Friday, August 8, 2014

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate: I love Him, He Loves Me... Not?

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate: I love Him, He Loves Me... Not?

               So you’ve been looking at him with dreamy eyes, thinking it and wanting to say it, but wondering if it’s the right time.  Wondering if it’ll be received, and even more so if it’s reciprocated…  He’s laughing at something you said and you can’t help but think how cute his dimples are.  So what should you do now?  Everything has been going great, and with every day that passes, your feelings for him grow stronger and stronger.  The words are right there on the edge of your lips.  You’re just dying to tell him.  So you hype yourself up, convincing yourself that of course he’d want to know, why wouldn’t he?  And you blurt it out, “I love you!”  (insert womp,womp,womp music here-->).
you gonna say something or nah?
                Amazing feeling right?  You finally said it!  But then reality comes flooding in… the seconds are ticking by as you wait to see some type of reaction from him.  You may not have deluded yourself into thinking he’s going to say it back, but you do hope to see some type of response whether it be a smile, a “yes I love you too”, or even a “sorry, kid, can’t say I feel the same way” (hey at least you’d know where you’d stand if he did say that, right?).  Tick, tock, tick, tock… time is ticking away and nothing.  Not a thing.  Not a single solitary thing- no expression, no words, not even a sniffle.

                The big ole smile you had plastered on your face that was so full of light and hope, now fades slowly as you suddenly realize you’ve just screwed up majorly.  Not only did you put yourself out there and expose your most vulnerable feeling- one that you’ve spent so much time protecting, but you’re also the only one (or at least it appears that way) who has that vulnerable feeling and willing to display it.  He’s looking at you (or possibly looking somewhere else ‘cause honestly, who wants to be confronted with this?) and he sees you’re waiting for him to say something.  Clumsily, he fixes his mouth to respond, and oh how profound it is when he blurts out “okay, cool,” or “interesting,” or “you hungry” as he grabs for another handful of spicy Doritos.  Either way, he has completely avoided saying anything with meaning at all and you’re left feeling like the biggest jackass this side of the Mississippi.
oh yeah, she looks pretty pissed

                Now why is that?  Why is it a mistake to tell someone that you love them if that’s genuinely how you feel?  Is it because they didn’t say it back or because they didn’t say anything at all?  Or is it because they didn’t even acknowledge it one way or the other?  This is just one of those things that so many ladies out there deal with.  And when we’ve finally put our hearts on the table and found the raw courage to even take a cautious step towards love, I can’t help but wonder, are we ladies emotional sadomasochists?  Are we thriving on the humiliation of being the only person with feelings ready to embarrass ourselves at a moment’s notice with a declaration of love?  It hurts so good, doesn’t it?

                So with no response (or some semblance of a noncommittal, vague one, whichever your guy gave you) you begin to second guess everything you thought about your situation with him.  You figure yes, you’ve had such a great time together and you spend so much time together that certainly by now he must feel something even if it’s only a morsel of something.  After all, he treats you like you’re a princess.  Then you begin to rationalize that hey, even if he didn’t respond, the way he treats you certainly says something for how he feels about you doesn’t it?  And boy do we try to convince ourselves there, but the truth is, we need to hear it.  All the rationalizing in the world won’t make up for a guy’s positive response to that totally embarrassing declaration you just made.
oh yes, this is happening right now...

I always find it rather hypocritical on the part of men that they would like women to be clear with them about the things they want because men aren’t mind readers.  He can’t read your mind, so we have to tell them what the situation is.  Hey, I can totally dig that!  They’re absolutely right, we should say what we want and not leave it up to guesses.  But in the same breath, when it comes to love, the first thing men will say is that “some things don’t have to be said, you should just know.”  Hmm… isn’t this a contradiction?  So you’re saying that you’re not a mind reader, but when it comes to you, I should be?  Yeah… no…

Warning! Confused girl on deck
             I know that we have all heard the school of thought that actions speak louder than words.  And I would wager that they do, but I think that whomever said that must have been a man.  The reality is, actions do show you a person’s intentions, but their words in conjunction with those actions help to clearly define what those actions actually mean.  This is where we all get mixed up.  Ladies will take a guy’s nice actions and think they mean one thing when they mean something else entirely.  Then we’re left holding the bag, cause like idiots, we assumed something that wasn’t even there (check out Gigi in He’s Just Not That Into You).  Of course when we ask or make our feelings known, we don’t get an answer there either, only further compounding our error.  Argh!!!! Is this shit as confusing to you as it is to me?

                So now that you’ve said the words and he hasn’t said a thing, you have to sit and wonder what the silence means (and good luck figuring that out).  I figure that it could mean one of three things.  1. He either feels the same way, but he’s not a verbal person and therefore plays his hand close to his chest.  That would mean that he probably isn’t going to respond to your courageous declaration anytime in the next millennium, but he will continue to try to show you through his actions (after all, expecting him to say it back is wayyyyyyyy too much pressure!), or 2.  He really doesn’t feel the same way, but thinks it’s better not to say anything because telling you he doesn’t feel the same way would hurt your feelings.  He may care enough about you not to want to hurt your feelings, but he certainly isn’t anywhere near the realm of love, and therefore doesn’t want the confrontation.  Whoo!  Too much pressure! Or 3. He would love to tell you that he doesn’t feel the same way, but thinks you’re going to make a movie (as in flip the hell out and act batshit crazy) or things’ll become awkward and it’ll mess with the status quo. 

