I Know How To Be Intoxicated, But I Don’t Know How To Be In Love

Stas Svechnikov
Stas Svechnikov

I know how to be intoxicated by someone.

I know how to lock eyes with a person from across a crowded room and know that they are going to be the next great obsession – that I’m going to spend days wrapped around their naked body, that the scent of them is going to haunt my daydreams, that the feel of their body against mine is going to be the singular occupying force behind my thoughts for days or weeks or months to follow.

I know how to pick someone to pieces. I know how to delve into the darkest parts, the deepest of waters, the rawest and most honest fragments of what makes any of us human. I like to pour over the egos and bravados of the people I’m in lust with until I find the inevitable cracks. Until I find the places where they are not quite whole, where none of us are ever indestructible, until I understand what’s keeping them from love and being loved and moving forward and accepting honest growth.

I know how to grow to understand people, right down to their core but I’m not sure if I know how to love them.

Not for more than a little while anyway. Not for more than a moment or an evening or a week or a month until the passion wanes and my own curiosity fades. I don’t know how to love someone beyond remaining fascinated with them and I’m starting to wonder if there is any difference at all.

Because if there’s anything I do love, it’s a mystery. I loved the fragmented pieces of people – the insecurities that pop out of nowhere, the hopes that have no place to call home. I love to trace and decipher and discover the ways in which people do not fit inside themselves but I don’t know how to stand by and enable it. I don’t know how to accept the whole of someone. I don’t know how to support someone without pushing them to alter and change.

And I’m wondering if this is my fate. If there are people among us who simply were not built, were not programmed to love, even if we’d like to so badly.

Because the thought of love is certainly attractive to me. I want to be the kind of person who can settle down, can firmly choose, can calmly conclude that, ‘Yes. This is the person for me and I will love them until the end of time.

I’d badly like to not feel suffocated by the sudden return of affection when love pours in healthily and freely. I’d like to not lose all respect for those who choose to rely wholly upon each other. I’d like to give love and accept it back openly but the part of myself that can do that seems to be equipped with some sort of fatal flaw.

I don’t know how to be in love.

I don’t know how to accept imperfections, to stay when the stakes are high, to stick around and work it out when every bone in my body is urging me to run.

I don’t know how to not overdose on affection as though it’s a drug – becoming quickly obsessed and then utterly repulsed by the people around me. I don’t know how to take people in as they are – evenly, fairly, understandably and wholly. I don’t know how to not let my lust for people fiend a sort of madness that leaves me disillusioned at the end.

I don’t know why I search for that disillusionment. I don’t know why it always feels like a game that I must win.

And I’m wondering if I am the only one.

Because after a while in this world, you start to wonder if you are simply broken. If there’s a part of you that once was programmed to love that got switched off in the middle of the night – that you can never truly reclaim in full force.

You start to wonder if love is ever going to be in the cards for you, if there’s a way to fix what is missing.

You wonder if you can learn how to be in love – putting broken pieces slowly back together to form a new puzzle that never occurred to you.

You start to wonder if there’s some part of you that can love. Or at least you simply hope there is.

You hope that it’s just waiting for the right person to come wake it up. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Just another twenty-something figuring it out as I go.

More From Thought Catalog