It can be hard to fall in love. Love requires trust and overcoming all the past trauma that tells you not to trust anyone, ever, and certainly not to fall in love with them! We’ve all been hurt in love, and may keep up so many walls and barriers to entry—which psychedelics can help break down. That’s why we love them. A trip can cut through the nasty voices in your head and help you see what really matters. And sometimes, a trip can make you open your heart to love, even if your heart may once again get broken when you come down.
Five years ago, sex and relationship coach Ashley Manta, creator of CannaSexual® (a platform combining sex and cannabis), took psilocybin mushrooms with her partner (spoiler alert: they are still together). “The sex we had that night was beyond anything I’d ever felt before. Colors, patterns, and swirls of light danced across our faces. I saw our lives together, perfectly entwined,” she says. “I knew at that moment that I loved him and that there was a part of my soul that belonged to him. I didn’t know what that meant or what it would look like yet, or even if he felt the same, but I knew in my heart, it was true.”
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While the blending of senses during sex can undoubtedly connect you to someone, Manta says that she was also struck with how the trip sped up the process of falling in love. “It made the process lighting fast. It felt like we’d known each other our entire lives,” she says. “I left with a calm, peaceful knowing that this was my person.”
It’s often said that tripping is like packing years of therapy into a few hours. You may gain insight into past trauma, or eating disorders, or even your political outlook. And often, the people you trip with play a vital role in the course of that trip (that’s the whole reason why trip sitters exist). So of course, people can fall in love in as quickly as a day while they’re on psychedelics. To put it bluntly, you see past not only your own, but also other people’s, bullshit. Although, it doesn’t always play out like an MDMA-fueled rom-com. Manta notes that she’s tripped with plenty of other people and not gone ga-ga.
Eva fell in love with a friend two years ago during a trip on Earth Day. They were picking up trash in a park, and he was drumming a drum, which, of course, can knock a psychedelic experience to the next level. “I felt a lot of energy coming into my body, and I couldn’t move,” Eva says. “I didn’t know what was going on with me. Then suddenly the whole world kind of blurred, and this voice told me, ‘This is going to be your husband.’ My ego was like, ‘What? Him? No!'”
She says that it felt like a program was turned on, installing her being into love. After the trip ended, over the next few weeks, she continued to fall in love with him. However, they had different experiences. He downloaded a different program, so to speak, and saw her as the epitome of femininity. “It was very hard for me to get out of it and understand that this was a projection, and he’s not going to be my husband,” Eva says. She’s 16 years younger than the friend with whom she fell in love, and was in her 20s at the time. Even so, the trip (and falling in love) was a growing experience, she says, and she doesn’t regret it. “Since that day, something in myself changed. I’m a much calmer person.” However, Eva does caution against blindly following messages that come to you during a psychedelic experience. “Don’t get attached too much to what you see,” she says. Rather, heed what the medicine tells you and then consider it over an integration period.
Michelle Janikian, the author of Your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion: An Informative, Easy-to-Use Guide to Understanding Magic Mushrooms, calls it “psilocybin blinders.” You trip with someone, fall in love, and when the relationship doesn’t pan out in everyday life, sometimes people can refuse to let go—w is ironic, considering how prevalent the theme of “letting go” can be during a psychedelic experience. “If it doesn’t work out, it’s okay to let go and move on. It can go both ways, and I think people should know that,” Janikian says.
It’s tough to give tips and tricks on knowing when love is real and will last, and what was just the trees whispering to you because—have you ever tried to rationalize with someone who is in love? Even sober people in love can be a nightmare, forget it if three and a half tabs of acid showed you your soulmate. The grown-ups aren’t lying; psychedelics are powerful stuff. They can create friendships, speed up healing, and put you through a whirlwind romance. Sometimes they last; sometimes they teach you more about yourself than the other person. We have to accept that like love, psychedelics are powerful. Check-in with friends, your therapist, and the other person—the one you think you might be in love with. “They will still continue to be full of love,” Janikian says, “And [they will still be] a beautiful creature if you have to break up and move on in your separate ways.”
Sophie Saint Thomas is DoubleBlind’s Community Engagement Editor. Her writing has been published in GQ, Playboy, VICE, Cosmopolitan, Forbes, Allure, Glamour, Marie Claire, High Times, Nylon, Refinery29, Complex, Harper’s Bazaar, PRIDE Magazine, SELF, and more.