If there are any people who are arguably the happiest on earth at any given time, they are the ones who have just recently started dating someone, not in the “this is okay I guess, you’re kinda cool, let’s take it slow and see what happens” way, but in the “HOW DO YOU EVEN EXIST, YOU ARE SO PERFECT AND I WANT TO EAT YOUR FACE” way where are just instantly in an ecstatic love cocoon with someone you don’t even know that well, but it doesn’t matter because you get them. It’s that thing where you connect so powerfully to the core of who someone is before you know all the details about them. It’s basically a crush on steroids and it can make a person delirious with happiness and sleep-deprivation and it’s probably the best thing in the world.
And when it happens, these rare experiences of being totally in the zone with someone new, people tend to disappear from the rest of their lives for a while – you call into work one day because you just can’t bear to get out of their bed; you’re friends think you’ve died; you wonder if maybe you have too. People always emerge from this new dating whirlwind, but while you’re in it, you feel suspended in a unique way, made even more intense and special because you do know it won’t be like this forever. These are some of the best parts of how that goes:
- The way you put your hair up in a bun or ponytail the morning after spending the night with them, and go about your day, and then later when you take your hair down, it smells so overwhelmingly like them and you get that heady jolt.
- How productive you are when you’re overcompensating for worrying that their presence in your life, and their total monopolizing of your focus, is going to lead you the be unproductive. Over-correcting can be a great thing.
- How every happy or romantic song is now about you and your new person, and you acknowledge how cliché it is, but you don’t give a damn because this part of relationships is all about indulging in as many awesome feelings as possible, and you aren’t going to rob yourself of any of it, even if it means you’re just another lame person projecting your romance onto the same songs as everyone else.
- All the little ways you know they like you too. Not the making out or the sex or the fact that they are dating you in the first place (not that those aren’t great signs.) Things like the first time he/she tells you a secret, or introduces you to their friends, or encourages you to leave a toothbrush at their place…There are things that really show that they’re both building trust in you and making a conscious effort to integrate you into their life, as opposed to just keeping you in a separate part of it.
- The excited feeling you get when you see their name on your caller ID or get a text from them or a Gchat or email or basically any alert that they’ve sent you a message and have things to say and were thinking about you.
- Feeling a little stupid for being so giddy about something like that but deciding that being cool is overrated.
- How exaggerated everything feels. Like, everything. Their story about walking to get a bagel this morning is literally making you smile until your face hurts because the way they talk and tell a story and eat a bagel is so amazing. Bagels are so amazing! Everything is bigger and brighter than in normal life when you’re falling for someone.
- The way you find a positive angle to everything they say and do. Behaviors and traits that you already know will annoy you one day are temporarily adorable and brilliant and you love all of them. Short of kicking actual puppies or spitting on homeless people or secretly having a Swastika tattoo, there is pretty much nothing your new person could do that you wouldn’t be into right now. That’s how new love goggles work – we spend so much effort trying to decide if we like someone by evaluating everything about them, but once we’re in the new love honeymoon period, the way they make us feel makes us like everything else.
- How you don’t care about the details you don’t know about them yet, and you don’t quiz them about themselves because you are so into the joyful process of finding them out organically through conversations and experiences. It’s not a race to prove how much you know about each other in some weird attempt to solidify or validate your feelings by arbitrary measures. Your friend: “What color are their eyes?” You: “Uhh PERFECTION?”
- How you feel a little insane and worry about moving too quickly but ultimately realize that, as long as both people are comfortable with and everyone is on the same page and you aren’t letting the rest of your lives fall completely apart, there is absolutely no reason not to spend as much time together as you want, and feel as intensely as you want. Most people who advise against moving quickly are saying it out of fear.
- The way fear doesn’t really matter. Sure, letting yourself feel things and be vulnerable with a person is risky, and there’s a real chance that you could get hurt. But it’s worth it, and it doesn’t even have to go anywhere or have some big future for it to be worth it. For exactly what it is, for how you feel right now, it’s already worth the risk.
- The way you feel day after staying up all night talking (or, ahem, not talking) – exhausted and useless and blissed out, like there’s no way you’re going to be able to focus on work or school and falling asleep at your desk is a serious possibility but you’re not even sorry.
- This is the only time anyone still makes an actual mix CD for someone. Sharing a Spotify playlist is not special enough for the beginning of a new love. For now, it needs to be an actual CD.
- How much better you look in your normal life as a result of making sure you look good for dates. Like, it’s been a long time since your eyebrows and hair looked this amazing for this many days in a row. You’ve also probably invested in several new outfits you can’t afford. The superficial side effects of being newly in love with someone.
- The moment when you stop worrying what you look like about around them.
- The excruciating period of time between when you realize you’re in love with them and when you actually get the nerve to say it.
- The way you get butterflies when you think about something especially wonderful they said, even days later. You just remember some little detail of a moment together and BAM butterfly city.
- How, no matter what happens between you or where the relationship goes, even if it doesn’t go anywhere, just the experience of finding a new person and being so completely into them and feeling that possibility of…everything. It’s reassuring. Because we all have breakups and bad days and moments when we feel like maybe it’s not possible to feel that way about someone again. But then you do. And just that happening, just that exquisite time of unbridled crushiness, is enough to remind you that everything is renewable and that there is a lot of love to be had.