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  • Writer's pictureHey Draughter

Unreciprocated Feels: "8th Grade"

And so you’re in the club— the music is boppin’ but as you need to catch your breath your body cools down, you feel eyes on you. You turn around and lock eyes with somebody way across the floor.

There's nothing more invigorating than when this happens, because not only is it like one of those old ass movies— it’s actually happening. Your heart beats a bit faster. You’re in a slight daze like “Is this nigga starring at me?” You think about holding your drink a different way. You know she sees you, but now what? There’s a weird sonic cosmic rush that takes place— but it envelopes the two of you. It might just be infatuation— you could very well be drunk. But, that intergalactic feeling you might have felt: that could be love at first sight. 

The first time I fell in love, was 10 years ago. I was thirteen and I didn’t know what was wrong with me. It was literally to the point where everything I thought about involved that person in some way. In Mean Girls, Cady Heron describes a crush feeling like you’re being hit by a giant yellow bus. So, when I tell you that being in love feels like you’re being ransacked by a freight train, I’m not lying. 

The feelings of an eighth-grade love can typically equate to the purest sense of what you really know about love. It’s the first time you’re in it. You’re a fish in a whole new environment and your mind, body, and soul are all trying to work together to navigate through these new spaces, but it never works. Your soul suffocates a bit. And, before you know it, you’re doing something completely irrational… because you’re in love. 

There’s some strange inherent feeling we get when we feel something about someone. It’s almost as if we completely restructure our world around someone once infatuation kicks in. The person’s smile, smell, movements all resonate in our minds— but eventually, we start to envision those things being impacted by our presence on the person. You imagine what it’s like to hug them, cuddle with them. The love at first sight effect cripples your ability to see solely the potential of the person.  of But, all of this changes once you realize that the compatibility isn’t a match. 

There honestly isn’t anything to lose, right? So, you picture it: walking up to the boy your eight-grade heart declared it loved— only to find out that you aren’t wanted. Your love won’t be reciprocated. And that freight train that ransacked you has just derailed and crushed you. This very  Mission Impossible-esque hyperbole is aggressive… but it’s how your heart feels when it’s happening. I really think the worst part about an 8th Grade love is the indecisiveness of it all. You have one person, ready and willing but maybe like MC says the lyrics are too ready in my song. The other person who’s showing mixed signals. And sadly, one person feeling of rejection is one that is all too familiar.

Eighth-grade loves are one of the most beautiful experiences. It’s your youngest self experiencing emotions for a person you’ve never really felt before. But you have to remember one thing, that there literally isn’t any pressure. 

This isn’t the last time you’ll meet someone and be captivated by their appearance. This might not be the last time you fall in love, but you have to admit— it’s an experience that sets the standard for what your heart will accept and put up with from that moment on. 

So, what do you gain from an eighth-grade love? 

The ability to detect ambivalence 

You gotta take mixed signals as a no, bruh. Bush it off and move on. There will be another time to have free and limitless love, it’s just not with this pretty person. 

If you ask the question “Does this person think about me as much as I think about them?” You probably already know your answer. 

Learn not to be a shelter for someone not looking for a home. 

I’m a confirmation should you feel unsure/ I’m that security when you’re insecure. I’ll be that baby girl when you’re immature/ Don’t be ambivalent towards me. 

This is one of the realest lines on earth. Because the thing about love is that time is your most important resource. Protect your time, protect your energy. An eighth-grade love teaches you how to stand up for yourself when you detect that ambivalence. Never try to make someone fit in your shoes if they never even showed an interest in seeing what size you wear. 

Know that it really is not the end of the world 

You will be fine. Again, there’s never any pressure. And there’s nothing to lose. Time will heal the pain. No matter how long it takes, but always know you can dust it off and try again… Just maybe don’t fall head over heels for someone you meet at a darty.

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