The Mere-Exposure Effect

By Chrisllynn Siah

They call it the mere-exposure effect; a psychological theory stating that people are more likely to be attracted to someone the more they are exposed to them. I always found this concept difficult to grasp. Yet, it suddenly all made sense when I found myself occasionally checking my notifications for your name. It made sense when I laughed at jokes no one else would find funny, and when I subconsciously sought you out in the hallways. I always found you. 

This feeling is dangerous. Because no matter how much I try, could I really go a day without wondering what song you’re listening to, or, what you had for lunch? Could I convince myself not to fall into this abyss of attraction? Unfortunately, these are questions I don’t know the answers to. All I know, is that I can barely comprehend this rollercoaster ride of emotions- a turbulent ride where the end destination is uncontrollable fondness. It’s a dangerous feeling because I know that as much as I want it to, this won’t last forever. I know that our dynamic is confined to walls it can’t survive outside of, and the moment those walls come down, this little thing between us becomes history. History that remains ingrained in my mind as if it only happened yesterday, while it slowly fades into a distant memory in yours. 

You’ll carry on with your life and act perfectly fine. I’ll stay up staring at the bright moon and tell it all the things I never got a chance to whisper to you. If only you could hear me tell the moon that my biggest dream is for us to come true and that my greatest fear is that we don’t stay that way for long enough. 

I don’t think you realize how deep I’ve started to fall. There’s no one I’d rather watch the stars with and no one I’d prefer to dance with in the rain. Or maybe you do realize, and we’re both just too scared to address it. Maybe you’re like me–maybe you’re afraid that the moment you acknowledge it, it takes a turn in an undesirable direction. Neither of us knows how bad it can get, and why try to ruin something that’s already so good?

%d bloggers like this: