How many times have you shared how you feel with someone, just to have it blow up in your face? I’ve had it happen a few times, I misread signals or thought there was something more than there was, shared my feelings with the guy, and ultimately wound up losing a friend in the process. And obviously, he didn’t reciprocate the feelings. Now, when it first happens, you may feel a bit of regret, and shame, of course. But now, looking back, I have no regret for sharing how I feel about someone.
Here’s the thing: life is super short. We all know that, at least subconsciously, but when you have a long day at work, it doesn’t always feel like life is all that short. But it is. We never know what kind of time we have left on this earth, which is why it’s so important to share how we feel with others. I mean, think about it, if neither party ever shared how they felt, there wouldn’t be relationships. Someone has to take the leap of faith and hope that the other person likes them too in order for a relationship to ever get started. Traditionally, it was men asking women out, but as time has gone on, that standard has changed. Now, it’s perfectly acceptable for women to ask men out. Which I think is great, as I am not a super patient person, and sometimes, men can be very slow at getting to the whole asking out thing. I went out with this one guy, we flirted for months, I even had a friend find out if he was ever going to ask me out, and he was, but he was “waiting for the right time.” He did ask me out a few weeks later, but I have no idea if my friend said anything to him or not. But you know, that gets me thinking, what is the right time to ask someone out? There really isn’t one. Obviously not during a funeral, but since that wasn’t an issue, there really was no bad time to do that.
While things with he and I didn’t work out super well after a couple dates, I certainly hope he didn’t regret asking me out. We both had crushes on each other and wanted to see what would happen. I personally thought it was nice, he’s a great guy, just not the great guy for me. I don’t know if he holds ill will towards me, I probably never will, but that’s not the point. The point is, someone needed to make a move, otherwise we would have never known how the other felt.
In some cases, you can feel embarrassed when you like someone and they don’t like you back. Yes, sharing our feelings can make us extremely vulnerable, but that’s not a bad thing. At the time it sucks that the person you like doesn’t feel the same, I get it, like I said, it’s happened a couple of times. But that doesn’t mean what I did by saying “hey I like you” (okay, not quite like that, thank goodness), means it’s the end of the world. Not everyone you like will like you back. It sucks, but it’s life. It also shouldn’t be embarrassing. If anything else, whoever you shared that with should be flattered. Hey, there’s something you really liked about them. If nothing else, look at it as a sign of how brave you are. You were brave enough to be vulnerable, not knowing how it would turn out. Don’t regret something like that.
If there were anything to regret in that situation, in my opinion, it would be the loss of a friend. Unfortunately, not everyone reacts the same way to things. And while I personally am flattered when I get asked out, I also try to remain friends with the person, even if I don’t want to date them, and certainly vice versa if I’m the one doing the asking out. However, not everyone wants to do that. In some cases, friendships end completely over someone admitting feelings. I think that’s rather sad, and in the past maybe it made me regret some of the decisions I made with sharing my feelings, but now looking back, I don’t regret it. Yes, I lost some of my close friends, yes, I miss them and wish we still talked, and yes, the feelings definitely faded as I’ve dated other guys since and fallen for some in between. But that’s the thing. Feelings change, which is why I try to remain friends with people, even after something like that. It could be a little crush that’s over in a week. It could be something that they’re mistaking for friendship. There are so many possibilities, and we just never know what’s going on in someone else’s head or heart. But to me, if you had a good friendship, it’s always worth working through a little awkwardness to save that.