March 16, 2023
You can’t sleep. You can’t think. Your hands get all sweaty. Trying to form regular sentences becomes an impossible task. Maybe you feel a little bit nauseous. (Relatable.) While these are all symptoms of disease, I’m actually talking about a different life-altering sickness that most of us have felt at least once in our life: love.
Falling in love can be so terrifying but exhilarating, heart-stopping but heart-starting at the same time. The necessary awkwardness that leads to something magical can be the best part of your life. Being in love can make you feel so complete, content, crazy, or in crisis. And when that love is reciprocated? It proves that every overanalyzed text, carefully planned Instagram story like, and casual-ish coffee run was worth it. Because it got you to a point of pure happiness. Our brains quite literally produce different chemicals when we’re in love. Higher dopamine levels create higher serotonin levels which both just end up making you feel giddy. Love can be so perfect.
But if you’re in more of a headspace to blast “Traitor” by Olivia Rodrigo instead of wanting to ever read that paragraph again, you know that some loves are just NOT perfect. I think Taylor Swift said it best, “Falling feels like flying ‘til the bone crush.” It can be so embarrassing to go out on a limb for someone only for them to burn the tree down. If you’re not one to get embarrassed (good 4 u, please teach me your ways), there are plenty more emotions that come with landing after the fall: anger, depression, rage, emptiness, like you want to break something, like you want to lay in bed for three weeks… Let’s just say, there’s definitely not a lot of dopamine or serotonin involved in heartbreak.
Letting ourselves be vulnerable in front of another person is already a huge deal for most of us. This is the generation raised on the Internet, so while we will always revel in others’ stories and maybe share stories of our own online, they’re always a little glossed over. We want to present a self that seems shiny and perfect and unmarred by the scars of life and love, unless it’s something we intentionally choose to brand as something heroic. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much impossible to do when face to face with another human being you potentially could spend the rest of your life with.
I’m sure that every single human reading this relates to at least one sentence so far. If not, certainly one word. Honestly… screaming, crying, throwing up can apply to both situations. Either way, these are all feelings and experiences that are part of human existence. It’s what draws us together and unifies us in ways, unlike any other creature. And I think that’s special, for better or for worse.
A late-night hang with the girlies about how That Guy did them both dirty and they never want to see him again or a casual Thursday morning in the library where a guy tells his friend about This Girl who’s got him smiling and kicking his feet can be incredibly bonding experiences. I mean, think about someone who made you feel like you were completely floating through air. Now, think about someone who made you feel like you were a crumpled-up piece of paper lying on the floor. We’ve all got names for both of those scenarios. Some of us have one name for both scenarios.
Whether you’ve found the person you’re going to marry, you’ve never even been in a relationship, or you’re on one of the countless rollercoaster rides in between, we’re all trying to fall and learn to fly before we crash. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got Exes or are currently sharing XO’s, love is what makes the world go ‘round.
Come be a part of the human experience of love and heartbreak at Coffeehouse: Exes and XO’s on Saturday, March 25! You can buy your tickets now at Liberty.edu/SA if you want to scream along to the greatest hits of any relationship.
Written by Anna Pender
Anna is the Special Events Manager of Student Activities.