Ways to make someone fall in love with you...
Some bad ideas from the first time I tried
Here is one of my favorite essays from this year. This week, I am having surgery and am too sad to write. I will write about things. Just finding it hard at the moment. Thanks for understanding. ALL my big heavy useless heart, Carissa
Last week I asked if you thought you could make someone fall in love with you. And overwhelmingly people said no. With the addition of “why would you even want to?”
I must admit, I have tried. So many times. Against my better judgment. This is kind of a continuation of last week’s talk about bad choices. Maybe these are all going to be about bad choices?
There is no real concrete explanation for my fascination with human relationships. And the stories we tell ourselves. Recently, I have been thinking that it is all about addiction. That I am addicted to the way that someone makes me feel. And that’s why I care so much. Having no real taste for drugs and alcohol, I long for feeling close to someone else. To be accepted and loved for just me. And then move on.
I keep going back to this one time where I was trying to make someone commit to being with me. Making them fall in love with me. Needless to say, I was younger. I thought that I could if I just played my cards right.
Culturally we are told to be ourselves, but there is this undercurrent that says you must hide yourself for other people to actually like you. Thus, playing games when you are first courting someone seems like something we don’t talk about, but do do. Like all the time.
For example, is it a good idea to text someone that you just met every time you think about them? That might be every ten seconds… Is it a game to restrict yourself to once a day? Yes and no. My therapist would say it doesn’t count as a game if it is effective in helping you get to where you want in the big picture. Maybe she would say that.
For this particular time that I am thinking of, my scheme of making someone fall for me included going out with someone else. And telling them about it.
This person, we will call them by their name, I hope they don’t mind, Chris. He was one two people that I was interested in for years in undergrad. He was an art major. Everyone loved him. He was cool. Like really cool. Since the school I went to was overwhelmingly filled with people I didn’t want to date, he was a rare bird. We were friends first.
It was always kinda complicated since there were so few people in the program, that if you dated someone maybe it would be weird if things didn’t go right? Anyway, I was strategically doing everything I could for him to notice me. To want to hang out with me.
During one summer, we listened to The Postal Service and drove around and laughed. He smelled really good. It seemed so natural. He met my parents. I was so proud to bring him to events. It felt like a weird way to brag to people that I was worthy of someone like him.
Do you remember the first time you took a nap with someone? I do with him. It’s weird to focus on that moment. It was warm. We were on a futon on the floor in an old apartment in St. Paul. And Coldplay was on the radio. The Scientist was playing on repeat. It is weird now, to think, as an adult that I would make a date with someone to nap. Back when I could nap. When napping was the ultimate comfort. And not setting an alarm. Just playing this game of chance, where we could let an hour or five pass by without serious repercussions.
I longed for him to ask me to be something like his girlfriend. I played disinterested. That was a skill I had honed all my life to that point. Actually, it was a mix of disinterest and unavailability. I had been told all my life that people didn’t like people who were too needy, too ready, too true to how they actually were feeling. Once they fell for the trap, it would be too late. We would have an understanding that they couldn’t get out of. Actually, all of this is to say that I have no idea what I was thinking by acting this way. And that people come and go in relationships all the time.
So when I found out that someone else, who was of really high social stature, wanted to go out with me, I said yes. I thought it would be fun. But if I am being honest, it was a ploy to get Chris to love me more.
The logic was this; if I could seem really like a hot commodity, that other people wanted, that he would suddenly realize how great I was and reconsider wanting to be with me. I get in retrospect that this is flawed on so many levels, but we were reading “The Prince” in English lit and the end seemed to justify the means.
So I told him, “So and so asked me out, what do you think about that?” with the hope that he would say, “I don’t want you to ever date anyone else again. I want you to only want me. I only want to be with you, and no one else.”
The words came out sounding like, “I think you should go on that date if you want to.” Which is a perfectly reasonable thing to say. I heard, “I don’t want to date you. I don’t care if you date anyone else. Actually, this is a good time for us to maybe stop seeing each other… and I hate you and think you are worthless.”
I went on that date, with that other dude.
Helen Fisher says that humans are not that complicated. That chances are if you like someone they like you back. So I talked myself into liking this new person. And I did. They were great. Just a few dates long enough for them to dump me. To give me the phone call where they did actually say, “I think we should just be friends.” I cannot remember how he smelled.
Next week, I will tell you how it ends. If you care. If not, the moral of the story is, I can’t make you love me if you don’t.