In the wake of last week’s revelation about this mysterious “romance” feeling, I sought out romance-feeling friends. After talking with them a bit, I think I have some idea of what this “romance” thing is. And if I’m right, I’m glad to be rid of it.
Features that differentiate “romantic liking” from “friend liking”:
* intense affection
* exciting, thrilling feelings
* feelings of emotional vulnerability
* intense feelings of euphoria when thinking about or interacting with your crush/partner
* intensely missing the crush/partner and strongly longing for them when they’re not around
I recognize all those feelings! Particularly those last two — That is what I called “Lust”. I experienced it in high school, and then intensely in college. Allow me to say right now – those are SHIT feelings, and I don’t ever want them back. They are literally crazy-making. I did the stupidest, most insane things of my life in relation to those feelings. They were exhilarating, and crushing, and in the end I terminated all contact with the focus of these feelings for my own sanity. It still took me a year to functionally get over them.
I can see why those feelings are enticing. They are a powerful narcotic, as good as any drug, and with just as much behavior-changing ability. And they’re destructive as hell, IMHO. Why would I ever want to go back to that place? That feels like a terrible idea to me. I’d much rather stay being myself, rather than a hormone-led crazy-person. At least I know the love I feel for my best friend/lover is real, and a part of my core self. Not some biological high.