Comet Connections

Graphic by Anushika Chakravarti | Mercury Staff

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THE SLOW BURN

Freshman literature major Megan Tran was participating in her high school JROTC program when she first met freshman computer science major Anthony Abubakar. However, the couple didn’t have a love at first sight moment, as Abubakar was breaking up with one of Tran’s friends.

“I actually got the two of them together,” Tran said, “and she would always tell me he’s so toxic.”

Since the couple was in the same organization, the dislike that started their relationship blossomed into a friendship. Eventually, Tran agreed to go on a first date with Abubakar, which consisted of dinner at a Vietnamese fusion restaurant after JROTC. Tran is Vietnamese, and looking back, Abubakar finds the food choice funny.

“I don’t like that place now because [Tran’s] mom makes me food. Now I know what good Vietnamese food tastes like,” Abubakar said. 

Sitting together, the couple is clearly very close. They said that on their first date, Tran paid for their meal, a fact that Abubakar shook his head at. Their one year anniversary was in October, and the couple expressed happiness with their relationship transitioning out of high school and into college and the support it provided.

“We share a lot of the same interests and hold a lot of the same views. We’re really like best friends now,” Tran said. 

Tran had a few words of advice for those approaching dating.

“Be positive about it, because even if it doesn’t work out, you at least had an experience with somebody and got to know them better. That alone is worth it,” Tran said. 

A STATISTICAL ANOMALY 

Junior speech pathology major Mya McIntosh is confused as to how people are finding love at UTD.

“I see all of these dating events on campus, but never seem to find the one,” McIntosh said. 

This Valentine’s Day, McIntosh is looking forward to hanging out with her girlfriends and watching a romantic comedy. McIntosh represents a growing number of people making Valentine’s more inclusive. In recent years, the term “Galentine’s” has been used, where people get together to celebrate meaningful friendships in place of romantic relationships. Galentine’s represents the idea that there are different types of love, and that every kind deserves to be celebrated.

“I know the ratio of men to women is pretty skewed at UTD, but I honestly think it’s made our options even smaller,” McIntosh said.

McIntosh said that the school’s Reddit presence and the popularity of the Instagram meme account “UTD Bruh Moments” are further evidence that the dating options for women are limited on campus. 

AN UNCONVENTIONAL LOVE STORY

Photo courtesy of Alina Amhed

Junior biology major Alina Ahmed and junior global business major Ethan Cabrera met through mutual friends and made their relationship official after being friends with benefits for two months. 

The couple started out as friends who would hang out and quickly grew into what Ahmed describes as “a couple without the label.”

After being introduced to each other and then not talking during the pandemic, the couple hit it off. Eventually, the two realized that they grew up in the same hometown and had a huge web of connections. 

“We were honestly meant to be,” Ahmed said. 

The strange coincidence of their childhoods aligning and their natural chemistry set the tone for their relationship. One of the things Ahmed admires most about Cabrera is his curious mind.

“He is a big inquirer,” Ahmed said. 

The couple found love unconventionally, but the two have grown together.

“There’s work to be put into relationship if you want to be together … it’s not just frolicking through grass, like you also have to have hard conversations,” Ahmed said. “But that doesn’t mean that you guys aren’t meant to be.”


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