The L word: no, not “loser.” If you ask any college student, they’d probably say that word is their #1 fear, followed closely behind by not finding the class homework on Quizlet. And they have a right to be terrified. It’s called falling in love for a reason. It’s the idea of the fall. You don’t rise into love, that’s too easy. As the age-old saying goes, anything worth fighting for is never easy.
Falling is accidental. How many times have you fallen down the stairs on purpose? The uncontrollableness of the fall is what gets our hearts beating so fast, it’s almost like humans are adrenaline junkies. It’s human nature to feel wanted, to be listened to, and to be cared about — all items that being in love checks off the list.
The media has made young adults pretty skeptical about love due to some unrealistic standards. I’m not talking about expecting boys to write love letters to you (because simply, if he wanted to, he would) but more so expecting your partner to look like Brad Pitt. I’m talking about the things you can’t control. Looks fade and they aren’t going to get you far, unless you want to be a model. They can’t make you feel safe, they can’t make you feel like you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. Being imperfect in a relationship is the key to a perfect relationship. You have to be able to be you around your person. Putting on an act when you’re with them is just going to break both of your hearts down the road. Strive toward your own vision of perfection.
If you’re one who hasn’t fallen yet (don’t worry, your time will come) and you’re wondering what the feeling’s like, it’s being smitten 24/7. Being full of hope, promise and enchantment. Hey Alexa, play “Enchanted” by Taylor Swift.
Being in love (AKA having someone set up camp in your brain) is the most powerful emotion. It makes you do crazy things you never would have done without them by your side, and you’ll even think about what your life will look like 10 years from now. Crazy enough, science shows that the brain of someone in love is eerily similar to someone on cocaine. Love makes us crazy, and if it doesn’t, you’re not doing it right.
Falling in love is literally a science. When we look at photos of a loved one, dopamine and norepinephrine (the happiness chemicals) in our brain surge. These chemicals not only heighten arousal and increase your heart rate (you can thank these for those butterflies…you know the ones I’m talking about) but also give you the motivation and craving to be with your person more and more. Ever feel nervous around your significant other? That’s perfectly normal. That’s just our stress hormone, cortisol, taking flight. It looks like the feeling of having someone set up camp in your brain isn’t so strange after all. When we’re in love, our serotonin levels drop, causing us to become a little obsessive. Love isn’t seen as an emotion in science, it’s a mysterious behavior of the mind. We still know very little about what love is, but we all know it when we feel it — weird, right?
Love is a collaborative work of art. It’s not going to create itself. You and your person have to build it how you want, together. You have to work for it. Nothing in life is just handed to you. But once you find that person, you’ll want to slow dance away summer nights and stay up until 3 a.m. planning your wedding on Pinterest. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is a drug. Love is letting them have the last slice of cake even though you really wanted it.