People (and when I say people, I know I’m making a sweeping generalization here, but I’m still going to go out on a limb and say the vast majority) are so afraid of the word “like” (and yet will throw around “love” to just about anything, but that’s another article). What is so scary about someone saying “I like you”?
Whether you are on the receiving end, or the giving end, there should be nothing to be afraid of. We are part of a generation that is so embedded into the hookup culture, being #TeamNoFeelings, and “not being tied down,” that we have developed a general distaste of feelings of any kind, even those as innocent as “liking” someone.
Now let’s define “like,” shall we? Many different people would define it many different ways, whether as a crush, an infatuation, or a genuine feeling for someone that has not quite graduated to love. But what “like” definitely is not is an expression of a deep-seated desire to get married to said person and move to a little house in the countryside with a white picket fence and ten kids, like tomorrow.
What’s wrong with liking someone? What’s wrong with telling someone you like them? Why do we make it this huge deal to have to tell someone that we genuinely enjoy their presence and want them to keep being present in our lives?
When someone tells us that they “like” us, our first response if we don’t feel the same way doesn’t have to be run-the-complete-opposite-direction-move-to-Canada-and-change-our-phone-number. I exaggerate, but still that can be how it feels sometimes. Especially if the person you are revealing feelings for is a friend, who subsequently completely drops off the face of the planet under the guise of “not wanting to lead you on.”
Can we just accept that we are all adults here? Not only that, but also that we are adults that have been around the block a few times, and know that not everyone is going to reciprocate our feelings. Telling someone “I like you” doesn’t have to be scary, and hearing it doesn’t have to warrant a change in area code. Let’s be mature about it.
Respect that person for having the balls to come out and say what everyone wishes they could have said in their situation, and kindly let them know that while we are flattered, we just don’t feel the same about them. Or best case scenario, thank them for having the balls to say what we couldn’t because we feel the exact same about them.
Because you won’t get great rewards without the courage to take great risks.