In practice it is difficult to fall in love while you are in grad school. (In the beginning, when you have so much to do.) But it’s something that I apparently seek out, as if without that love I couldn’t operate. In practice it actually makes it more difficult: I want to spend all of my time with my beloved, we linger over breakfast and when she leaves I don’t want to work. There is a dependence that comes with being in love that is impossible to avoid—without the one you love you feel less than whole. You can be a whole person, with your own thoughts, feelings, friends, circumstances, and still feel less than yourself. So? That’s what love is, opening yourself to this vulnerability. I have dated people who blamed me—explicitly and implicitly—for the way this operated in themselves. I have ungraciously blamed a partner for this feeling. What we hated was love itself, because of the way it opened us, made us responsible to another, or threatened to. It is not something that it is possible for everyone to do, not always or with everyone.

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