Valentines of Villanova

Maddie Schieder, Staff Writer

Holy Grounds’ muffins are not the only things that are sweet on campus this week. Love is in the air for Valentine’s Day. The Villanovan was able to speak with a professor for their take on love, as well as interviewing one of the University’s cutest couples. 

Dr. Caitlyn Yantis is a professor at Villanova in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. She teaches a social psychology course that includes a section on attraction and relationships, which is why The Villanovan wanted her thoughts on the “science of love,” especially amongst college students.

“You may have heard the phrase ‘opposites attract,’ but in reality, the research shows that it is much more common for us to be attracted to people who are similar to us,” said Yantis. “Those with a similar background, values, interests and personality as us.”

College students are often eager to meet their true love and use a variety of methods to get there, including assuming that opposites attract. It may be surprising to hear that the path to meeting our “one and only” entails doing just the opposite. 

“One reason why we are often attracted to people who are similar to us is because they make us feel validated in our own existing attitudes and viewpoints,” said Yantis. 

This research Dr. Yantis speaks of can be shown in one of the cutest couples on campus. Senior Emily Gallagher spoke to The Villanovan about her relationship with her boyfriend, Ren Shenk, and we are feeling all the feels. 

“Ren and I met through NOVAdance, where we were on videography committee together and also club volleyball,” Gallagher said.

When asked if she thought that Villanova is a place for soulmates to meet, Gallagher said, “Definitely. Villanova gives you the opportunity to meet people with shared interests in on-campus groups or organizations, like Ren and I did. Villanova also allows you to meet people from across the country who you would’ve likely never met otherwise.”

Gallagher also spoke about one of her favorite memories with Ren. 

“Ren went abroad super early on in our relationship, and I was able to visit him over spring break,” she said. “We traveled around Italy for a week, and it was so amazing to have that experience together. Being so early on in our relationship, long distance and this trip helped us learn so much about each other and strengthened our relationship more than I ever thought possible.”

In regards to Yantis’ perspective, Gallagher was asked if she believed in the phrase “opposites attract.” 

“I definitely believe in opposites attract, but Ren and I are pretty similar,” she said. “It’s been so fun to learn about what we’re each passionate about and grow to share those interests together.”

These two lovebirds are so wholesome and are sure to put a smile on your face. So, whether you plan to celebrate Galentine’s Day or Valentine’s Day this week, buy that box of chocolate and embrace the season of love. Take the advice from Dr. Yantis, because who knows, maybe you will meet that special someone that has been right in front of you all this time.