I’ve dealt with my fair share of emotional trauma. During my low points in my life, it seemed I had been conditioned to not let anyone know my true feelings. This affected a lot of my romantic relationships and is surely one of the reasons I’ve never had a real relationship.
There was one instance when I had feelings for a friend of mine. We had been friends since we were fourteen and hung out off an on after high school. We were placed in the same Political Science class in college about a year and a half ago. We were soon spending all of our time together. We are both hopeless romantics but were interested in other people. He would talk to me about a girl he was hanging out with and I would share my thoughts on the boy who in my Human Sexuality class.
We had a lot of things in common besides our desire to be loved. We were both writers and spent hours at coffee shops writing poetry or reading. We liked the same movies but made fun of each other’s music. We had a lot of fun together and I quickly fell in love with him.
For some reason that was then unknown to me, I held on tight to my feelings, not letting him know what was going on in my heart. I remember times where we were only moments away from a kiss or declaration of love.
My twenty-first birthday was one of the best of my life. He serenaded me on guitar and we had a late night talk under the stars, on a bench at the park down my street.
My feelings for him were growing stronger but I was yet to admit them to anyone, including the boy. I couldn’t even admit it to myself. I think that I didn’t believe it to be a reality. So I bit back the words I was longing to say. There were times that I felt like I was physically holding back those three words.
When winter came, he grew distant. After thinking about this time in my life, and regretting a lot of it, I realized that I probably hurt his feelings. I am certain he was into me too. He didn’t want to see me, but I still saw him occasionally.
Every time before I saw him, I would psych myself up and say to myself, “You got this. Go tell that boy you love him.” But it never happened. I was too scared of being hurt. Too scared of being rejected.
I went to Europe for three weeks last January. When I came back and saw him at a friends house, he sang to me on guitar like he did and flirted with me. I thought, “that’s just what he does. He doesn’t think of me like that.”
But he did. I’m certain. So what should happen but he found another girl. I was utterly and truly devastated. This was heartbreak like I never felt. He was ignoring me. No, he moved on. No longer was I the girl he called to discuss his dreams or his ambitions. Not even the girl he got coffee with. I was nobody to him, and I understand why.
Even though he never told me how he felt, he gave me no reason to doubt it. But I was too far into my bubble of insecurity to even consider that a boy like him could ever love a girl like me. I became my own worst enemy and my life became a nightmare. I thought he would always be there, that even if we weren’t meant to be together, at least we could be friends.
But as fate would have it, he is no longer a part of my life. He probably doesn’t even think about me. I saw on Instagram that he celebrated his one year anniversary with his girlfriend. The one who stole his heart.
In the year that they fell in love, I fell into a depression. I thought, why me? Why didn’t he want me? Why didn’t he tell me if he liked me? But soon those questions turned into “what if?”
I realized what had gone wrong in our relationship. I was the one that pushed him away. I was the one who broke his heart first. I did not love myself enough to let myself love another person.
I never told him how I felt and because of that, I lost him. I will never make that mistake again.
Since then, I have finally begun to talk about my feelings. I told a boy from Austria that I had feelings for him, mostly because I was leaving and wouldn’t have to deal with repercussions if he said he didn’t like me back. I told a boy a British boy in Egypt that I liked him when I was leaving for the same reason.
I know I should tell people I like them before I leave. I should tell them when I have time to be with them if they like me back but that’s just how it is. So I want all of you to think about this. If you are in love with your best friend or even crushing on the boy who works at your favorite coffee shop, please tell them.
If they don’t say it and neither do you, nothing will ever happen. If you never ask them out, you will never know if they could ever love you back. So love yourself enough to be honest about how you feel and I promise you, some good will come out of it. I wish I had loved myself enough. It’s too late for me. It’s not too late for you.