1. Try falling for a friend.
They know you, they love you. You know them, you love them. They also happen to be the gender that you’re attracted to. That’s all you need in a relationship, right? So date them and allow your relationship to change. In time, realize that the two of you aren’t going to work. Get fed up with his constant lecturing, and get frustrated that she doesn’t find your neurotic sense of humor all that funny anymore. Break up. In the process of breaking up, destroy the remnants of your friendship that were able to survive your romantic relationship, and also a little bit of your soul. Take a good lengthy time to recover before dating again.
2. Fall for someone you’re just not that into.
After a good long time as the “single friend,” decide that your problem is that you’re just being too picky. Find someone who likes you—some in line with you at Starbucks will do—and date them. Proceed to seek their comfort only to find that you don’t really want to talk to them about your feelings. Because you don’t like them that much. Feel lonely despite being loved. Break up over the guilt you feel. Reflect on your coldheartedness and lose all faith in love.
3. Fall for someone completely impractical.
Call this the “reckless abandon” step. Desperately search for love and/or the meaning of life. Get charmed by your best friend’s little sister, your professor or someone you meet abroad. Mistake the impracticality of the situation for intense, movie-style romance. Let this person inspire you with their different perspective on the world, instead of realizing that you have nothing in common. Meanwhile, alienate all friends who warn you about how naive you are. Eventually, let life’s realities catch up to you and force you to break up. Exist in intense despair as you mourn the loss of the person who was obviously your soulmate.
4. Download Tinder.
Drunk on romance and looking for your next life-changing love affair, find inspiration on Tinder. Be liberal with your right swipes, and proceed to have the same small talk over and over with different matches. Live within the conversations you have in your phone with them, ignoring the otherwise pleasant company of your real, human friends. Go on a date with your matches, only to be disappointed by how much you don’t care at all about them. As a result, become disillusioned with all 10 of your carefully cultivated Tinder conversations and slowly back out of them before deleting the app altogether.
5. Give up.
Stop trying to date. Learn not to mind that you’ll be alone forever. Have an awesome time being friends with whomever you want and flirt with everyone. Become closer to everyone around you because you have more time and focus available for them. Stop trying to fast-forward to a part of your life where you’re in a happy relationship. Be happy. Maybe someday you’ll find true love. Maybe not.
Armstrong is a member of the class of 2016.