Every year, the arrival of the spring season always sets something crazy off in me. With temperatures on the rise, days getting longer and the intoxicating scent of exotic foliage filling the air, I get a little silly as that blissful day when the onset of summer finally sets me free draws nearer and nearer. This spring fever of sorts leaves me falling easily victim to a certain phenomenon that afflicts so many of us around this time of year. I’m referring to infatuation – that wonderfully fleeting middle ground between the purely physical gains reaped from mutual lust and the emotional complexities that stem from being in love.

I’ve been an active participant in all three – lust, love and infatuation – and I can say without hesitation that the last has always been my favorite. When night after night of partying in Isla Vista has left one feeling unfulfilled, the playful innocence of falling in like with someone can be a much-needed breath of fresh air in a world that reeks of beer, cigarette smoke and used condoms. Or when the hardships of being in a relationship have begun to take their toll and the complications of being so deeply connected to someone arise in a less-than-favorable fashion, one may often yearn for the rush and excitement of initial courtship.

I have always been one to fall hard, easily and often, and I’ve found that there is something about having a crush that is strangely addicting. Though guys come and go with moderate frequency in my life, there is little I love more than that awesome buzz that sets in when the chemistry is right, personalities click and the pressure to be anything more than what you are in the moment feels light years away. The stage is a short-lived one, sometimes lasting mere weeks or even days, but for me, the sheer thrill of infatuation has never been overshadowed by its brevity.

Perhaps the beauty of infatuation lies in the fact that ignorance truly is bliss. When you meet someone you think is wonderful, you want to believe that they will always be wonderful. Flaws and shortcomings melt away as you mentally paint this perfect picture of them in all their unrealistic, unfounded glory. Main staples of relationships, like common interests, shared goals and raw compatibility, are overlooked because these feelings of attraction are so intense and feel so real.

But I guess the truth is that not much about infatuation is real. A defining characteristic of infatuation is its element of fantasy, and we all know that no one can live in a dream for long. But for me, infatuation takes me back to a place in my life when a kiss meant the world, embraces seemed to last forever and the brush of someone’s hand against mine sent shivers down my back. And in this crazy time of burgeoning adulthood, I wonder, are those times really lost? Is there a threshold of innocence that we all pass at one point or another, after which nothing is as special as it was when we first discovered those feelings?

I just realize that as I get older, those feelings seem to grow more and more elusive. The idea of courtship seems to diminish before my eyes everyday, and the notion of connecting with someone in a way that is physical, intellectual, sexual and emotional all at once is beginning to border on na