I used to love psychology. I loved everything about it. I loved social psychology, the psychology of personality, cognitive psychology, clinical psychology…the psychology of anything and everything. I loved knowing myself better. I loved understanding human interaction better. Anything that you could analyze through the lenses of psychology, I loved. I lived and breathed psychology as my major during my 4 years of undergrad, and my dream was to become a college professor and teach psychology.
I didn’t love everything about psychology, however. I wasn’t particularly fond of the rigidity with which you had to conduct experiments to ensure proper control of the results. I didn’t love how it wasn’t a “hard” science such as physics or chemistry, which made it less authoritative when it came to arguments. I didn’t love how career prospects were limited to research and counseling. No major is perfect, but I loved it anyways.
My love for psychology waxed and waned. There were courses I wasn’t particularly fond of, such as “learning and memory” and “biopsych.” I procrastinated and ditched class more often than not during those courses. Sometimes I didn’t like the professor. Sometimes I was just lazy. Sometimes I just didn’t like it and I could’t even explain to you why, even if I went through a controlled experiment.
I continued studying it at the master’s level, but somewhere along the way, something about my experience of being in love with psychology changed. It grew stale, and my passion had dissipated to the point where I had to use motivational techniques just to get through finals. I could no longer see myself applying everything that I had learned during my four years of undergrad to life. It wasn’t as practical as I had hoped it would be. Love is hard to define, but it’s a thing that you know when you feel it. It just wasn’t love anymore.
After five and a half years of being in love with psychology, I called it quits.
I used to love a girl. I loved everything about her. I loved her voice. I loved the way we could have conversations until late into the evening, with time passing by in a flow-like state as Mihail Csikszentmihalyi, the positive psychologist, would refer the feeling to being. I loved her scent, her smile, her touch, and everything that would put my neuro-receptors into a state of ecstasy.
I didn’t love everything about her though. I’d rather not go into detail about the things I didn’t love about her, but everybody has little quirks and small nuances of personality that are undoubtedly annoying. I was no different. She was no different. Nobody is perfect, but I still believed that we were perfect for each other.
My love for her waxed and waned, but I whole-heartedly believed that it was still love. We fought, as all couples undoubtedly do. Some days I didn’t like her attitude. Some days I was just lazy. Some days we just didn’t want to see each other and we didn’t know why, and no experiment in romance could have galvanized our feelings.
We continued our relationship for a while, but somewhere along the way, something about my experience of being in love with her changed. It grew stale, and my passion had dissipated to the point where I had to use motivational techniques just to get through dates. I could no longer see myself applying everythWe continued our relationship for a while, but somewhere along the way, something about my experience of being in love with her changed.ing that I had learned during my time with her toward the prospect of us being together in the long haul. Love is hard to define, but it’s a thing that you know when you feel it. Sadly, it just wasn’t love anymore.
In a similar vein, we called it quits.
People change. I still have an affinity for psychology, but it’s different. The memories are sweet even if the grades were sometimes bitter. I still have affection towards her, but it’s different. Our memories together are everlasting, but the residual aftertaste of the relationship isn’t something that you would think of as sweet. Sometimes, love fades. And when it does, to continue this love is to live a lie. And you can’t live a lie and expect to live a completely fulfilling existence.
In life, sometimes all you can do is simply grow and move on.