I'm not allergic to love or anything. I just don't understand romantic relationships.
What on earth is "love at first sight"?
How do people "fall in love"?
Why isn't there a manual for navigating your way through romance?
I believed the only way to come to a conclusion of any sort would be via controlled experimentation.
Thus, I sat down with my bullet journal, pens, highlighters, and sticky notes.
A HETERNORMATIVE DATING EXPERIENCE, I wrote as the title of my experiment, following up with:
Purpose: To determine and isolate the factors defining a relationship in terms of romance
Duration: 1 week
Hypothesis: Romance can be explained via quantifiable data
Now it was time to find a member of the opposite sex and begin documenting in my journal.
I met a boy. Mutual attraction has been confirmed.
I walked to the university holding hands with the boy. Observation conducted on the boy's facial expressions and the surroundings.
The boy's face appeared to slightly change colour from his usual tan to a pinkish hue. The boy flashed all 32 of his adult teeth at 2-minute intervals throughout the duration of our walk. A Google search of facial expressions indicated the condition of "falling in love".
The surroundings consisted largely of elderly individuals simultaneously frowning in our direction and muttering to each other under their breath.
I'm unable to draw a meaningful conclusion regarding the observations made of the surroundings.
I asked the boy out on something called a "proper date". My takeaway of the social concept is that two people who're romantically involved have to continuously interact with each other in a space where they're mostly by themselves. Observations will be conducted on what motivates people to have such intimate conversations with their significant other.
List of conversation topics provided by Google search:
a. The weather
b. Each other's appearance
c. Criticism of the meal (if any)
d. Each other's hopes and dreams (to be avoided unless absolutely necessary to open up)
List of exit strategies:
a. Fake reminder saying "I have a very important paper due in an hour. It's worth 93 percent of my grade."
b. Staged phone call from best friend stating an "emergency"
c. Spill food on outfit and ask to be excused from "date"
I used dialogues lifted almost verbatim from popular romance films. Observation conducted on the boy's reactions. Confused expressions were seen. Therefore, results show that my attempts to efficiently communicate in the language of romance have been largely unsuccessful.
The boy shared his thoughts on contemporary literature and recent scientific studies, all of which appeared to be in sync with my opinions. I'm uncertain of how I feel towards him and I'm forming such a connection as the romance is only temporary.
Before the "proper date":
It is the day of. I have decided to step out in a comfortable T-shirt and mom jeans so that I can eat to my fill without worrying about my clothes getting too tight. I had initially considered letting my hair down but eventually decided on a ponytail so as to keep the hair from interfering with my eating.
After the "proper date":
The date went very well thanks to the excellent double cheeseburgers with extra honey-mustard sauce. May or may not have been too engrossed with the food and failed to adequately communicate with the boy. May or may not have used the food as a distraction in order to sabotage a romance set to expire in two days.
I believe I have scared the boy off today by attempting to eat the flowers he'd gotten me. In my defense, I was starving and had assumed they were edible.
I upset the boy today by offering to psychoanalyse him in response to him professing his love for me. In my defence, I wanted to help him find relief from the irrational sense of "love".
Concluding notes: I believe I would've been able to crack the code if I'd given in to my impulses and reciprocated his feelings. But the thought of staying committed indefinitely is causing my anxiety to skyrocket.
Results are inconclusive.
And we are back to square one. Here we go again.
Rasha Jameel is your neighbourhood feminist-apu-who-writes-big-essays. Remind her to also finish writing her bioinformatics research paper at email@example.com