What It’s Like To Fall Victim To Feelings With Your Casual Hookup

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."

I've never heard a more poignant statement.

When it comes to love, we all want to find "The One."

Some of us get lucky and find our counterparts early on in life, while the rest of us look on with envy as we ride out the convoluted, more winding paths destiny brought about for us.

While we wait for Prince Charming, though, most of us find ourselves caught up in one dalliance after another.

It's a pattern that's more than understandable because flings are, after all, the gateways to finding "The One."

Sometimes -- many times -- we want love so badly, we try to feel something when there is nothing.

Moments of loneliness are filled by hitting up that guy you see whose only purpose is to bide time, and nothing more.

The one with whom you have a connection that you know, deep down, has an unimpressive expiration date.

But then, every so often, there are those times you catch feelings when you've tried your hardest not to, with a guy you thought you'd never fall for, in an arrangement intended to cater to nothing but superficial needs.

Ah, to be the one to fall victim to feelings. It hits you hard and out of nowhere, like a bee sting.

It boils up inside of you without your consent, then spills out and over you like a volcano, unconstrained.

And when it happens, you blame yourself, for you knew better than to feel something after you had both initially agreed there was to be no room for anything to be felt.

Why did you have to be the one more vulnerable?

Maybe you weren't cut out for this sort of thing. Maybe "everyone else is doing it" wasn't a good enough excuse for you to try it without failing miserably at it.

Regardless, your power is gone now, and you find yourself at a crossroads: You can tell him how you feel and risk losing him, or keep it all inside, making yourself worse for wear.

The time has come to sink or swim.

The thing is, it's okay to get caught up in the grips of emotions.

It's okay because we're only human, and just because the foundations of courtship have evolved doesn't mean our most primal needs have.

We all have the need to love, and the need to be loved. The need to give affection, wholeheartedly and unabashedly, knowing a force just as powerful will also be received.

Somewhere along the way, we began to trivialize manners of the heart, becoming impervious to good things when they hit us.

The heart is unfettered and acts in an unforeseeable way, making it both undeniably frustrating and incredibly beautiful.

Who knows why you fell for him; it might have been the pillow talk you once deemed harmless.

Or the way he smiled at you, which, in your eyes, turned from being non-threateningly dorky into being unequivocally heartwarming.

No one knows why we fall for who we do, or how we fall in a way that challenges our most steadfast convictions.

You can't stop it when it happens, and we must surrender to this knowledge.

So, you tell him because you can't live with the secret anymore.

He might oblige you, and he might not. Still, you did the best you could; you gave all you had and nothing less.

And if he feels the same way, you'll know because he'll give you everything.

Not the world, per se, but all that he’s capable of giving. And if you’re lucky, it will be the world, and nothing less.