Opinion | Relationships

Falling in Love Isn’t a Math Equation

What discussions about “mate value” overlook.

Renata Ellera Gomes
Sexography
Published in
9 min readMay 16, 2024

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Photo licensed from Adobe Stock

*Written with Joe Duncan.

Loving someone who doesn’t love you back is a nightmare (unless you’re a cat person). Anyone who’s ever lived it can tell you it’s both ecstasy and torment, loving someone you can never manage to touch. The oscillating feelings swoop us up in their grasp, paralyzing us, like a terrible accident unfolding in slow motion that we just can’t look away from.

No matter how gruesome, no matter how ignominious, no matter how nerve-racking the experience becomes, we’re stuck, addicted to the manic of the highs and the despair of the lows.

These days, we would hardly call that love, but infatuation. Countless songs have been sung about it throughout the ages. Homer’s Iliad may have been the first song of one-sided love in Western history — if we believe Helen of Sparta was an unwilling captive. REM singer Michael Stipe told the New York Times that the band’s hit song Losing My Religion was about the deep infatuation of unrequited love, a story where a man is reduced to speechlessness over his fixation with someone.

That roller-coaster might be a thrill for a short while, but eventually, we come to our senses, usually after…

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Renata Ellera Gomes
Sexography

Writing about love, relationships, culture, and life in general. Get my book, Acid Sugar, at shorturl.at/hvAVX