It’s Valentine’s Day. Which means you’ll probably see a lot of posts on social media of people in happy relationships, at least from the outside. Some of you might think, “Can’t I just have that?” or “I wish I was that happy.” But the question you should really be asking yourself is “Why does my desire for romantic love equate to having joy and fulfillment in my life?”

People, especially young Catholic college kids, want to find a lasting love.

They want someone that loves Jesus and will treat them right. And they think that their life will be so much better and happier with this person in it.

Photo by: William Stitt

As a big hopeless romantic, I know all about that feeling. I’m a sucker for Nicholas Sparks books and sappy romantic movies. I’ve probably watched A Walk to Remember way too many times than what is acceptable to admit. So I get it. We all want to find love.

Valentine’s Day reminds us of how much we want that romantic love. But if you’re not in a relationship, don’t waste your single days hoping for a boyfriend or girlfriend to make your life better. Trust me, I’ve been there. And if there was one thing I knew before being in a relationship, I wish I knew that.

I’m not trying to take anything away from being in a relationship. It’s true that being in love is awesome and incredible. It makes your head spin sometimes because you just can’t believe that God was so generous to put this person in your life.

But here’s the thing: That someone will never fulfill your life or bring you perfect happiness, so don’t expect them to. It’s just unfair.

It is not their responsibility to be the foundation of your happiness. Jesus Christ should be your source of lasting joy.

Our culture constantly reinforces in our minds this idea that if we find that special someone, we will live “happily ever after” etc… That this person will fill this void within us. That we will no longer have to be afraid of being alone. That they are the answer. Our culture constantly reinforces this in our minds, especially around Valentine’s Day.

But no one person can ever make you truly happy. There will always be a void in your heart that only Christ can fill. Why do you think there are so many divorces in today’s society? Chances are you’ve probably seen someone that you thought was happily in love, break up. Why?

Many times people are searching for something in their significant other that they won’t find from romantic love. They thirst for something more than just romance and affections. The romance and affections will fade over time, but the couples that last know that there is more to love than just feelings. A Christ-centered relationship means that you strive for the love of Christ with the other person.

As St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”

I know you’ve probably heard it a million times, but it’s so true.

We will always be restless and have this emptiness in us screaming for something more. And only Christ can satisfy that hunger that we desire. No boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, etc. can or will fulfill this responsibility that is Christ’s, so don’t expect them to

Photo by: Mayur Gala

Sure, if your vocation is marriage, you will find great joy fulfilling that vocation alongside your husband or wife, but Christ and His love should always be the center of that relationship. So if you want your current or future relationships to prosper, start by fostering the love of Christ BEFORE any romantic love. And what better time than right now??Your focus should be on challenging yourself, your boyfriend or girlfriend to grow in their faith and grow closer to Christ. In turn, Christ will lead you closer together.

Men- Be the spiritual leader. Take your girlfriend to mass or surprise her with a Holy Hour as a date night. If you love her, take care of her soul. She will love you all the more for it.

Women- Challenge your man. Ask him to pray with you or suggest volunteering together. Do acts of service. Don’t get so caught up in the emotional and romantic aspects of your relationship, but foster a relationship that brings about spiritual growth by having deep, meaningful conversations.

Receive Christ in the Eucharist.

Adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament.

Speak to Jesus from the depths of your heart.

Because it is only with quiet time with Jesus that we will truly find peace, meaning and happiness in our lives and relationships.

So I’m just here to remind you that, as Catholic college students, we need to be constantly seeking our true love: Jesus Christ.

He is the One who died for you.

He is the One who will always love you no matter what you do.

He is the One who just wants to be with you.

He is the One who has this perfect plan for your life that He just wants to share with you.

So trust this love.

Trust Jesus.

And I urge you on this Valentine’s Day, whether you’re in a relationship or not, to seek the love of Christ before any other love. Because that is the ONLY love that will bring you true peace and joy.

Without the love of Christ, you won’t have the blissful and lasting relationship that you’re looking for.

So seek Him first, and all else will follow.

Written by: Josie Kuhlman, Restless Heart Communications

Featured image by: Laura Ockel