Why It’s OK to Show How You Feel

In my more naive and inexperienced days (which, to be frank, were probably just a few weeks ago), I used to think that a guy would just be able to tell instantaneously that I liked him.

Because guys can, you know, read your mind or something.

My friends and I thought we were being obvious by asking a guy to grab a coffee with us or maybe a drink, or texting him to come to a party with the rest of the crew, or by purposely sitting by him in the library. We thought that any guy could tell our intentions by our friendliness, because to us, it felt like outrageous flirting.

Haven’t we all thought that for a second? “I just smiled at him, he HAS to know I have a crush on him” or “I snapchatted Sam twice, do you think he’ll figure it out?” I have many dear guy friends, who I think are extremely intelligent. But I’m starting to realize that men are not creatures who understand subtle hints. Especially if those hints are as subtle as: sending more than one text, patting someone on the back, letting someone know you’d like to hang out with them in a group of friends, etc.

We live in a world where men are supposed to be the pursuers. They decide when they like a woman, when they will go out on a date, and when they will fall in love. And women are supposed sit by and passively wait for this to happen. To a certain extent, I do believe that it is the man’s job to take action. But I don’t think this means you have to keep it to yourself if you like a guy first. You won’t make him feel like less of a man by making the first move.

If women (or men, for that matter) are never emotionally honest about how we feel, we will all be sitting around until we are old and gray, playing bingo waiting for each other to spill the beans.

Well, dear readers, I say… ENOUGH!

I propose that we be honest with one another. This doesn’t always mean a confession of undying love. It just means being clear about what we want. Avoiding ambiguous wording in a text message—or using an Instagram like or a Snapchat streak to drop a hint. Instead, engage in conversation, smile, and hang out with one another, without a fear of revealing too much about your feelings.

In the past, I’ve been extremely intimidated to show someone how I feel. I fear that if I have to make the first move, it’s already a sign that he doesn’t like me. Hiding how I really feel becomes a safety-net that protects me from being vulnerable and exposed to being hurt.

Over the past few months, I have decided to be more direct with my guy friends if I have an interest in them. Instead of beating around the bush, I’ve been honest about how I feel for them.

I’ve become more confident, regardless of whether it goes well or not because now I know where I stand with other people. The big scary “what if” has become smaller and a weight has lifted. I’m more free to live my life, instead of worrying about how my subtle actions or words will affect our relationship.

Honesty, which in a sense means certainty of where you stand, is freeing. Rejection can sting. but when we receive a clear answer, we can move on after we are certain of another person’s feelings.

So let’s be honest with one another about where we stand, preferably before our retirement days full of bingo.

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