A Physics Lesson For The Hopeless Romantic


The fact is always obvious much too late, but the most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy is a liquid.
–JD Salinger

Relationships are somewhat of a glorified concept. One spends so much time trying to “get in” one, then the sparks fly and this feat is actually accomplished. A point is reached where it feels like this the appropriate time for a new goal to be set. What is the next step? Quite simply, there isn’t one; at least, there shouldn’t be. This was the ultimate goal to have reached, and I’ve made it. I’ve been here before, but this time it feels different. This is a level of comfort that did not exist before—a level of mutual sentiment that I’ve never felt.

I have in the past been on both the staggeringly high and low ends of doling out and experiencing the emotion required to keep commitment in full bloom, but never before have I felt an even keel, a common ground. As the one who feels too little, the goal is to get out—to run as far as possible in the opposite direction when the time is right. As the one who feels too much, there is something to fight for—to cling to—in hoping against hope that the longed for party will suddenly convey an adequately similar amount of affection, until they end the godforsaken charade.

But when all parties involved share the same sentiments? With nothing to fight for or work towards, where does one go from here? The initial awkward “getting to know one another” phase has passed, leaving me with a sense of lovestruck euphoria and comfort. In a few weeks I feel more than it’s taken me months to feel in my past endeavors. This brings me to my new goal: live in the moment, enjoy what I have while it lasts. Perhaps it is fleeting as I fear it, or perhaps it will live up to its current expectations of longevity and “withstand the test of time,” so to speak, to be painfully cliché. Maybe even the impending test of distance will be no match, but that thought is too overwhelmingly terrifying to speculate upon at the present.

That metaphysical bridge does not need crossing right now, as my liquid feelings are contained in a pool nearby for the time being—an oasis that can be accessed with little to no effort. You see, the beauty of common ground is that both parties respect the concept of effort; both parties understand the laws of physics. Liquids must be bottled and contained if they are to be enjoyed. Happiness is a state of being, which can stand on its own. Joy is fleeting and must be cherished. That is precisely what I will do.

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image – Liz Grace