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  • Every time. It's that first rush.

    Whether it's a relationship or merely finding a friend who has something significant in common with you -- they read the same books; they love the same bands; they enjoy late-night hikes up mountains just as much as you -- that first rush gets you addicted. It's like a drug. You want to be with that person all the time. You want to talk. You want to discover things about them, and you eventually want them to discover things about you. I don't know whether that feeling can be called excitement or hope or just good old infatuation, but it sure as hell is addicting. It makes you crazy. You find yourself waiting around, hoping for something to happen; and then you feel ridiculous when you realize what you're doing, that you should probably be sleeping like a normal person since it's 3 a.m. and it's pouring outside and you're sure you can hear your bed calling your name, wondering where you are. And you wonder where you are, too, why you're not behaving like that other, past part of you would be. But no, your excitement/hope/whatever you want to call it bolts you to your seat. You couldn't move if you wanted to. It's hopeless.

    And this carries on for a while. Maybe a month, a few weeks. Long enough to feel like it's part of life, like it'll be there forever. Then something snaps. One of you realizes that you're not behaving normally and that it has to stop. One of you loses that rush, that addicting feeling, that desire to get to know the other. Maybe you're too busy to keep up, you're distracted by a new friend, or you're just plain tired of the old one. Maybe that person who was once exciting is now like that Killers CD you played over and over until it got shoved under the passenger seat of your car, never to see daylight again.

    To be the person on the end of the line that cuts off all supply is easy. You simply stop talking/interacting with that other person and just go back to life like it was before. The other person is still there, on your Facebook newsfeed. You have their number. You can contact them if you need something or ever want to talk again. It's easy. Simple.

    But to be on the other side of the line is not so simple. To be on the other side, listening for a friendly voice and hearing only a dial tone, leaves one lonely. Denied. Mistaken. There were still so many conversations to have, so many questions to ask. So many mountains to hike or themes of books to discuss or bands to check out. The whole time, you're staggering backward. You're bewildered. "Where did I go wrong?" you ask. "Did I ask too many questions? Was I too eager?" And the worst part is that you'll probably never know. You'll just have to accept the fact that you tried and hope that the next friendship/relationship works out. Try not to kick yourself for A) overdoing it, B) investing your trust in someone who didn't like you that much anyway, and C) being such a goddamn introvert in the first place.

    Three things will help you know who the real people are. Trials, distance, and time. Sooner or later, one of these will tear you away from someone you thought might be there for a while. But, like every problem, it heals with the same poison. Give it time, give it emotional distance, close yourself off from it, back it with experiences from similar trials, and you'll be good as new.

    It just takes some practice. Soon, you'll get good at picking up the phone and hearing a dial tone. You'll set it down gently and go do something else that's more deserving of your energy.

    After a while, you won't even pick up the phone anymore.
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