Catching The Feels...Is There a Shot for That?
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Health and Wellness

Catching The Feels...Is There a Shot for That?

Why do we run from the "feels" like we run from the flu?

Catching The Feels...Is There a Shot for That?

If you are a college student who has not yet “caught feels,” consider yourself lucky. They’re hard to cure, they take awhile to subside sometimes, they’re exhausting, and as many times as you visit the Health Center, there’s nothing they can do to help with “feels” no matter how much advice the sweet ladies at the front desk give you.

What’s more, there is no definitive prevention method for them either. As hard as one tries, sometimes the “feels” still set in and no amount of NyQuil or Jack Daniels or Ben & Jerry’s can cure them. So, in regards to these seemingly terrible things we have so bitterly named “feels,” I have one pertinent question:

Why do we equate “feels” to an illness, as if they’re something to be “caught” that is unpleasant and unhealthy?

Is affection really that toxic within our college lifestyles that we consciously avoid forming emotional romantic connections, like we avoid the flu?

As far as I know, being in love, or having a crush, or being intellectually, romantically, and sexually fascinated by someone was enthralling, exciting, and wonderful. So why is the all-too-common story of two people who have a strictly sexual relationship, then develop a deeper emotional attraction, a tale of woe? Why does the emergence of feelings between two people seem to mean an imminent end, or a become a problem, or a weakness?

Oftentimes, especially at a school where the hookup culture is prominent, sexual relationships constitute many relationships, so it makes sense that having emotional attachments to someone you’re supposed to be purely sexually involved with could be problematic.

But the odd thing is, it always seems to be a gigantic surprise, something few expect encounter with their hookups: as if a relationship built entirely upon interactions with the vulnerability and beauty of another person’s body, exchanging pleasure and knowing the depth of another person’s desire isn’t a conducive environment for more complex feelings to develop. Shocking, isn’t it?

It’s shocking that real emotions could be fostered between an unassuming soul and someone who saw them naked and undressed them, someone who kissed their body and lusted for a warm and heavy breath upon their neck. This doesn’t strike me as a secret of any sort, it’s quite logical actually.

Sometimes sex involves emotions and sometimes it does not. Neither way is right or wrong. Sex and love are not inherently joined, nor are they mutually exclusive, as it sometimes seems everyone believes. At this stage of life where we are to experiment, discover ourselves, get lost in the adventure of discovering others and be free living without major commitments, developing feelings for someone can be tough to cope with; they are not always mutual and sometimes don’t result in happiness or blossoming romance.

But… when were feelings ever certain or secure? When were they ever convenient before? Was there, or is there, ever perfect timing when it comes to falling head over heels for someone? Nope.

What are we so afraid of? Being hurt? There is fear present in every aspect of our lives, but that doesn’t typically stop us from living or doing the things that bring on that fear, we keep on living. We face it… so why is it that we cannot seem to face our own emotions? Why do we stop and run? One could make an argument that self-preservation is why college kids ward off “catching feels.” Even those student who actively seek relationships go into crisis mode when they meet someone who they could see themselves with, in whatever way that may be.

I get it, that it can be scary… I’m terrified of meeting someone who turns my world upside down because it’s already a jumbled mess, but then I wonder, what if that same someone could bring some clarity to the craziness that I call my life? Maybe those “feels” that we fear are really the key to a satisfaction that many other parts of life don't directly fulfill.

I wonder what happiness we could bring ourselves by putting our big-kid pants on and facing those feelings, by acting on them, proclaiming them unapologetically. I think it is okay for us to admit that confronting feelings for someone can be a challenge, but ultimately one worth shooting to meet.

For if we never take the challenge, never take a chance on love or lust or whatever sorts of “feels” we feel, how will we ever experience the joy of loving ourselves through the eyes of another who sees us with admiration? It is okay for us to mess up and to be confused by feelings, to not know what to do with them, or to not know how to incorporate feelings for someone else into our own complicated lives. It’s okay to fail sometimes, in terms of our emotional endeavors… but if we try, attempt with honesty to set the fear of doing all these things aside, imagine the joy we could experience, the joy we could share with someone else!

Picture yourself in bed on a Sunday morning, limbs interlaced with someone who makes you feel safe, like the best version of yourself, wrapped in sheets with bed hair and bleary smiles. Imagine the warmth of this person’s body entwined with yours. Think of the way you are enamored by their presence, imagine those eyes, with a depth that draws you in like nothing else can, a mind that you are fascinated by… you take in every detail of their face.

Envision the excitement, the electricity of your bodies so close they feel like one. Let in the feeling of not being able to take your hands off their body. Let yourself feel their heartbeat and the contentment that washes over you when you do.

That image doesn’t seem frightening, does it? For some, maybe it does. To me, it seems the total opposite: warm and inviting, happy and easy. That moment can become a reality, it simply requires giving into the “feels,” succumbing to fear instead of running from it… letting ourselves tumble into the idea of someone else.

Though it’s not what everyone desires, I would be willing to take the chance for a picture like that if it felt right. That says a lot coming from a woman who runs from any form of commitment like the plague and gets anxious when a guy asks for her Snapchat because “that’s too much commitment” or “it is too personal, too fast.”

Despite these insecurities, I’m ready to look my fear dead in the eye, should the chance arise, and catch an ooey, gooey, wonderful case of the “feels…” y’all feel me?

xoxo- Abby

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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