The metaphor sent me into a spiral.

"He'd say things like, 'You're too serious' ... I went rogue. I tried being spicier, sweeter, umami-er."

"I stewed on it for months. Eventually we broke up."

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"'What kind of salad do you think I'd be?' I asked my friends weeks after the breakup.... I had to know."

Illustrations of Harvest Bowl from Sweetgreen, Wedge from Musso & Frank, Papaya Salad from Jitlada and DIY Salad.

"I didn't have sex for a year.... All I knew was I didn't want to feel like someone was 'having me.' I wanted to be savored."

"Three years later, there it was. Fragrant with dill and parsley, sprinkled with bits of preserved lemon. The Green Goddess."

"For the first time in a long time, I was the one who decided: This is delicious."

"I smiled. Across from me was someone new. We savored every bite."

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The author is a writer and cartoonist based in Los Angeles. She is the author of “Drawn Together: Illustrated True Love Stories” (Voracious, 2022). She’s on Instagram: @drawingolive

L.A. Affairs chronicles the search for romantic love in all its glorious expressions in the L.A. area, and we want to hear your true story. We pay $400 for a published 950- to 1,000-word essay. (Occasionally we work with artists and cartoonists on illustrated stories.) Email your essay to [email protected]. You can find submission guidelines here. You can find past columns here.

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