Remember in the second season of “Orange is the New Black,” when Yael Stone’s character Lorna Morello broke into her ex-boyfriend’s home and took a bath? (Spoilers ahead, obviously.) She had gone out with him on one date and began stalking him after he told her wasn’t interested. She ended up behind bars for setting up a car bomb to kill him and his girlfriend. Watching these scenes, the words stupid and reckless went through my head watching these scenes. Lucky as hell, too. But as I think again of the sociopathic Morello’s infatuation, I realized that years ago, I wasn’t really that different.
Recently I found and began reading a journal from my senior year of high school. Much of it was filled with college plans, dreams and constant whining. But most of my entries were about a boy. Not the boy I was in a relationship with, the person whom I could actually say I loved. It was a classmate. He sat in front of me during art class; I had to look at him, and love at first sight was nearly inevitable. Focusing on drawing when he was present was impossible.
Years after graduation, I would learn that the reason I was acting this way was because of dopamine, often called the ‘pleasure chemical.’ Studies have found it’s crucial to the reason why people get obsessed. And I was obsessed.
Below is an excerpt, edited to preserve your sanity:
Every time spent with Lamont, I start to hate him. No, because I still love him anyway, so it really doesn’t matter. The thing that I hate is that he doesn’t seem to care about the fact that I said straight to HIS FACE (and not in a note) that I loved him and he goes blank-faced. He continues to go around acting like I never told him anything in the first place. Lamont does have a hard time showing his feelings, which Corey didn’t. Sometimes I just wonder how he’d react if I just walked up to him and gave him one of the biggest kisses I could ever give to somebody. Oh well.
I clearly already know at this point that Lamont, the boy I mooned over in art class, isn’t good for me, but I don’t care. The worst thing about it? Corey was the boyfriend I mentioned before. With Lamont, I never thought about ‘relationship’ things, as you can see.
It’s like that one slam poetry chick said, “The one everybody wants to sleep with, but not be with.” Do I feel that way about Lamont? I’m acting so hurt that he doesn’t seem to reciprocate my feelings, but I’m talking to this nigga like he’s already mine and not really talking to him in a sensible manner. Really, I should talk to everyone like I got common sense. Lamont is a human (a fucking hot human) and therefore I need to have a certain etiquette when I talk this way….I’ll continue to talk to Lamont but through a different lens. No more crazy sex talk, no more personal questions, just talk to him like a friend. Like a decent self-respecting virgin who’s addicted to sex…oh wait.
I admit, I kind of laughed at this one.
This was the last entry I found about Lamont. After this entry was written, I attended prom and had the last dance with him. Afterwards, I gave him a peck on the cheek. Even despite all the energy in the venue, Lamont still had a subdued personality. That was just how he really was. As the prom over, I was glad in my decision to go with my girlfriend as she and her sister sung along to “Fuckin’ Perfect” by P!nk on the radio.
I suffered from an infatuation – ‘an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something’ – but I’m no victim. I knew my behavior was wrong then, but I didn’t care. Now removed from Lamont and the infatuation clouding my mind, I’m able to look at my behavior clearly. According to Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University who studies romantic love and sexuality, there are three stages to love: lust, attraction and attachment.
[bctt tweet=”All the dopamine in the world couldn’t have solved my self-esteem issues. “]
All three stages did occur in my relationship with Jeremy. I wasn’t attracted to him at first, but I gave him a chance. This was at a point in my life where I wanted to be more open and thought having a boyfriend would help me get out of my shell.
But since Lamont was not in a long-term relationship with me, no real attachment could ever happen. Without that third stage, I was able to ‘snap out of it’ and realize my behavior was wrong.
What was worse was the resentment I began to harbor at myself. I blamed myself for Lamont’s lack of interest in me, calling myself stupid, ugly and whatever other negative descriptors popped into my head as I was letting it all out on eight-by-eleven paper.
All the dopamine in the world couldn’t have solved my self-esteem issues. Being in a relationship while not being content with yourself can be difficult and sometimes impossible. That’s not to say that you have to be one hundred percent perfect in order to be in a relationship, but it helps.
We often judge women for being “clingy,” never realizing that with a certain person under certain circumstances, we could be acting the same way. It’s easy to judge when you’ve never been there.
I now feel for clingy girls because now I feel that these girls, like me, had something missing inside. I thought I had to be in a relationship or things wouldn’t feel right. If only I had been as infatuated with building a relationship with myself.