Just Say Something Already!
Rumor has it that I'm a man. Some say the evidence is merely circumstantial… Okay, I can live with that. Hmm, this article is already off to an odd start so I'm just going to keep writing and see what sticks.
Basically, this post is coming from a guy that's been good at “just being friends” with a girl, even though I really want much more… You know who this guy is. Perhaps you call this guy “Captain Futile” or “Sir Sucksalot.” Maybe you're that guy! Or, perhaps, that guy is one of your friends and you're about ready to strangle him due to his inability to get out of the friendship boat.
I've been this guy before. It sucks. As I've gotten older this stopped being a problem. Why? Enter my life experience. I had a friend, Leanne, that I really had a thing for. She always had a boyfriend and such, or was just unavailable and it was always my perception that she was never in to me… Shocking, right? Well, she ended up getting married to some guy. When I heard about it I was crushed. I felt sorry for myself for a while for never getting the chance to make something happen with Leanne.
Her and I met up with some friends for drinks shortly after her engagement and Leanne and I talked. She asked me why I'd never asked her out… I think my eyes glazed over and I could only think of banging my head against the wall… I mean, why didn't I even try? She went on and said that she would have dated me and even mentioned how one time she was certain that I was going to and then she mentioned other things that I did or said that made it appear that I WASN'T interested in HER!!! I was beside myself. You see, I was too busy worrying about things that didn't matter and drawing conclusions of failure in my head… That's why I didn't pursue Leanne when she was free; I was also insecure with myself, so I wouldn't have even tried in the first place… Obviously I didn't. When I realized what I missed out on and why, I asked myself some tough questions. I needed to understand why I didn't even try. I needed to know why I felt so impotent when it came to approaching these girls that I liked. I made a firm commitment to myself at that point. That commitment was to really love who I was, that's something that took a long time and is probably the basis for a group hug sesh, peeps. The other commitment was to never sit by and not say what I feel. Not knowing sucks. You forget eventually… Then, one day out of the blue you'll wonder about that girl that got away… “What if?” You'll ask yourself… That is the worst, friends. Never trying and not knowing.
When I made that conscious decision to say what I felt it did free me. It made some things easier. You see, if I tell someone how I feel and she can't return those feelings, sure, it hurts and it sucks. At least I know that I tried, however. I can live with that.
That's led me to some awkward conversations through the years. One time I told a girl how I felt and she didn't say anything. Literally, she didn't say ANYTHING. We were sitting down at a table in a bar for, what felt like an eternity, about five minutes. Awkward. So I got up and said “Thanks” and went on my way. That was a tough pill to swallow, but I got over it and moved on. Another time I told a girl I was dating that I wanted to know where our relationship was going. She had been getting really flakey and I wanted to know where things were headed. I confronted her and then she said things like, “Wow, I didn't know you felt like this,” and “well, I need time to think… blah blah.” Needless to say we didn't move forward in our relationship… I was okay with it. I was taking control and it felt good.
At the end of the day rejection isn't that bad… Not knowing, by far, is a lot worse and you'll never know… Just say something already.
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The problem (and solution) you describe relate to more than dating and the dreaded "friend zone". Fear of learning the truth or of looking stupid if the truth is revealed paralyzes many people in many situations…so much so that they seem to forget that you can't change an unpleasant truth by avoiding it. Telling the truth and seeking the truth in all relationships would remove many (if not all) of the obstacles that cause so much angst and drama in the dating world.
Wow Tiffany. I mean, that's pretty much how my whole article right there: Seek truth and be truthful with yourself and others. Bam. Done. I admire people that can really get to the heart of things in an efficient manner. Truly.
Oh and one more thing of interest, here. Leanne recently remarried. Guess who's a registered minister and was asked to perform her second wedding? Yep, this guy. Life's not short on irony, now, is it?
If we don't risk rejection, we can't possibly risk intimacy.