This is the kind of letter I’ll write but hesitate to send. It’s exactly how I feel about you, but I can’t be that open, right? It’ll kill the chase. It won’t be fun anymore. The cards will be on the table and there will be no more mysteries. The game will be over if that’s all this is, right?
I’m used to being pretty guarded. You see, I’ve been hurt before. Badly. I’ve been lied to before. A lot. I’ve been in so many situations where I was left wondering how the other person felt. It was like wandering through a dense fog, looking for the light, and seeing it in the distance but never actually reaching it.
Can I just skip that this time?
Would you hold it against me if I just told you exactly how I feel?
Would you mind if I told you that every time you send me a message, a rush of heat runs through me? I catch myself smiling and my hands shake slightly. I don’t want to mess this one up. I carefully select every word of my response down to the emoji.
Wait, should I even use an emoji? What if you don’t like emojis? Is that grounds for immediate dismissal?
I don’t want to seem too eager. What would you think if I excitedly responded to you every time you replied to me? Would you think I wasn’t in demand enough, had too much time on my hands, or worse, waited with baited breath for your every word?
Deep down I’m just longing to tell you that the way that you talk kindly to people you don’t know makes me trust you, the way that you patiently handle every little thing that goes wrong makes me respect you, and the way that you excitedly say ‘hello’ when you see me makes me adore you.
All these little things make me just want to hang out with you all the time. I would relish the opportunity to just get to know you. If you might like to get to know me too, it could be a beautiful exploration.
Can I just tell you I’m so damn tired of playing a game of who is cooler, who is more desirable, and who can be more detached?
We could intentionally hurt each other with our feigned disinterest. I’ll make sure I curate a life online that appears full of friends and maybe even handsome strangers. You’ll appear to be busy even on nights that you’re not so that I think you’re in high demand. Honestly why do we do this to each other? It’s the least fun game I can think of.
Can I just talk to you openly and curiously like little kids do? Can I just say the first thing that comes to my mind, even if it makes me vulnerable? Can I just shut off all of the self-doubt and nerves that I feel around you and think of you like a best friend? Can I decide not to indulge in negative thoughts and just focus on the positives? Can we agree that everybody has flaws and these are things that we can learn to accept? Will you still want to be around me when you know I’m not perfect?
Can I just say without applying any pressure, expectations, or obligations, that being around you is really awesome? I’d like to do some more of it. Can I just say that without scaring you away?
I always want you to feel like you can tell me what you think. I don’t want you to worry that you have to wait an obligatory three days just to text me back.
The best part of this all is that we are just exploring, and we have nothing to lose. So if you do want to explore, don’t hesitate to tell me, don’t worry that I won’t be receptive.
If I send this to you then you will know exactly I you feel, and though that scares me, it’s the quickest way to get out of the fog and to certainty.
Because then, just by your reaction, I will know exactly how you feel too.
For more from Kristin Addis, follow her on Instagram @BeMyTravelMuse or buy her book A Thousand New Beginnings.