There’s something so hollow about descriptions of love and unrequited love and crushes to me, and it could just be because everyone loves describing it probably as much as they love feeling it too. Sometimes people are so animated in talking about their feelings, that I can’t help but wonder if they prefer the sensation over the people they feel it towards themselves. I don’t actively seek out articles on the subject (nor do I really write about it) but I work for a website that is the mecca of all things Love and so I am absorbed in a lot of the content on a regular basis. It’s funny to comb through these essays and see how many people think they’ve nailed what it’s like. It’s funny to read through the similarities and differences, the overlapping ideas, all the personal stories.
Sometimes reading these essays makes me feel like I’m being suffocated in some giant, fluffy pink cloud of love love love love love where everyone else is sleepy eyed and slow.
Only recently did I learn that some people genuinely have a fear of never feeling love again. I’ve only ever really considered whether multiple people could ever feel love towards me, but I wonder if it’s because I have an overwhelming need to please people a lot of the time.
The whole thing reminds me of a Joan Didion quote that I feel like I will later on be embarrassed I even put in here, about how one of the double-edged swords of being in your early 20s is experiencing this fierce conviction that “nothing like this, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, has ever happened to anyone before.” That’s how I feel about essays on love.
But this isn’t necessarily an essay on love because I do not love you. You do not make me want to write poetry (I am terrible at writing poetry), thoughts of you do not distract me (they’re usually fleeting), and the love songs and love essays still don’t make sense to me.
I say this with almost no feeling. I don’t know if that makes it better or softer or just all around more terrible than just the sentiment of saying “I don’t love you” on its own. I say it matter-of-factly and without hesitation. I say it clearly and calmly: I do not love you.
You do not make me want to sing, you do not make me flustered or flushed, my heart does not race or get caught in my throat, I do not silently imagine your last name following mine. You do not make me feel like I’m enveloped in that giant, fluffy pink cloud. My eyes are still wide awake.