what IS special?

I can’t believe I’m already concluding my freshman year of college. It feels like stepping off a roller coaster; so much has happened in the past eight months. Only now am I taking the time to reflect and recuperate. One focus of reflection is my romantic life. 

As I explore relationships, I wonder: what makes a current relationship objectively special? Perhaps it feels special. But there were points at which previous relationships also felt special. Is it possible that a current relationship is more special than its predecessors? Is it even possible for one relationship to be more special than another?

What IS special? Can “specialness” be compared or quantified? I want the present to be more special than the past. How could I move forward knowing that I am leaving what’s truly “special” behind? This leads me to wonder: how do I appreciate my past relationships while enjoying the present? It’s not easy, but it’s important to not discount the past; in doing so, we render the present meaningless as well.

How could I enjoy the present when I know that, in the future, what I do and say now will no longer matter? I’m tempted to accept, axiomatically, that the present is always more special than the past, in order to dissolve my worries while comparing the “specialness” of a current relationship with the previous. But how could the present ever be truly special if the future must always be more so? Would the specialness of a current relationship even matter if future relationships will exceed it?

If my current relationship is more special than my last because it’s occurring in the moment, then my next relationship will be more special than my current. If my next relationship is more special than my current, what’s the point of pursuing my current relationship at all?

Perhaps I’m overthinking, or maybe I’m on the right track. I’m coming to the conclusion that it’s fallacious to think one can compare or quantify “specialness.” No comparison or quantification could be valid. Every relationship is unique and therefore special, in its own way, and the amount of “specialness” can’t and shouldn’t be used in comparison. I suppose that begs the question: what do we use to compare? What data do we use to make relationship-related decisions?