                Now which one of those three answers is the possible real answer is left up to anybody’s guess, ‘cause honey, I’ll admit, I don’t have the slightest clue.  It's a puzzle that's for
welcome to the male mind...
damn sure.  But what can you, as a woman with feelings, do about it?  Nothing.  What you can do, is be realistic.  First and foremost, if you love him, it’s okay to tell him.  At least I think it is.  Nothing horrible can come from having genuine feelings for a person and letting them know.  Hey, the world needs more love anyway (isn’t that a song) BUT if those feelings are not reciprocated, leave it there.  I wouldn’t advise telling him a second time.  Trust me, he heard you the first time.  If he isn’t comfortable with responding, you definitely shouldn’t force the issue.  Feeling love is one thing, admitting it to the person you love is quite another, but making a fool of yourself, oh Lord!  Let’s not even entertain that.  Don’t make a fool out of yourself by continuously telling an unresponsive man that you love him.  For one, you look desperate.  Two, you look nuts.  And three, it’s creepy as all hell!  Control yourself please.

What you do with your feelings from there, however, is up to you.  I mean, if it’s really love
you feel, the feelings aren’t going anywhere and you’ll always feel them, but that doesn’t mean that you need to act on them.  Unrequited love is possibly the worst kind, but it is a manageable state if you are honest with yourself.  It’s kinda sad, and it feels sucky, but it’s a worse pain for him to lie to you or lead you on.  Unfortunately in this great big ole world of confused men and women, we have to take the sweets with the sourC’est la vie.  And one last cliché saying for the gipper, you can’t win em all… (For the record, I don’t even know who the gipper is…)

Now if you think there really could be some feeling in his heart for you, but he’s just stuck on what to say, you should give him some time to sort it out.  Men need time to process.  A lot of time… Unlike us ladies, they don’t just come up with answers right away.  I have no idea what they sit and think about, but it seems to be a trait of the gender that males take longer to process a woman’s words than it takes for us to process theirs.  And after a reasonable amount of time (I don’t know what reasonable is, but I’d say at most a week), I’d straight up ask him “hey, just a quick question about what I said to you about my feelings for you… do you honestly feel the same way, or not so much?” 

 I won’t lie, putting it out there like that is very blatant and guys don’t like those types of direct questions.  It’s pressure, and they hate pressure.  I certainly don’t advise pressuring them all the time.  It doesn’t end well, but sometimes you need to know what’s going on.  If you have come to a place where you feel you need to ask that question, prepare for the answer.  And I’ll be the first one to tell you, it may not be the answer you want.  You have to understand that going in.  You have to be ready to hear the absolute worse.  You have to understand that even asking that question may drive him away altogether.  That’s just the reality of it.  And hopefully, if he is a stand up guy and decent, he won’t take the easy route out by lying- he’ll actually tell you the un-sugarcoated truth (at least I hope he will… he may not, because as I said, they are all programmed to think we’ll make a hysterical movie if we hear the truth- realization hasn’t set in that we women are not newborn babies who throw temper tantrums).

                If you get good news or hear what it is you’d hoped to hear, be happy!  Rejoice!  Don’t ask him anymore pressuring questions and just enjoy your time with him.  After all, the guy loves you!  BUT, if you’re in the latter group and get the bad news, you have to take the “L” and keep it moving.  Don’t get angry.  There’s no need.  You can’t make anyone love you and it’s never anybody’s fault that they feel what they feel.  Feelings (or the lack thereof) is a natural thing.  If he doesn’t love you, respect that and let him be. 
Next, be thankful that you were capable of loving him in the first place.  After all, it’s a
great feat for you.  It’s what God put us on Earth to do.  When your heart is capable of feeling affection, care, and respect for another human being, it says a lot about who you are.  Be proud of yourself because it means you’re the good guy. 
Finally, don’t try to make him pay for not loving you.  Let him live.  Don’t slander him or talk bad about him or anything.  Sure you’re hurt, of course you are.  You love someone who doesn’t love you, but that doesn’t make him a bad person.  It just means it wasn’t meant to be.  Try to move on in the most positive way that you can.  That’s really all you can do.  It’s the womanly thing to do and let’s you have a bit of dignity about it. 

In conclusion, it’s true that the ongoing battle between men and women at this point is epic.  What we have here is literally a failure to communicate, but that doesn’t mean we should stop trying.  We women may put ourselves out there more- we may be sadomasochists for emotional punishment, but that’s what makes us women.  It’s our ability to feel.  Hopefully in time, someone will feel love for us in return, and God willing, he won’t be afraid to say so.  I always figured that if a man really loved you, he’d tell you, and if he didn’t, he wouldn’t, but I suppose in the grand scheme of things, perhaps it isn’t just that simple.  I don’t really know.  I do know that we shouldn’t give up though.  And if we do give up (because let’s face it, opening your heart to someone and losing can be a draining experience) at least try to be genuinely happy and positive for the happiness of others.  What else can ya do?

Good luck, ladies!
Arielle “Ari” Crowell


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