Liking people is weird.
You’re totally normal. (Well,probably not totally, but you’ve at least got a handle on yourself.) You’re confident. You’re comfortable. And then all of the sudden it hits you. A terrifying and uncomfortable realization….You have a crush on someone.
Then out of nowhere, your social graces turn to those of Forrest Gump’s.
You’re too quiet or you laugh too much.
They say, “Hey.” You reply “Good, thanks.”
You constantly bring up the one shared interest you know have until it seems like you’re borderline obsessed with succulents or cartoons.
And worst of all, you start reading into everything. They ask if they can have one of your chicken wings at the bar and suddenly you’ve convinced yourself that since your dining together, you must be on a date, right? And did you hear the way he said wing? Is he, like, suggesting that I’m the wind beneath his?
So why exactly do we turn into complete imbeciles around people we like? I think it has something to do with pressure. A pressure we’ve imposed upon ourselves in our minds. Sort of like if we’re not really us, we can stave off their inevitable distaste for us for as long as possible. But imagine if you didn’t feel that pressure. If you were free to be the badass little weirdo you are without any inhibitions…
As a transient being I’ve found nothing takes the pressure off like an impending move. (For christ sake, I moved in with a guy for a month before I moved to Europe just because we were having fun and my lease was up.)
When there’s a guaranteed expiration date there’s no such thing as taking it too fast. Instead, you just want to take advantage of the time you have. You recognize that you only have a small amount of time, so you open up more quickly than you ordinarily would. You’re not really so worried about messing things up by being your strange and crazy self because you’re strange and crazy self will be gone in a few weeks. So you take on a beautiful sort of ‘what you see is what you get’ mindset. And your imminent departure does the same for them.
In this way, these bizarre, whirlwind romances are the purest kind.
But a more sinister motivation that hasn’t escaped me is the idea that in an age where commitment seems to be the scariest thing, one with a set deadline can seem mighty appealing. You get all the benefits of taking the leap without the fear of being the one to ruin things. So while these relationships can be the most genuine in terms of showing who you are, perhaps they reveal our cowardice when it comes to dating. When the pressure is off, we go for it, wholeheartedly. But when there’s risk involved, accountability, we’re fearful, reserved, sometimes straight up awkward.
So I’m starting a movement. Date like you’re moving across the world in a few weeks.
I’m not saying it will work out… but I can guarantee that it’ll feel damn good to skip the games and dive right into the part where someone just digs you for you.