The Stages of Falling In and Out of Love with an Unattainable Person
by Thao Nguyen
I’m an expert at falling for men that are totally out of reach. It started when I was younger; I was always in love with one fictional character or another. So while my friends on the playground dreamed about Justin Timberlake and Usher, I was fawning over people like Manny from Little House on the Prairie. And to be totally honest, my heart still goes pitter patter at that thought of Legolas and Aragorn from Lord of the Rings and Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables.
Then when I got into high school, I got a little more realistic and decided I was destined to be with a professional athlete. Or, to be specific, a European soccer star. In my defense, they are a little more attainable than fictional characters.
But of course, me being me, these ridiculous crushes aren’t just limited to storybook characters and athletes. Strangers in bookstores, random guys on Instagram, and visitors at my church -- I convince myself that I’ve found my soulmate at least four times a week. I know I’m not the only one who lets my imagination run away, so if you’re prone to planning weddings within five minutes of seeing someone, follow along on the journey of becoming infatuated with totally unreachable people.
1. Love at first sight. You’re minding your own business at your go-to coffee shop. Suddenly, you’re momentarily blinded by the sunlight streaming through the open door, a dark figure stands in the doorway and steps into the room. The door closes behind them and you can finally see their face -- they’re the most beautiful person you’ve ever seen. They survey the room and boom, your heart stops as they make eye contact with you and flash a smile at you. It doesn’t really matter how, when, and where you first see this person. All that matters is that you know as soon as you see them, they’re the one.
2. It is meant to be. You’ve had a few moments to observe your soulmate from afar now. But suddenly you notice something you missed at first. Maybe they have a pin from your favorite band on their bag. Maybe they have a nervous tic that is heart-shatteringly adorable. Maybe they have a worn copy of your favorite book. All you need is just one little detail to convince you that is more than love at first site, its fate. It might be your imagination, but you can swear that you hear “At Last” by Etta James playing somewhere.
3. Brief contact. You muster up the courage to get closer to your one true love. As you walk closer to where they are, you talk yourself up. “You are so fresh and so clean. You are a warrior. You are fine af. You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” Finally, you get close enough to hear them speak. Of course they have the most wonderful laugh and an impressive vocabulary to boot. So, like any sane person would, you walk by and lightly brush them on the arm as you do so. You look over your shoulder and give them a coy smile and seductively sip your drink. But on the inside your heart is pounding like crazy.
4. Planning the future. You are now convinced that this person is your person. You watch them inconspicuously from a few steps away as you plan out your life together. There you are at the farmer’s market. There you are at a bar cracking inside jokes while your friends look on with jealousy. There you are tying the knot. It’s a beautiful life you’re going to have together, and the only thing that needs to make it actually happen is them coming up to you and introducing themselves.
5. Dreams are dashed. You’re in the middle of figuring out what you’re going to name your second child, when all of sudden the worst happens. In the middle of your day dreaming, you failed to notice that either your person has left or their significant other has arrived. Or even worse, you look over their shoulder and notice that they’re rocking out to NIckelback. The entire life you had imagined together is wiped out, and once again the future of your love life is empty.