-strings-attached” mentality creates a society that’s terrified to possess any sort of emotions. Having feelings can be considered “clingy” or “obsessive” in our generation.

In an article on Elite Daily titled “Why it’s impossible to find love after college,” writer Lauren Martin argues that options after college are far narrower. The pool of candidates at college has possible suitors, but when we enter the “real world,” there are many more restrictions.

Dating somebody at your job is unprofessional. Meeting someone at a bar reminds you of terrible one-night stands experienced in college. Career professionals honestly have a minimal amount of time to pursue love interests because of stress.

Sometimes I feel like one of these individuals because of the stress and anxiety I suffer from trying to make relationships work while trying desperately to balance the rest of my responsibilities. And when they don’t, I find myself in a state of misery and seclusion. I sport an inch-long beard not only because it’s November, but because I no longer care about how I look.

Love doesn’t work when you search for it. It’s something that finds you. That’s the one mistake I’ve made since graduating high school. A lack of happiness forces you to find something that makes you feel better about a state of loneliness.

The more than full-size bed in my room harbors only myself with laundry sprawled out all around me. My glazed eyes remain open as I stare at the ceiling and continue worrying about my love life, hoping one morning I will have somebody to wake up to.

Decades ago, people were getting married at my age, but with 40 percent of married couples getting divorced, according to the American Psychological Association, love may seem hopeless. I, however, am not one of those people who believe that.

Love is not dead, as long as we stop walking away from emotionless one-night stands. I personally can’t get aroused having sex unless there is some sort of emotional connection involved, which is why I no longer randomly hook-up with women. And even when I did, I got something out of it — hope.

Email Chris Burek at opinions@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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