Society6/Måsse Hjeltman

Love is the cheapest, richest high. It costs you absolutely nothing and the intensity of the high lasts for days, weeks, months. You might in fact, never come down.

Like any drug, the first time you experience the rush of infatuation or eros, you probably won’t know what the hell to do with it. You are completely insane, fucked out of your mind on a heady neurochemical cocktail of dopamine and oxytocin and god knows what else, and this can actually be stressful for a lot of people. They’re constantly distracted, unable to sleep or eat and may behave out of character. They lose any and all sense of perspective. The most minor event can trigger even more intense, soaring highs or, if negative, can balloon into ridiculously overwrought and soul crushing lows. Like a dazed teenager puking on the sidewalk after a first round of binge drinking, most people need to learn how to hold their eros. Like any intoxicant, some people will always have a low tolerance for the stuff while others will never be affected very powerfully; some will become completely addicted while others may actively dislike it; so on and so forth.

Society6/Heather Landis

I’ve been falling in love practically every week since I was a teen and I’ve always enjoyed it. I have always been quite cavalier with my heart and I don’t regret a single time I’ve loved deeply. And all I can say is, while being lovestruck affects everyone differently, it gets so much better with experience and meditation. Because you reach a point where you realize that you don’t have to do anything about eros other than to be with it. A crush is just a crush, lust is just lust, and when you have no attachments to any outcome, you can luxuriate in your free and wonderfully rich high without that kind of frenetic concern over how the relationship is going to play out. You can think your silly, lovesick thoughts and be amused by them instead of believing in them. You can sit back and let your brain light up with feel good neurons firing away, and marvel at the fact that all it took to get that sweet, sweet hit of rewarding dopamine was a simple image or thought of your object of affection.

In time, you’ll recognize that you don’t really know who your crush truly is, even if you know him (or her) very well. You’ll recognize how he is triggering in some way, aspects of yourself that are both new and deeply familiar, and if you are lucky, you are having the same effect on him. There is the sense of coming home to a place you’ve never been. You’ll experience the love state as less of a possession by some irrational force, and more of a powerful opportunity to expand the boundaries of your consciousness and experience, to give to someone something that no one else but you can give, to receive something that only this one specific, special, beloved person can show you how to receive.

When gripped by eros, do not be hurried. Let the richness of it flood your veins and soak into the marrow of your being. Ride the crest of the high for as long and as far as it can take you. Be grateful for the one who taught you this way of being, no matter the outcome. Cherish the memory and the emotion, but never cling; let it pour back out into the world.