It might come as a shock to you — it’s shocking to me, at least — that I am currently not dating anyone. I know! I don’t get it either. But the life of a single woman has left me with a lot of free time on my hands that I don’t quite know what to do with. A regular person may take this moment of singleness to enjoy life, to find themselves, to eat, pray, and love. But because I live in a fantasy world, I opted for falling in love with a celebrity instead of falling in love with myself.
After reading the New York Times article about falling in love with anyone after just 36 questions and four minutes, I was ready for any kind of romance. That, the constant reminder that Valentine’s Day is next Saturday, my general inclination to be a hopeful romantic, and the pressure to cuff someone have resulted in imagined relationships with people I don’t know.
Being in love with a celebrity is easy, fun, risk-free, and I don’t have to dig deep into my personality to try to fix things that are wrong with me. (I fall in love temporarily with acquaintances too but being fake-in-love with a celebrity is arguably less embarrassing/creepy/desperate to admit than being in love with someone I know in real life.)
Anyway, during this bout of singleness I found myself in love with Drake. It’s fulfilling — the best form of escapism, really — because I imagine Drake to be the perfect boyfriend. He’d tell me I look beautiful wearing sweatpants, no makeup on, etc, etc, etc. Drake would drive in the snow for me if I was ever stupid enough to move to a state that snows. He’d Instagram a picture of me on Woman Crush Wednesday and caption it with something like, “My woman crush EVERY DAY.” And I wouldn’t even roll my eyes — it would be endearing and sweet and such an Aubrey thing to do.
Celebrities are pretty vessels into which the lonely and delusional can create a perfect person. It’s easy to think that every tiny coincidence or commonality is a sign from God himself that we are meant2be. When you’re detached from an actual person, it becomes easier to fall in love with the idea of them rather than who they truly are. Because we don’t have a relationship, a person’s flaws don’t grate me in a way that a boyfriend’s flaws would because we don’t honestly know each other. And it’s great for me because I’m much more likable from a distance too!
But, because you’re not insane, you probably know that having relationships at arm’s length isn’t sustainable or enjoyable for very long. I know that liking the same sports team doesn’t make a relationship, but for a minute or two, in the privacy of my own head, being in love with a stranger works. I don’t have to feel the raw emotion of not being loved in return but I know that I’m also missing out on the deep connection that encompasses a relationship. Falling in love with a celebrity is easy, but falling in love with someone you actually, truly know? Um, no thanks. That’s too scary and I’m not ready.
Noted romantic and YA writer John Green once said, “You like someone who can’t like you back because unrequited love can be survived in a way that once-requited love cannot.” This is stupid for a lot of reasons but the main reason is that it’s moot and it’s a waste of time. In my younger and more vulnerable years, the idea of loving someone from afar seemed perfect. I loved the possibility of a maybe romance, an almost relationship, with no means to an end — it could essentially last forever! This is the same thing as being in love with a celebrity: there aren’t any risks, and it can last for however long you want, but there aren’t benefits and it isn’t in the slightest bit real.
The shallow kind of love I feel for Drake doesn’t compare to the ins and outs of a relationship between two real people who are building a relationship. It lacks intimacy, communication, friendship, and familiarity — all of my favorite parts about dating. And creating a fictional version of someone does a disservice to a real-life person who has real desires and flaws and dreams.
Learn from my mistakes: don’t settle for an imagined kind of almost-love. You’re worth the real thing, babe. But I know you wouldn’t really fall in love with a person you don’t know. I wouldn’t patronize you like that because I respect you as a person. I want you to know, though, that the takeaway here is that being in love with a celebrity is incomparable to the real thing. Oh, and I also learned that falling in love with myself, and finding that I’m honestly, like, so great, and coming to simple realizations like this, and blah blah blah, has been the best thing about being single. So love yourself, love your life, embrace being single, have fun, don’t take life too seriously, etc, etc, etc.
Anyway, what? I think I was just possessed by a serious, sentimental person for a few minutes. If Drake — or anyone at all — wants to be my Valentine this year I make delicious cookies. I can even ship them to your apartment. We don’t even have to really know each other that well! Let me know!