“When you’re in love, everything seems like a sign.” –Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation
You hear some people say, “I knew within the first couple of weeks that I would marry this person.” And then I’m like, “How? How did you know that? What indicated to you that this was the right person?” But I guess it’s just something you feel, right? Because you don’t actually know until you know. You just…don’t.
And I hate that. I like answers and absolutes. And because I’m this way, whenever I really like someone, I look for ways to convince myself that THIS is the one that turns into a relationship. THIS is the one that was meant to be.
Now, honestly, I am embarrassed to admit to this behavior. I hate the battle between Logical Meg and Lovesick Meg. Logically, I know relationships happen when both parties share a mutual interest and attraction. Pretty simple. But the side of me that crushes hard wants so badly for there to be some kind of sign that I’ve met the amazing person who will make every other guy I’ve ever known pale in comparison. I’m pretty sure most people have done this at some point. If you’ve ever really liked someone, you’ve probably spent at least a few minutes looking for signs, symbols, some sort of indication that you were destined to meet this specific person.
It looks something like this: You’re driving somewhere when you see a billboard for a superhero movie. Suddenly you’re like, “Chris loves superhero movies, and I saw this, and maybe the universe is telling me to call him and ask him to see that movie!” Or maybe it’s like how some people read horoscopes and try to determine the compatibility of two signs, or try to decode the real meaning behind text messages, because “K call u later” has to mean more than just to expect a call from that person sometime soon, right? We interpret topics of conversation, how our crushes waved to us today as opposed to how they did it yesterday, or any number of minute details that we want to carry more meaning than they really do. Then again, maybe you’ve never done any of that, but I bet you will when the right person comes along and drives you crazy.
For me, this behavior seems to occur the most in the instance of one-sided crushes. I had a serious crush on this guy in college. I thought he was cute, but who knows if I really wanted to date him, anyway? At the time I was pretty sure I did. I thought it was a good thing if he said hi to me before I said anything to him. I read too much into any text he sent. I tried to make conversation with him, sometimes just to see if I could interpret anything new. I’m sure I tried too hard. What a gentleman he was to not run away every time he saw me coming.
But now, if he happens to cross my mind—which rarely happens anymore—I feel nothing. I never thought I’d feel that way, though, when I saw him on campus all the time. Sure, I’d love to hear how he’s doing these days, but I also know I wouldn’t get butterflies in my stomach if I saw him again. So how is it possible to be so certain of this when years ago I could’ve sworn we’d make a great couple?
I don’t know. I guess it’s just something you feel.
Megan S. is an associate editor at Dating & Hookup. She's a big fan of pop culture, comedy and essay collections (but just a regular fan of any sport that isn't softball or golf).
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