From the very first time I started liking someone, I have always been discreet about it. I thought that if he finds out that I like him, he will immediately run away from me. Years passed and I was still careful in trying to hide my feelings from the subjects of my affection.
The reasons vary; from wanting the guy to be the one who ought to tell me how he feels first to being outright scared of getting rejected. I never took the plunge. Instead, I just waited and hoped that by some miracle, he will confess his undying love for me.
Recently, I was weighing my thoughts on the same issue. You see, I started falling for someone; a good friend. I was waiting it out, like I usually do, to see if I can make him say what he thinks of me first. But I also wanted to be honest to him, to tell him how I truly feel, because it was already taking its toll on me. It was difficult to be with someone 24/7 as a friend when you want so much more.
So for months, I kept on hoping that something magical would happen, that date would be the one to do all of the menial work while I sit around in comfort. But alas, the odds were not in my favor. The heavy burden of keeping something inside me for far too long was too much for me to handle, so I finally decided to talk to him.
I called him out and we found a secluded spot in one of the hallways in our university. It was nerve-wracking, my hands were clammy and knees were slightly shaking. I was having second thoughts about my decision. Was this the right thing to do? Am I ready for what’s next? I took a deep breath and told him everything.
It wasn’t a grand confession. It was very casual, like two friends talking about what happened in the last episode of The Flash. I was very cool about it because I didn’t want to freak him out. Of course, I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t awkward. Hell, it was so awkward at first that we couldn’t look each other in the eye and we kept fake-laughing inappropriately. But I assured him that I will try to accept and respect whatever he says.
What happened next? Well, I got rejected. He said he liked me at some point in the last 3 years that we’ve known each other, but he had this rule of not dating anyone within his circle of friends for fear of ruining the friendship if it fails. He apologized. I said it was okay and that I’d still be his friend no matter what. We hugged it out.
I was hurt deeply. I cried for weeks. I wondered what was wrong with me and why didn’t he want me too. I felt humiliated. The worse part was that I see him almost every day at school and attend the same classes. We acted as if nothing happened, like we’re just this two normal friends. I had to pretend that I was okay every single time. It was utterly painful.
Did I regret confessing my feelings for him? Frankly, no.
After moping and whining for a month, I’ve come to accept what happened. Sure, there’s still a tug in my heart whenever we’re in the same room, but as I promised him, I’ll always be his friend. But being honest and vocal about my feelings changed me.
I often wonder, if I didn’t tell him that I like him that day, I would still be up all night wondering if he feels the same. I would still be caught up in my what-ifs. I would still painfully wait for him to notice and talk. And for that, I’m glad that I found the guts to be the one to admit how I felt.
I felt liberated. I felt brave. I escaped the shackles of my thoughts and made a move. Now, I can finally move on.
A year ago, I would be appalled at the thought of me confessing to a guy that I like him. I would say, “Girls shouldn’t admit how they feel first. They should value their worth.” But admitting one’s feelings is not how you measure one’s worth. I know my value, and I know that his response will not affect my worth in any way.
It’s true because right now, I feel more empowered and confident with myself, for I was brave enough to get out of my comfort zone and took charge of my destiny. I am free.