It’s springtime at Brown. Birds are a-chirping, flowers are blooming, and
underwear strewn frisbees are being tossed on the Main Green. And in spring, we see a lot of students pairing off two by two. It’s the perfect season for love.
Falling in love evokes fun images of joy, laughter, and stylized heart shaped body contortions. (Googling “love” also evokes weird websites of Israelis and Iranians virtually professing love for each other.) But if you’ve ever been in love, you know that falling in love can be a deeply painful and confusing experience, too.
Love creates all sorts of problems. Maybe you’re not receiving any romantic love at all, so you’re left unhappy and bored. Or maybe you’re in a relationship, but you’re getting too much love, which can also leave you unhappy and bored. Maybe you and your partner love each other both equally, but he or she just happens to be an awful fit for you.
But even if you’ve found someone with whom you jive well and whose love is reciprocal, it’s still possible to be unhappy in love. The people who bring us the greatest joy are the same ones who can make us the saddest. As poet and philosopher Khalil Gibran once wrote, “For even as love crowns you, so shall he crucify you.”
Why? Because when you’re in love, you are vulnerable. When you love someone, you can’t control that person, and that’s a scary thought for most of us. You never know if your partner will wake up the next morning and decide to leave you. Or if he or she will fall in love with someone else. Or if your partner will ever truly feel the same way as you.
I, _(your name here)_, cannot control another human being.
Think about that for a bit. Think about how hard it is to control your strongest and overwhelming desires (don’t make me list them… FroYo World… cough cough). How can you expect to control the forever-changing, incredibly complex emotions of another human being?
So, resign yourself and succumb to that awe-inspiring, vomit-inducing roller coaster that is love. Or, hope for the best, and make use of this highly accurate Love Calculator. Like Adam Sandler wisely put it, love stinks. But like all the other songwriters say, love is pretty freaking awesome. So stick with love if you’ve found someone who treats you well… even if loving him or her makes you wanna punch someone, cry, or run away, or do all three.
Until next time,
Got questions for Heather? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org