How I Became The Guy Who’s Scared To Say ‘I Love You’

Flickr / Antti-Jussi Kovalainen
Flickr / Antti-Jussi Kovalainen

I think of myself as a moderately typical person. I feel many of my shortcomings in my personal relationships are shared by many others. A particularly twisting journey is from the inception of a relationship, the first time you lay eyes on a person, to the point you realize you are in love with this person. I don’t mean a cursory term of endearment. I mean when they consume your thoughts and fill your head with silly notions.

When even the most trivial chores like yard work or grocery shopping became enjoyable because you are together. You just feel better when you are with them, because you are with them. There is that soothing effect on your soul like plastering a balm on scorched skin. You are just happier around them. They ameliorate any discontent you hold in your heart from your past simply because you only want to dwell here, now with them. Your mood is lighter, pulse gets quicker, your world gets reduced to the where the only part you care about is the niche where they reside.

Feelings like that seldom occur. Maybe for the serial lovebird who is infatuated with everybody they date those feelings may develop frequently but with little sincerity. For me it was scary when I started having those types of feelings. It was so alien. What should I do when faced with this overwhelming onslaught of emotions that permeated my constant thoughts? I did what most reasonable men would do- I ran from them.

Running is an ingrained instinct. Fight or flight. Hardwired into our biological makeup. An evolutionary trait instilled to ensure our survival. Fleeing seemed like the proper response to a foreign invader that I had never encountered before. Truth be told for as happy as I was I was also as equally terrified at how vulnerable I had become. So I shut myself down and promised to never speak of such feelings ever. I would just play it cool. Nonchalantly glide along like I did from the beginning.

I would pretend like things were the same as they always had been. I would never cave. I was ever vigilant to my concealment. Kiss her, but not so often that it would appear different than yesterday. Never embrace for too long for something might appear amiss. The fluttering and burning inside of me was overwhelming.

What if she didn’t feel the same? What a fool I would be then. No, that wouldn’t be me. I wouldn’t be one of those whiney guys that real men mock. So I just went about being cool. And she let me. I was never pressed about anything. I became a master at surreptitiously concealing how I felt. I kept to my modus operandi.

My “I’ll see you tomorrow” text never transformed to the” I’m dying to see you” that I felt. Hell I couldn’t bring myself to whisper it as she lay half asleep in my arms how could I commit it to writing? Or god or other deities forbid I actually write a letter. That would be too much like committing.

I must admit I was good. The day she left me she said she didn’t even think I would care at all. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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