An Opinionated Love Column By Julia Katherine

What is love? The intoxicating, deadly and ancient term still holds no set definition. Only a guideline of commonly shared symptoms among those who have been“bitten by the love bug.” That cute phrase has more meaning behind it than given credit for. The “love bug,” is a wise old tale that little girls learn growing up, to not touch any little boys, in avoidance by getting “bit by the cootie bug.” Then as little girls grow up, the bug evolves into“ the lust bug.” The Lust Bug, as I have so named it, is a disease that is as the adult cootie bug. A real-life emotionally straining illness that can occasionally turn into a committed relationship. Keyword: occasionally. Welcome to twenty eighteen where I and thousands of other millennials fear and dread being tied down. One of the symptoms of the lust bug is the grey area between physical intimacy and emotional intimacy. It’s sickly. Lust or love, both are toxic pests to the young female. The insect uses its venom draws out the most alluring and intoxicating emotions that make women seem like some crazed Moaning Myrtle. For a while, at least.

As I was driving home tonight, I was listening to a song by a band I have recently fallen for. Screaming lyrics; boasting of a romance that once brutishly captured a young singers heart. The singer is over her today. Lyrically, however, he still channels the way she made him feel when she left, to play every one of his shows. So his lyrics exclaim in the song “Upside Down.” I reminisced to myself of the three times I had been “bitten” by the love bug. (Only three boyfriends at twenty-two, my mother raised a lady) Each one during their time, I couldn’t picture my tomorrow without them. However, the sun always sets on the horizon.

In all three of my relationships, only after, did I realize that the “love/lust bug” was truly effective. There is a saying that goes: “It takes two to tango.” A small, however, powerful statement of a simple life explanation that possesses nothing but the truth. When two people become intimate in any way; the possible outcome and being together is a genuine option. I feel that is something young women today forget about. That in any grey area that confuses one or both parties as to whether or not they are in a regular relationship. Notice how I said both parties. Ladies, this means the man who is involved in your situation with you. Two to tango, remember? Women forget about that in most cases. Letting their little anxious mental voice romp free and destroy any good faith in the situation. Growing up female, we are taught that when a guy breaks up with you or decides not to sleep with you anymore; that the man has lost all emotional and physical interest in you. Leaving that anxious voice to tell us females that, “he’s fucking another girl because he grew tired of you.” This, however, is not true. Ladies, men have feelings too. Their social standard makes them feel inclined always to be our rock when we need them. No matter how little or ridiculous the situation may be. Leaving the impression on women of all ages that our men of interest are a strange kind of taffy that we can stretch and twist, without them breaking. This is not true whatsoever.

The relationship stereotypes that are presented to both sexes contradict in so many ways. I learned first hand that even the most handsome of knights that are decked out in the strongest of armor- could not save me. In the current day, I am a princess who woke up in a cold tower when 2018 had just begun. Those past months until now, I have slayed my own demons and have gotten myself out of that wretched tower. Now, I find myself free and happily exploring new fields of all reaches of life. If I ever do see a knight again, I will remember, there is someone under that handsome and robust suite of protection and honor. And that sometimes, he will need someone to protect him.

Ladies, have you ever asked yourself if he was as hurt during the times you were cried in front of him? Whether it was about him or not. Or, if he would be okay knowing you walked out his front door upset? Or if he misses you. If he thinks about you in the ways that you do him, happily. Two acts could lead to an answer in this case. One, ask the damn guy. Ask him those exact questions. Or, don’t. Keep your silence, and call it that. When your really just scared that he will either leave you with an open message or that he won’t give you that answer that you want. One thing is for sure, if you do keep your complete silence, you will only leave yourself questioning.

You know when we retell a story of a memory that involved some sort of pain? An accident of any kind, or a tattoo, so on. Most of us can remember that pain so badly to know that we would never want to re-experience it. Even when we retell memories of happiness, the elated feeling of brain chemicals that temporarily blissed our entire nervous system cannot be relived again. You can never relive a moment, only remember it. That’s why I believe it is moderately good to live in a moment and not worry or plan a future that is not guaranteed. However, there are a few memories that can trigger a chemical emotional reaction. Such as fear, humiliation or, PTSD. We learn some of the most important life lessons we will ever encounter through the feeling of love. I remembered this on my drive today.

I found myself trying to trigger the feeling of love. My mind flipped through my past encounters and some of the sweetest memories I hold. Though I could see the soft look in each set of eyes from all of my past guys, and though I remembered how safe and high I felt in each of those moments, I couldn’t trigger the actual feeling. As I watched the smoke dance in front of windshield, the cool autumn air had influenced my mood. I was cold- no, I was numb. I felt as though time had momentarily stopped when I had searched deep into my mind of when I used to call a man mine. I’ve had some awful experiences, but not all of them. With remembering that, where was the feeling?

You can’t get high without smoking, you can’t be drunk without drinking, but you can be loved, without having another variable factored in so you can achieve that feeling. That is what self love is. That is what I realized in many smokey stop lights.

Do you ever find yourself repeating a pattern that you once did with a significant other(s) Or is that just me? There was a while where I couldn’t go to sleep without having certain YouTube videos on a repeated playlist. They brought me comfort from, how I had originally discovered them. Now-a-days, I still tune in whenever my favorite vloggers post, whenever I can watch them. Compared to, watching them on loop with no sense or urgency for anything else I should do. Once this faze pasted, I knew I was a few steps forward in walking towards healing and independence. In that order.

While lately, I have been the happiest I have ever imagined. As well as coming to terms that dating exclusively is just not in my deck of cards at the moment. The fact that I found myself as perplexed as I was tonight over the fact that I couldn’t find immediate or short finding comfort from a memory with someone else, reminded me why, I am choosing to stay single for awhile. It is completely normal for a single human of either sex to feel lonely at times- the best way to curve that negative feeling is remembering that you are exactly where you should be in this moment, for a reason. We all have the people, choices and opportunities in this moment due to the choices that have lead us here. As well of the choices and actions of others. I also recognize that this mentality is easily carried by those who believe that life hands you what you need when you need it. I just hope that my readers take comfort in the fact, that someone like me, who holds no faith in religion, and even less in humanity, that the universe has always been there for me.