Biko Kennedy and Whitney Blackwood, Youthlink Writers
We've all experienced that bowl of cereal dilemma; you know, that maddening feeling you get from either having too much cereal in the bowl and a cork full of milk, or just bits and pieces of cereal and an overflow of milk. In both cases you keep adding in the hope of creating the perfect balance between the two but you end up eating way more than you had planned to initially. It's kind of the same thing with relationships; don't you think there's a vast distance between love and being in love? Oh that 'L' word; so often misinterpreted but even more frequently mistreated. Maybe what you are feeling isn't necessarily love but a different 'L' word. Maybe it's just a case of you being ...
... In Like
How it looks: You tend to have a particular interest in someone whose feelings aren't necessarily mutual. Occasionally, you find yourself ticking the matched expectations off your imperfect checklist for an ideal mate, dreaming of that happily-ever-after experience.
• The feeling: You have a growing desire to be around this individual all the time as there is not a moment that passes when you're not thinking about him/her in some way.
• The sign: When you're around the individual you become extremely self-conscious and highly judgemental of your actions, because you want to make sure that everything is picture perfect.
• Love vs like: In front of the person you love your heart feels an unconditional yearning for togetherness, but in front of the person you like you simply feel comfortable.
Can it evolve? Chances are that it will. You can think of being 'in like' with someone as the stepping stone to learning how to love him or her. The more time you spend together the more you start developing deeper and stronger feelings, and you will both become an integral part of each other's life.
... In Laugh
How it looks: You tend to always want this person around to share a good laugh with. If there's a dull moment in your life and you want that quick entertainment fix, you give him/her a call.
• The feeling: You're quite uncertain as to whether the platonic relationship is going anywhere, but it really doesn't faze you much because you crack each other up like a set of circus clowns.
• The sign: You're extremely comfortable around him/her, sharing some of your innermost secrets because all he/she'll do is make it humourous and leave you with a much- needed, sudden spark of joy in your life.
• Love vs laugh: When you look into the eyes of the one you love, you blush; when you look into the eyes of the one you simply share laughs with, you come up with something witty and playful to make you laugh all over again.
Can it evolve? Unless you truly want it to, it won't, mainly because that 'chemistry' you both share is simply that of good friends who have great times laughing together.
... In Lost
How it looks: You constantly find yourself unsure about whether you want this relationship to continue and you simply question why there's a relationship to begin with.
• The feeling: When you're around the person time seems to pass slower than ever; not because there's magic in the air but because when you're around him/her conversations that were once refreshing seem to drain and depress you.
• The sign: You find yourself being very miserable and uncomfortable in his/her presence and the more time you spend around together is the unhappier you get; you'd prefer if you were alone than together at that moment.
• Love vs lost: When you're in love there are times when you won't know what to say, but just the fact that you're in his/her presence means a lot to you. On the other hand, when you're 'in lost' you simply don't want to find something to talk about because just the sound of his/her voice irks you.
Can it evolve? It's not impossible but highly improbable. Normally, once you have made up your mind that there is just no hope for the relationship, that's just what it is. If you reassess why you are feeling this way, you could talk things through with your partner and maybe even see a relationship counsellor.
... In Lust
How it looks: You spend more hours daydreaming about the person's physique than taking time out to acknowledge their emotional needs.
• The feeling: Your focus is on the person's physique; nothing more, nothing less.
• The sign: There is no emotional connection whatsoever but you'll spend time with him/her cause you look good together.
• Love vs lust: When the one you love is crying, you cry with him/her and try to provide some amount of comfort, but when you're 'in lust' you care less about why he/she is crying to begin with.
Can it evolve? When you're in lust his/her personality and emotions are not taken into consideration so, obviously, you wouldn't want it to evolve.
... In Loneliness
How it looks: You've just come out of a relationship, possibly a long-term one, and you start yearning for that 'relationship' feeling once again, admiring other couples and getting that 'I-want-that-too' feeling.
• The feeling: Being in a relationship with anyone will suffice and you try to garner feelings that will never be present between the two of you.
• The sign: You become highly needy and clingy in the hope of not losing your new-found companion.
• Love vs loneliness: With the person you love, a sense of belonging isn't the focal point of the relationship. While you're lonely, however, your main desire is to be needed.
Can it evolve? It can, once you've got over your recent break-up and are not dependent on anyone for that 'relationship-esque' attention.
Do you identify with any of these types of relationships? Share with us on Facebook (Facebook.com/YouthlinkJamaica) and Twitter (@YouthlinkMag).