What is a love hangover?

Love is in the air… or is it?

You just spent 3 days alone with the guy you’re into. Everything was perfect, everything.  Once you arrive back home, you plop on your couch, call a girlfriend, and you spend the next hour gushing over every single moment of your trip. You vividly recall every detail, and you find yourself sharing things with your girlfriends that you promised yourself you wouldn’t tell anyone.  Somehow your memory is limitless, and you reveal every memory over a string of mushy word vomit.

However, as a day or two passes, your high starts to fade.  Perhaps you begin to miss your lover, even though you didn’t leave each others side for 72 hours. Perhaps the few hours he took to call you back feels like three days.  Perhaps you’re a bit on edge or snappy. Perhaps you start to re-evaluate whether you should be spending so much time thinking about him. Either way, the high starts to wear off and your obsession of that happy place begins to take new form.

Sound familiar? You see, ladies and gentlemen, this is what I like to call a Love Hangover.

Let’s look at the official definition of hangover:

hang·o·ver /ˈhaNGˌōvər/ noun

  1. a severe headache or other after effects caused by drinking an excess of alcohol

I’m willing to bet that most of us have all had a hangover, but I’m willing to bet a lot more that all of us have made that promise to God in the middle of a hangover “Dear God, Just take this away… i”ll never drink again!”

Please believe I’ve made that same plea while trying to get over a guy as well.  

Anyhow, If I were to repurpose this hangover definition for Love, it would say:

hang·o·ver /ˈhaNGˌōvər/ noun

  1. a severe headache or other after effects caused by an excess of time spent with a lover

Do you see how I ever so slightly adjusted it?  Instead of an excess of alcohol, the meaning is an excess amount of time spent with someone you are really into.

Alright folks- story time.

I have a friend who’s ice cold. Ok, maybe that’s dramatic. She’s not ice cold, but she certainly numbs herself to the idea of any and all emotions involving relationships.  She was in a five-year relationship that shattered her for a moment. Much like myself, she hasn’t successfully dated anyone since her big breakup.

She recently met a man that checks every single box her little, cynical, 30’s something heart desires. The first three weeks were exciting.  I listened to her share stories about how this gentleman was sweeping her off of her feet. It felt natural to her and she was warming up to the idea of opening up to him. About a month into dating each other, he (an artist like her) proposed that they escape the city and head to a cabin in the mountains to work on their respective crafts. She threw ridiculous situations out at me, what if he’s taking me all the way to the woods to chop me up? But the anxiety was fleeting,  sure enough, bitch wasn’t even gone 12 hours before she facetimed me from the Rocky Mountains.

As soon as the facetime screen opened, I saw her bright, little face with a smile from ear to ear. “Ash, it’s perfect. He’s perfect.” I let her go on and on for about 30 minutes, I don’t think she ever took a breath.  She rattled off everything she had discovered in this short time, and I could almost see the snapchat heart filter floating around her head. Beyonce made “Drunk In Love” insanely popular, but how many people are actually Love Drunk, instead?  My friend was in the middle of a serious love binge and she had no idea the love hangover would be on its way.

She came home on cloud 9. She floated through all of the possibilities for their future together. I was so happy to see her like this. Unfortunately, it was short lived.

About two days later she was on my line singing a very different tune.  She was having trouble focusing and a bit irritable. Her emotions were like a wave and she sounded exhausted.  She was confused but I wasn’t…

That’s when I ever so casually dropped the now Ashley-coined phrase, love hangover, on her. I described to her that once you enter this stage, you feel totally uneasy. You feel uncomfortable because you don’t understand why you’re not still ecstatic about everything wonderful happening in your life.

Actual Hangover symptoms typically begin when your blood alcohol content drops significantly and is at or near zero. Depending on what and how much you drank, you may notice:

  • Fatigue and weakness

  • Excessive thirst and dry mouth

  • Headaches and muscle aches

  • Nausea, vomiting or stomach pain

  • Poor or decreased sleep

  • Increased sensitivity to light and sound

  • Dizziness or a sense of the room spinning

  • Decreased ability to concentrate

  • Mood disturbances, such as depression, anxiety and irritability

  • Rapid heartbeat

Love Hangover symptoms typically begin when you brain loses significant control and your emotions decide to take over. Depending on the person and how much time you spent together, you may notice the following:

  • Fatigue and weakness

  • Excessive thirst and dry mouth

  • Headaches and muscle aches

  • Nausea, vomiting or stomach pain

  • Poor or decreased sleep

  • Increased sensitivity to light and sound

  • Dizziness or a sense of the room spinning

  • Decreased ability to concentrate

  • Mood disturbances, such as depression, anxiety and irritability

  • Rapid heartbeat

Ironic the symptoms are the same? Nope.

You just had the best time, but somehow feel empty and drained?  Your love binge took everything out of you. You probably felt things you haven’t experienced in a long time. You suddenly have hope for a future, and as exciting as that is, it’s also scary. All at once you start to realize that you’re losing control and your mind starts to fight back.

Was that just a dream?

Is he even real?

What’s he hiding?

Are you familiar with these symptoms after a good love binge Young Queen? I sure am.

I recently met a guy who I’m kind of nuts about. I spent one day with him out of town…. one day. The high from one day lasted me one week, but child…by day eight, I wanted nothing more than to turn back the clocks to the one day we spent together. I literally cannot tell you how or why, but I watched myself lose total control of my emotions.  I started picking small fights. I began to notice when he was and was not returning calls and text messages. Overall, I was just a bit more winey because I wasn’t getting any sleep thinking about him! At one point, he said to me “you’re always mad at me now.” No bro, I’m not always mad at you. My emotions are on fire! I don’t even know how I feel. I just know I want to feel what I felt with you… all the time.

Lucky for us all, hangovers are temporary.  Eventually, your emotions balance out and you return to normal, or at least until your next binge.  I wish I had more insight into how to mitigate the side effects of your love binge but alI have are the notes I’ve gathered from my experience:

#1. Immediately after your trip? Keep your feedback to yourself. You don’t need your homegirls hyping you up

#2. Find something to do. Keep your mind occupied with things other than him.

#3. You may have decided on your soul mate, but time & circumstance are the real judge. Be patient, not anxious.

For now, there’s no cure for a love hangover, but hold your head & your heart high Young Queen, we all go through it.

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