What is it about telling someone how you feel about them that makes it so damn terrifying?
It goes back to those early crushes in elementary school, doesn’t it? The ones you would whisper to a friend and then say, “Don’t tell him I like him! I would just DIE!
I guess it is a fear of rejection or something. Fear that the person will laugh at you. Fear that the person won’t feel the same way.
But, on the other hand, what if they did? What if they too were whispering to THEIR friends the same thing about you?
Of course, if I had ended up with my childhood crush, then a friend of mine would not have her two glorious children – because she ended up marrying him. But, I digress.
We do the same exact thing as adults. We go right back to that fourth grade feeling of “he can’t know! I will just DIE!” So, instead we keep it inside, WONDERING if they feel the same way. No one wants to be the one to say “I love you” first. What if they don’t say it back?!? Now the feeling is out there, like the proverbial elephant in the room. Or those men who fret over whether or not their intended will say yes to a proposal of marriage. Seems to me though, that if you have gotten to that point in your relationship you have a PRETTY good idea what the answer will be. If you don’t then the time might not be right.
We want to know all the answers up front. BEFORE taking the risk of speaking up. But, then it becomes a vicious circle – and no one wants to be the one who breaks out. We will act distant and awkward. Give ourselves ulcers worrying about it. Headaches. Drink liters of alcohol. All in the attempt to keep it inside (ironically though, too much liquid courage will cause EVERYTHING to spill out).
And then there are our poor friends. The ones we dissect every conversation we have had with the other person and then ask, “Well? What does that mean?” It gets to the point where friends will start to avoid us, just so they don’t have to hear another word! Of course, how would they know? They aren’t the other person!
We could make it even more elementary school-ish if we ask a friend – who asks a friend – who asks a friend – who asks a friend – to ask him if he likes you. And then have that big squealing moment when we hear “He likes you!” Which of course means that both will say nothing to the other. Another vicious circle.
Anything to avoid just looking at the person and saying, “I like you. A lot. Do you like me?”
Check yes. Check no.