I’m in love, and am happier than I’ve ever been, but I’m worried about alienating or upsetting my single friends because I’m so obsessed with my boyfriend.
Approximately one zillion years ago, I was in the car with my first love slash boyfriend slash total bestie slash intergalactic heart-twin, driving past some high-school party where we were supposed to be curled up in old lawn chairs in the backyard talking trash, or screaming along to rap in a messy kitchen, or whatever you do with your friends on a Friday night. Instead we decided we liked each other so much that we just didn’t want to be near anyone else, and drove away, and then probably I watched him skate around a parking lot or whatever until it got late-late.
When you’re 18, being everything and then some more to someone else is a kind of ritualistic love-magic; when your need to create and refine your own identity is met by falling in love with someone else—and being fallen in love with—it closes a circle that started forming in pre-adolescence. What this is, and what you’re describing, is “love haze,” which is fundamentally immature (see: above) but can really strike you like a blood-warm, drug-drenched arrow at any time, when the conditions of mood and circumstance and life-era and heart-twin-ness all come together. Love haze just means that your new person is your whole field of vision, your singular focus, and the only person you want to be near. Nothing feels better.
(“Love haze” is different from but related to “sex haze,” which can occur in or outside of love, or even like, but can be just as consuming and all-the-time, but more, um, localized.)
So, you’re lucky. Know that you’re lucky. You’re the emoji with the big red hearts for eyes, which is one of the better emojis to be in real life. Also? It’s presumptive to worry about your single friends being mad at you; your coupled friends will also notice when your presence devolves into the friend-equivalent of an Out of Office auto-reply, and might even care more because they’ll be like “Let’s be couples-friendsssss, double dates, Groupons, brunch, group vacay!” but you’re off, deep in the part of the relationship that they’ve left behind.
Objectively, your friend behaviour when you’re in love haze is going to be pretty sucky, and stupid: everything we have or should have learned about female friendship (and platonic dude friendship, of course) is that it’s more important to your overall happiness, and longer-lasting, than most or all of the relationships you’ll ever be in. The right and correct thing to do is to still see your friends at least once a week. But, like being drunk—because that’s what love haze is, albeit owing to a different chemical interaction—you will probably ignore them, and know that what you’re doing is sucky, and won’t much care. That you’re even wondering about all of this now demonstrates a ninety-ninth percentile social intelligence.
I also have an alternate theory of all this, though. Ready? Maybe it’s just that the experience of falling and being in love is so intensely dream-like and profound and also constant for weeks or months (if you’re lucky-lucky) that it can simply be too much to do all of that big feeling, and also engage with your job and your pals and your interests and your Netflix line-up (whither the Netflix line-up!) in your usual way. Like, I have a li’l cold right now (treating it with spicy food and hot tea, but definitely email me your home remedies so I can expel this thing by the weekend) so I’m right up cozy-close with the need to retreat from the world and its stimuli and demands (demandi?) when your trifecta of existence (that would be mind, body and spirit) are already occupied somewhere else, especially when that is somewhere bright blue and warm-feeling (that would be “in love”). Maybe love haze isn’t so much a selfish choice that you’re making under the spell of a cute genius with good arms: maybe it’s kind of legitimately necessary.
Whatever the real cause, you have three months—that’s the law of “love haze.” Like youth and a take-out taco, this experience has too short a half-life, both by its very nature and because if you don’t snap the eff out of it at some point your friends will be way, way over you. (They will be the emoji who is rolling his eyes, which is a less-good emoji.) So take your three months to disappear (excluding birthday parties, semi-regular check-ins and any occurrences of actual life problems with your friends and fam) and have the best time ever (and it’s summer, so, I’m furiously jealous, too) and then re-enter the life-force when you’re ready, all swollen kiss-lips and smelling like his t-shirts, and buy your friends a round.
More great advice from Kate
My Friend Is Going Through a Slutty Phase
Is Long Distance a Dealbreaker?
When Do I Need to Disclose My Dismal $$$ Sitch?
How Can I Curb My Tinder-Rejection Sads?
When Should My Guy and I Talk “Numbers”?
Can We Be FWB When He Wants More?
Is It Ever OK to Date a Friend’s Ex?
How Do I Get Over a Guy?
Why Aren’t I More Obsessed With My BF?