I will never feel unadulterated love ever again...

“You’re becoming an adult now. In general, adults fall in love with people they’ve been dating for a while. They don’t fall in love and then try to date the person they’re in love with. When you’re an adult, love is something that grows over time.”

I just read this quote on the internet and feel the loneliest I’ve felt in the longest time.

In high-school, the 15 years-old me (a new immigrant to America) met a man who changed my outlook on life. He gave me what America means, what freedom means, who I am. He was a 27 year old faculty member at my school. He guided me, adored me, and looked out for me when I knew no one. I grew infatuated with who he was and how he made me feel over the years. I was going to ask him out after I graduated because it was the highest high of my life and I spent hours fantasizing about making love under the blankets. And when he told me he got engaged my senior year, I broke. I was depressed for months after I graduated. Over two years later, I am almost over him; we keep in touch via email as friends. He is expecting a baby soon and I am happy he has found direction in his life (he used to tell me about his own regrets and lost dreams when we used to talk for hours after school). I am happy he is happy.

But I want to be in love again.

According to that quote, the older I get, the less likely it is that I will love with so much heart. I am a cute girl and it isn’t hard for me to attract boys who want to “hang out” after I meet them. But I don’t want to date; I want to “fall” for someone like I did then. I want infatuation to engulf me before we finally culminate our mutual adoration for each other. I don’t want to “grow into love” via dating someone I merely like. I think adults don’t love as purely (maturely, yes, but not unabashedly as hormonal teens do). Will I never be infatuated ever again? Am I pathetic for even thinking so hard about this?

As a 45-year old woman who has felt that infatuation, VERY strongly, many times over the years, I don’t think you need to worry about that. I am not attracted to, nor attractive to, many people, but every once in a while it still happens. And it always amazes me! The things that change aren’t ones reactions to it, but the actions one takes about it. Well, sometimes. I mean, I ended up marrying the last one I felt that for, but I felt that many times before that and always shied away from the altar after that first bloom faded away. 'cause it usually does. BUT…that doesn’t mean you won’t feel it again. :slight_smile:

Infatuation is fun but it’s not necessarily a path to true love. Sometimes infatuation turns out to have nothing more behind it and goes nowhere. You’re as likely to find love developing from casual dating as you are to find it springing for from infatuation.

Don’t worry too much about being an immigrant. We’re a nation of immigrants and children of immigrants. Having an immigrant background is part of being an American.

(edited my post to reflect edits made in the OP)

Eh, wait 'til you have a kid of your own. You don’t even know what adoration means yet.

Caution: No minced words below.
You will fall in love with someone that you get to know. By mooning over this other guy you’ve prevented yourself from getting to know others and fall in love again. So stop it. You’re an adult now and the way you get to know other adults of the opposite sex is by dating. Don’t email this guy, don’t think about him, for all intents and purposes he doesn’t exist. If you are clinging to the past, that is a waste of time. If you are afraid of the future, that is also a waste, it’s coming whether you like it or not. Get out and meet other guys and you’ll be head over heels in love in no time.

“You’re an adult now and the way you get to know other adults of the opposite sex is by dating.” This is exactly the problem. I do not WANT to date people I merely like. In fact I absolutely do not see myself “dating” someone I’m not already head-over-heels in love with. It just upsets me that the expectation exists that as adults “you get to know people by dating them” instead of “you get to know people before dating them”.

The old guy is my friend. He has given me a lot and I don’t think we will just stop emailing each other. We email every couple of months just to catch up. His existence or our keeping in touch has nothing to do with the my feelings on infatuation/love/dating; he was merely an example.

Thank you (:

This is exactly what I needed to hear. Now that I am not drunk anymore, I wish I could delete this thread.

Don’t worry. Adulterated love is better anyway.

No. It is a good thread. I am 50 and I would love to feel that way again. I cannot remember the last time I met a woman that made me feel all like a kid again. I’d love to find that.

How are you supposed to get to know someone before dating him? Unless it’s a coworker or schoolmate, how are you going to be spending enough time with someone to know whether they’re worth an effort?

What you had with the old dude, sorry to say, was a crush. I guess sometimes those can be mutual and work out well for both parties, but in general, that’s not “being in love” for real. It feels good (and then bad if it goes nowhere), but it’s not a fulfilling, loving relationship. You’re crushing on someone, thinking about them all the time… but where’s the return?

