My first year in college I met a fellow who was a couple years older—a good-looking, take-charge kind of guy who made me feel special and cherished. Soon, he persuaded me to go steady and then began talking marriage.
I was dazzled by his attention—so dazzled that I couldn’t see clearly, couldn’t see him at all—his interests and goals—and whether we were really compatible. But I convinced myself that I loved him—and much later realized I was only in love with being loved.
That was long ago—and now I have two young granddaughters who are very interested in love—especially the romantic kind. I told them about this experience with the fellow in college, how flattered I was and how foolish. “What did you do?” they asked.
“I finally ended it,” I said. “Much later than I should have—and regret how I hurt him.”
One of these granddaughters announced a few months later that she had broken up with a boy she’d been dating. “I remembered your story,” she said, “about being in love with being loved.”
We nodded together. “It’s pretty seductive,” I said. Then we laughed a little. Cried a little.