We’ll look at you with prying, insistent eyes. Eyes that seem to probe you, and inquisitively claim the honesty you cannot provide for us, right in the moment. Our mouths will be set in a straight line, jaw set, because we demand something we know you cannot give, but yet we cannot help ourselves. We do not recognize your insecurity, but strangely enough we might be able to empathize — because we ourselves are consumed by the same.
As much as there are expectations set on the conduct of females in a relationship, there are hidden chains that bind us. There, too, is a limit to how much we can express, how much we can show through our expressions, our words, our heart. From young we might be conditioned to be an alpha male, how to adapt distasteful chauvinism into a rough aphrodisiac, like a musky cologne, artfully dabbed in the right places, designed to draw them in again and again. We’re taught never to show too much, because that might be a sign of weakness. And god forbid we should show any form of weakness – so therefore, we cannot be shown to feel. Either that, or we never learn at all, and we don’t even know how, exactly, to show it.
But there is no limit to how much we can feel. Ladies, never doubt that men feel any less than you do.
But just like you, we grapple daily with the extent of our insecurity. Society requests, if not demands, that the guy makes the first move. First date? Please go ahead. First kiss? Was there any doubt? And then there comes the most difficult part of all — the three words that you draw from the depths of your heart; the most that anyone can ever give.
We fall in love too, much easier than you expect. We fall in love with the most innocuous, most benign aspects of your being. You’ll be surprised at how much we notice. We are surprised as to how much we can care, first slowly, then all at once.
We work ourselves up, tear our hair out at how to please you because we are too afraid to let sincerity replace socially convenient methods of courtship. We buy generic gifts instead of penning letters, because that would mean a physical manifestation of our affection that might not be reciprocated. We are too paralyzed with fear to say that we want to go further with you, that we love you more than we know how to say, that it is possible for us too, to feel like our entire being is consumed by an emotion we don’t fully understand.
At times, we’ll be demanding. We will be unreasonable. You’ll wonder what is it that drives guys into control freaks who want to know your whereabouts or who you’re spending time with, as though they cannot trust you to be faithful or to commit. We’ll snap at you, or be cold from time to time. In your hour of need, we might not be fully there because we spend too much time worrying if we are your source of worry that we then become another source of worry. We’ll feel guilty, but apologies seem empty when they offer less of closure than of escape. We’ll wonder if you deserve more than we can give you, and we’ll wonder whether you think the same. But we cannot tell you, because we don’t quite know how.
So we’ll keep this to ourselves. And we’ll continue to probe you. We do so because it is easier by far to listen to you passively than it is for us to speak.
We’ll continue to dissect your words and your micro-expressions, looking for elusive signs of affirmation that are so hard to come by. We’ll wonder, constantly, whether you’d one day decide that you could do better with someone more suave, more eloquent — in short, someone whom we all want to be.
We’ll continue to love, but it is the hardest type of love when you cannot understand it, nor express it in its entirety. We’ll continue to yearn for your affirmation that it is okay to show our love openly. We’ll stand in front of you, shifting our feet, but holding your gaze with trepidation, wanting you to know that we’re all works in progress, but we try our best. And we hope that you do, too.