In being lovesick lies the feeling of longing. Many believe for the condition to occur only after the end of a significant relationship or while being unhappily in love. Some may think of it as something to be overcome, to be a temporary effect of a road left abandoned. The longing that lies in lovesickness, however, can be present even during a time in which we lie close to someone in bed on a hazy summer night. May it be a partner or a friend, you might feel longing as you stand close to them in line at the cashier, you might feel it as you walk with them on gravel on a forest hike, or as you rise from sleep the next morning. You might feel the longing even though no physical distance has separated you from the people infecting you with lovesickness.
Now, the notion of feeling distanced from one another without having spaces separate us is nothing new. But, coming back to negative connotation, isn’t the term of „longing” something humans also often tie to positive realms of life? Take homesickness. It is one of the clearest emotions of yearning: Feeling far away while on a class trip as a child or dreading your surroundings when moving to a new town is tied to positive idealizations and, in best cases, memories of what and who a person has defined as home.
Or take wanderlust, in German language the literal opposite of homesickness (you could call it „far-away-sickness”). It is connected to the longing for foreign places and possibly memories of better times spent elsewhere. With these passionate longings illustrating our wishes for rather good things, why is it that lovesickness is connoted only by negative?
What if this summer, after months and months of eternal numbness, emotions such as lovesickness might just be the ones to let us feel intensely ? Could the rigorous feels of longing be more of a sign tying us to one another, making some feel more than everyday blandness could ever? After all, in feeling longing lies the awareness of wishing, of something being present in mind, but yet far. We do however know that something is there. To feel longing is impossible without acknowledging a (albeit missing) existence, may it be of a person, a place, a feeling.
And while we’re on it, think about the double layers that lie in the meaning of the word „sick” also. Consider US teen movies, where yes, „That’s sick, man!“ can be descriptive language to mark something as refutable – but also as something otherworldly, phenomenal, unexpected, of grandeur, impressive. One could go as far as to say there lies a feeling of healthy envy in it, a desire to experience the intense emotions that mark something as not normal, as „sick”.
One might even go as far as to describe these feelings as longing – a feeling that ultimately centers us in the present, making us aware of what we wish for, whether in bed at night, on a hike, on a class trip away from home, standing at the cashier, looking back at the head of the one you long for. It’s what we desire, even if parts of it are close. But, again, what we might never forget in all of this is one thing: In longing and lovesickness lie no uncertainties. We already know what we are looking for.
Photography Maximilian Mouson, Text Robin Micha, Creative Direction Christian Ruess, Styling Nadine Sahm, Arabella Romen @Studio Christian Ruess, Hair & Make up Fabienne Hoppe, Photo Assistance Oliver Schümers, Models Kira Fiorella Aguilar, Marie Chante @Mirrrs Models, Production Container Love Location Elbekies