Love is a learning process, and I don’t agree with the statement about ‘first you love then try to date, then you date and try to love’ because it’s incomplete, there is a balance between the 2 which is not expressed here.

The gist of that that saying is is that you love with your heart first, but you get hurt, so then you try guarding you heart, usually you end up hurting the other person. You learn neither is right So then you learn to love as loved, being able to realize the true form from all the outward appearances, recognize early on how far and long you will be with this person and what type of relationship you are seeing in them. If that person is in the place to love as loved and you are too and the chemistry is right it is amazing and very intense, like the high school crush thing but also with dating right away.

It happened to my roommate, and she’s 50.

I don’t know, it doesn’t sound like your first ‘hot infatuation’ was sudden onset, from what you’ve described.

It’s true you didn’t date, technically. But you grew into friends, then close friends, then more intimate (emotionally) friends. And it all culminated in a deep and abiding respect/crush. Powerful without a doubt. But not smoking hot instant attraction.

You demonstrated real maturity in getting past his unavailability to a healthy adult relationship as friends. Good for you.

Now, please explain the attraction to a childish ‘instant’ attraction/crush? I’m not seeing it evidenced in the story you told, so I can’t see why you’re pining after it, to be honest. It wasn’t teenage unconditional love, it was a rich relationship of respect developed over years.

And you’re not willing to date? You’re going to find it awful hard, to find the fulfillment you’re seeking, with that plan, in my opinion.

In response to elbows:

I don’t want a instant attraction/crush experience. I want that slow build-up of a rich relationship (mutual, and his affections for me were very real) without the expectation of the things that define American dating. I don’t want to make plans to meet up with someone whom I barely know, I don’t want to have sex with him after 3 or 5 or 7 dates only, I don’t want to have “the talk” or “become official”, I don’t want to have to say “I Love You” to someone I met six or nine or eleven months ago. I want thins to explode spontaneously without any of the above expectations (and don’t pretend they aren’t there when you “date” someone from the get go).

I am very young and very self-centered so being in an adult relationship is not a priority. I just wish that whenever a guy meets me and asks me for my number or an official date, he had more basis besides my appearance or the last joke I cracked for doing so.

I realize this sounds unrealistic but I think I’m going to hold out for this close friendship to relationship scenario. I cannot make myself date a cute stranger just because.

Also, my first post was a rant. I know it is gets difficult when you don’t date anyone and expect things to fall into your lap; this is why I was sad. I’m sad I won’t be 19 forever, that pressure to date will only increase as I get older.

Saturday night alcohol with a guy I met last week, whose departure last night made me realize how much I hate stranger dates, fueled my poorly-written melancholy post.

I think too hard, live in my own head too much, and it all adds up to something spelling depression.

There is no return. Which is why I said teens love more purely, more uninhibitedly. Adults think like you do, they calculate things like “investment” and “return”. Back then, I didn’t care that there was no relationship; I just relished on cloud 9 with no care in the world. I want that again. Mutually. Then we might or might not get together. But we felt what we did and it mattered in the moment.

This is just another dimension of the daily upset I fall into as I realize I am getting older and older and have no idea of who I am, what I want, where I am going. I am a Neuroscience student at Barnard College and do have close friends if you must know.

So you want to be friends first. So don’t think of dating, but of developing friendships with men.

:dubious: Maybe you didn’t care whether you got together with your mentor, but that didn’t hold true for me as a teen or for the majority of teens I knew.

Yes I figured that much out (:

Of course I wanted to be with him. But my thoughts weren’t along the lines of “return”; just because we couldn’t be together didn’t mean that my feelings were unsubstantiated. If you meet someone you don’t know but “like”, ask them on a date, and do the dating ritual, a relationship only develops if you get, in this case, romantic love out of it. It is planned, smeared in expectations, conditional. I am, ofcourse, not naive enough to think any relationship can be unconditional. But my feelings then were; I expected nothing and was surprised one day by the magnitude of my emotions around him. That’s the magic dating takes out of the equation by putting pressure on something to develop. Whenever I go on a date with a guy I just met there is always the pressure from both our sides of ‘Will this or won’t this’. When I was last infatuated, I wasn’t even thinking about anything when it hit me oh so hard.