The Crazy Things I Did For Love, Including Almost Moving To Thailand
Here's something to think about: Love doesn't make you blind; it makes you crazy.
Have you ever found yourself goo-goo-eyed in love with someone just to eventually notice that you've gone a little bit bonkers? That you've started doing things for them that you wouldn't do for anyone else, not your BFF, not even your blood relative?
When we're in love, life feels a whole lot more exciting, and a lot of that is due to the changes we experience neurologically. Studies have found that being love-struck triggers the release of high levels of dopamine. That makes love feel like a pleasurable experience, similar to the euphoria associated with the use of cocaine of alcohol.
That's intense, right?
I'll be the first to admit that those high levels of dopamine have caused me to do things while in love that I'm embarrassed to admit years later. Whether it was because of the thrill of twirling my heart around someone else's or because I desperately wanted to keep the dopamine flowing (AKA avoid getting broken up with and starting from square one, AKA downloading Tinder for the 20th time that year), I lost a little bit of personal boundaries and even self-esteem to do things for the guys I was dating.
Here are the crazy things I did for love:
1. I Offered To Move To Thailand In Three Days
I was seriously digging this one guy I dated for four months so much that approximately one day after I admitted that I was in love with him (which romantically happened to be while the ball was dropping on New Year's Eve — and unromantically, he didn't say anything back), he told me he was moving to Thailand. He mentioned something about wanting to go on an adventure and spend three to unlimited months there.
While that was a shock to me, it was also what I thought was an invitation for me to go with him. We were in love, right?
I was wrong.
Without even thinking about the repercussions, which were me having to break my NYC apartment lease (thousands and thousands of dollars down the drain), quitting my job to leave the country on a deadline-less vacation, and tell my family I was going to be living somewhere else with a 12-hour time frame, I told him I'd move with him. I literally said, "Oh, cool. I can pack up and be ready to leave in three days."
Spoiler alert: I didn't go. His response was clear that what I took as an invitation was his way of getting far away from me. He simply said, "Oh, Jen. I didn't invite you to come with me."
He had decided our love fest was over, and I had to eventually (through many nights out with my girls and many online dates) agree, too.
2. I Ditched My Friend And Drove To Pick Him Up On The Side Of The Road
I should tell you that I'm not a good driver, which is why living in NYC is so clutch. I once drove into my house. Another time, I was pulled over three times in one day because I drove with my lights off, ignored a stop sign, and was going 60 in a 45.
But there was this one time I was visiting Los Angeles with a friend of mine. California happened to be the state that housed an ex-boyfriend of mine whom I was still very madly in love with. There was one night when I invited him to come hang out with us and he agreed.
The only problem was, he was living in San Diego at the time, so he had to drive about three hours to where we were. He nicely agreed to do that.
The second problem was, his car broke down about two hours away from us. Because I felt guilty making him sit on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere, at 9 p.m. on a Saturday, I decided to tell my friend, who traveled from D.C. to spend the weekend with me on the west coast, that I was going to ditch her for the night to drive two hours south to pick up my ex and then two hours north to bring him back to where we were staying.
With major driving anxiety in my belly, I got into our rental car and I drove and drove and drove until I found him.
What was I thinking leaving my friend behind to pick up an ex-boyfriend who earned that title for a good reason (we were very awful for each other)? Better yet, how did I drive two hours alone, in the dark, without hysterically crying from my own road rage and pure road fear?
Love. It makes us crazy.
3. I Kept Things A Complete Secret
I was dating this one guy who kept our relationship a complete secret. You would have thought he was in the CIA or a contestant on The Bachelor who wanted to flaunt his single status, but none of that was true. He was a person who, for some reason (which is obvious now — he wanted to keep playing the field while dating me), wanted to keep our relationship completely secret.
I wasn't really OK with that, but once again, I was in love, so at the time, it seemed like not such a big deal. We were together, just nobody else knew. It wasn't the end of the world.
But then, it kind of was. I went to visit him in Montreal (we did the long distance thing) and he wouldn't let me stay with him (because he lived at his parent's house), so I had to get my own hotel (and pay for it. Are you keeping track of the red flags here?). He couldn't even sleep over at the hotel because he had to be home before 11 p.m., so his parents wouldn't question where he was or who he was with.
Looking back now, I can see how crazy this was and am ashamed of going along with this ploy of secrecy. But back then, it just seemed like something I was doing for the greater good of eternal love.
4. I Paid For His Plane Tickets When He Visited Me
I dated someone who lived in another state than I did. (Can you see my trend here? I clearly like to date guys who live miles or countries away.)
This guy proposed that every time he came to visit me, I should pay for his plane ticket. His reasoning was that he was unemployed and also that he was coming to see me, so I should pay. He offered to pay when I went to visit him, but since I had a full-time gig, I couldn't go as often.
I ended up spending close to a thousand bucks, plus most of my airplane miles, paying for someone to come see me. There is so much wrong with this.
So maybe young love makes us broke, blind, and crazy. Either way, these are just some of the things I did under the influence of (at the time) a really rad guy. To be honest, I don't regret anything I did. Would living in Thailand really be that bad? No! (OK, maybe with the wrong person it would be.)