Love makes you crazy. Literally. Seriously, google it. I read an article a long time ago,and when you first fall in love ( er, lust maybe), your brain releases cortisol, or cortisone, or methadone. I can’t really remember. I’m terrible with details. But I know when I read this article it really resonated with me, because even my sanity is just this side of crazy.
Think about it: how many times in a relationship, especially a new relationship, have you texted the object of your affection 150 times, or written all the lyrics to a song that you are banking on being your song in sharpie, on your chest, or bought a time share or stock in “ask Jeeves”? It happens. You lose your mind.
Maybe the reason you lose your mind is that in no universe does to make any sense to try to share lives with another person (let alone a living space). How do you remain authentic to yourself while compromising about the use of the remote? Love is what replaced the caveman knocking a woman out and dragging her back to the cave. (And yes, I acknowledge cave women also clunk cavemen over the head too). That’s why you’re in that daze of insanity otherwise you’d just run off and hide in the bushes. Babies would never get made, or raised, and we’d all die out.
The alternative to the elimination of humanity is a temporary loss of sanity, and for some people a permanent trip to delusion. Awesome. I’m not trying to be negative, I’m just railing against the loss of control of logical emotions. I’m not on an unlimited text plan, I need to keep my wits about me. And don’t even get me started about the role of alcohol. When starting a relationship that you’d like to continue don’t drink, or talk about your feelings, or talk. I recommend periodically grunting at each other for the first six to nine weeks. If your potential mate is still around, move on to shaking hands, sober. Don’t share phone numbers, or addresses or last names.
For a little context, I’m 42. And I was married for over a decade. I have three beautiful daughters. And if you haven’t read my “about” page, I’m a survivor of suicide. So life has lovingly thrown me a couple of curve balls. I’d like to believe that after this terrifying loss of control over my future I would be granted the luxury of responsible dating as an adult. That I’d keep my wits about me. It hasn’t. I have a teenage daughter, in another year I’ll have two. I shouldn’t be doing the same stuff they are. It feels wrong. Dating as a grown up makes no sense. I should have learned a few tricks over the years. Like how to avoid drunk texting. But so far all I’ve learned is maybe I’m under qualified to re-enter the dating world.
Honestly I’m not entirely against love, or similar emotions. Love is actually beautiful, mutual attraction, partnering, all fabulous in the right circumstances. And as much as I blow up about the insanity of sharing my life with another person, I desire it as much as anything. I probably could go for a solid night’s sleep more, but only slightly.
But falling in love feels overly-complicated. Remember that scene from “Say Anything”? You know the one, where he holds the giant boom box over his head playing “In your eyes”. Two things make this the most romantic scene from a movie… 1. She likes him back and 2. He’s not middle aged. If I’m standing in your front yard with a boom box (aside from the anachronism) I’m probably on crack. Or maybe I’m in love.. But at my age, either is terrifying.
The catch at my age is, I know putting myself out there results in a temporary loss of sanity. And unlike when I was dating the first time around, there is an internet, and texting and caller ID. There’s a huge risk of documented failure. It seems like this is the only way though, now that clubbing someone over the head is out. Fortunately, just like that really powerful thunderstorm, the insanity can’t last for long. Those intense, crazy emotions will burn themselves out and I will have either have discovered my matching awkward puzzle piece or the next person I’m going to have to block on Facebook. I’ll probably get pretty bored hiding over here in the bushes soon anyway.