When You Like Someone and When You LIKE Someone

This post is an excerpt from Twenties Unscripted: A Journey of Womanhood, Writing, and Relativity. The full essay is available in the book, which is currently available for pre-sale here.

 There are a handful of men, some from many years ago in my history, who still pop up from time to time and get my heart going. It’s a visceral, involuntary response to seeing their name, hearing their voice, or viewing their photo. It actually happened twice in the past two days. Two different men, two different moments, and the same reaction.
We all deserve LIKE. We deserve to spend the silent 4 a.m. moments of the day next to someone whom ignites electricity within us. We deserve someone whose presence makes us feel capable of locking lips with the sky. We deserve someone whom we would love to sit next to on cramped planes and in sweaty bars. We deserve the person whom we feel an insatiable and instinctual draw toward. Hell, we don’t deserve LIKE. We deserve love.


Unrequited Everything

“But I know that life is not the movies so grand declarations of one’s feelings are often met with confusion, not reciprocation.”

That was a sentence from a blog post I recently drafted called “I Am Maladroit in Matters of the Heart.” I may still publish it. But, I write based off of a lot of ephemeral feelings and the feelings that were the basis for that post have now dissolved, only a few days later.

Nonetheless, I’ve been thinking a lot about unrequited feelings. My most recent encounter with unrequited love or lust or like or whatever you want to call it occurred a few months ago and I’ve written about it again and again and again. What can I say? Hurt feelings make for palpable blog posts.

The other day a friend of mine tweeted something about knowing when it is your heart that is hurt and when it is just your ego. It sparked a few thoughts in my head that I inevitably jotted down in the Notes section of my iPhone.

Looking back on my four month unrequited roller coaster, it’s difficult to tell how much of my ego was involved and how much, if any, of it was my heart. It’s difficult to tell how much of me wanted him to like me just because I liked him so effing much that it sometimes felt like my insides would implode. It’s hard to know how much of it was a need for reciprocration and how much of it was simply fear of rejection.

Sometimes the weight of our ego tips the scale. The heart does not come into play until later. The heart is a muscle of endurance. It builds up passion and attachment over time. The heart evidences our capacity to love in lengthy stretches in spite of the inevitable highs and lows. I do not know if four months constitutes a lengthy stretch. Probably not.

But the ego flexes on impulse. It latches on to how we feel in that moment which is why rejection is a dizzying but quick fall from grace. However, the ego is so much more buoyant than the heart–a characteristic that either serves you well or comes back to bite you in the ass depending on how much common sense you can muster up on any given day.  Its resiliency makes it easy to suddenly forget the rejection and forge ahead with the same person. Again. And again. And again. (Refer back to the three hyperlinks.)

The ego is deceitful and it will convince you that if you try enough, someone will finally wake up and see you for the knockout catch that you are. After all, it is your ego. It is already convinced that you are the shit, no questions asked, and someone else will see that, too. But more often than not, that’s just a lie. You can’t rewrite the laws of someone else’s attraction. When the heart is done, it is done. Theres very little you can do to ressurect it. It takes a sabbatical from the bullshit and does not return until it is more than ready. The heart is pumped by history. Loyalty. The ego is pumped by pride. Both will keep you holding on to someone or something long after its expiration date.