I keep blinking my eyes. Splashing cold water on my face. Waiting to wake up from the cinematic dream sequence which has been my life for the last three weeks. It all started when I ran into an old friend from college on the subway and the next thing I knew, my love life went from black and white to technicolor in a poof, like when Dorothy landed over the rainbow. So. Yeah. Hi! Greetings from over the rainbow. Colors are brighter here. Food tastes better. Dogs and babies and munchkins all have secret messages just for you. Time is measured in hand holds and kisses and the breeze decides which direction you walk.
I’m trying desperately to make sense of it all. But I fear I have become one of those people: the love-crazed fool who you want to punch in her stupid, shmoopy face. Even in my state of euphoria, I recognize that my type can be terribly annoying. Should you ever find yourself over the rainbow, A) Enjoy it! and B) Try to keep it together so the rest of the world doesn’t want to murder you. Here are some thoughts about how to do that…
1. Don’t abandon your life. Having someone special in your life doesn’t mean you get to ditch out on all your obligations and responsibilities. This is not an excuse for you to escape all the broken/not working/unpleasant/mundane/not-as-amazing things which comprise your life. Your dishes are still sitting in the sink, waiting to be done. Your friend’s birthday party is still happening. Your electric bill is still due. You need to sleep and shower and watch the “Mad Men” premiere. So, don’t forget to do that stuff, even if you do it with a little skip in your step. You now have something pleasant to daydream about while you’re scouring pans and taking out the recycling.
2. When you’re with friends, give them your full attention. Make an effort to continue to spend quality time with friends and family. Take your phone off the dinner table and put it in your purse. Stop volleying texts to your boo every 30 seconds. Ask questions about your friends’ lives and refrain from telling non-stop stories about all the adorable things your new guy says to you. I guarantee that telling your friends about your dumb pet names for each other doesn’t make for titillating happy hour convo.
3. Don’t brag. There’s a difference between sharing your joy and rubbing someone’s face in it. Keep it simple: “He’s great. He makes me coffee in bed. I’m digging him so hard.” And then move on. Save all the cheesy shit for when the two of you are alone.
4. Remember what life was like before. It can be weird when you — a formerly single person — is no longer single. It can be even weirder for the people who are still single. Those were the same people who met you for a drink when you got dumped by douchey guy after douchey guy. They were there when you had no one to hang out with on Christmas Day. They were there for you! Don’t ever forget what it feels like to be sitting in that seat, listening to your friend gushing about some dude she met on the train while you wondering if you will lose her, wondering if that will ever happen for you. It feels like crap, even though you’re happy for your friend. You know how it feels because you’ve been on the other side of the table so many times. Remember that and act accordingly.
5. Take it one day at a time. You may be flying. Your feet may not hit the concrete when you walk. You may be thinking long term. But you need to remind yourself to take it one day at a time. Don’t let your sense of elation blur your sense of reality. Remember to ask yourself the hard questions.