I have fallen in love.
I have fallen hard and fast and fiercely, and with great terror and lurching stomach twists.
I have fallen out of love.
It was sudden and shattering and I couldn’t run away fast enough.
I have been broken up with, and done the breaking too.
I have stared at iMessage bubbles popping back and forth, and felt the fury and sweats and swore to never have these conversations virtually. Until the next time, when I’m right back where I was, trembling, with my phone in my hand.
I have felt the anxiety of not knowing where the other person was, and the anxiety of not knowing where I was.
I have been deeply lonely.
I have felt isolated and desperate and wanting.
I have had almost relationships, and things you cannot label, and long-distance loves. And I’ve lied, and been fake, and pretended I didn’t care too many times to keep track of.
None of this makes me an expert by any means.
I’m not Carrie Bradshaw or Dear Abby, and I’m not ever going to claim to know the true path so many of us wish for. But I’m just sick of all the bullshit that exists out there, filling our screens and our phones and our ears with, “Top 20 lists to finding love” and “How to navigate hook-up culture like a bad B.”
There’s no room in those columns and posts to explore the gray space. None of these subjects is black and white. Emotions and feelings and attraction are things too subtle for blanket statements about where we stand, or how we feel.
I want to break that cycle. I want to break it, and dive into it, and explore the complexities of finding who we are, and how to care deeply for anyone in the small petty unsexy ways that make us human.
I came from a family that knows how to love deeply, strongly, passionately and in every direction. I feel lucky to have had that as I sat through 50th wedding anniversaries and cheered at weddings.
But I’m terrified too.
Many of us, me included, at some point tossed how to care for one another out the window. We’ve dodged eyes with someone the next morning in The Commons when six hours earlier we lay next to each other under the covers. We feel trapped in the paradox of hook-up culture, feeling uncomfortable with one-night stands, not knowing where we fit in when all we want is someone to share ourselves with. We speak with indifference, and laugh about the hearts we are trampling as our soul sobs for the one person we can’t seem to shake.
This column is going to be about love, and relationships, and college, and hook-up culture, and emotional deprivation, and salvation, and how, maybe, we can all do better.
I want it to be real, and attack the things that all of us have felt at one point, but never knew how to say, hopefully with a couple laughs along the way.
Stick with me here, because all of this is only going to get juicier.