Get Off the Sideline and Play the Dating Game

Recently, I started talking over champagne (where all good conversations start) with an old friend about  a recent article for College Candy about love that had gone wrong.  My friend, who was around during “the Tyler era,” pondered our conversation and said “what DID happen there?  You guys definitely had a connection and you were crazy about him.”
With champagne thoughts and a heavy heart, I reminded her that he had met someone else around the same time, and had chosen her.  I forced myself to have a grown up moment and added that he seems really happy with his wife and I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.  Then she said something that has had my head spinning for days… “Did you ever tell him how you felt?”
(Please add sound of car coming to a screeching halt!)
Huh?!?
What was this logic she was bestowing on me?  You mean I was actually supposed to tell him that I was crazy about him?  That I had wanted him to stay?  That I wanted see if we could take this amazing connection and witty banter, that was so good that it could stop time, to the next level?  That there were options and I was one of them?
I spent the next couple days in a Tyler haze thinking back to this guy and our “thing” and all of the time that I spent feeling rejected and sad that he had chosen someone else over me.  At the time, I was devastated.  I recovered by making the very mature decision to date a mutual friend while secretly pining for Tyler the whole time.  How nice of me, right?
Looking at it now, I have no idea how it would have turned out.  Tyler very well could have chosen his current adorable wife and things could have played out the exact same way EXCEPT I would know in my heart of hearts that I actually gave it a shot.  Played the game instead of watching from the sidelines, a victim in this story I made up about being dumped.   I was never dumped….I never let myself even be considered.
After further evaluation, I realized that this was a pattern for guys I really cared about.  Whether it was guy friends that I had mad crushes on or boys I was kissing and actually wanted it to be more, I found it so much easier to hope that they liked me.  I would sit around and wait for that romantic movie moment where they blurt out their feelings in a fumbling Micael Cera-esque fashion, making sure to include an adorable listing of “all the things they loved about me” that included the perfect mix of qualities that make me feel smart, funny and pretty.
After years of waiting…it turns out that doesn’t really happen. What really happens is the guys are just as nervous as I am about being vulnerable.  They were (and are)  just as scared of the rejection as I was and would eventually move on to a girl who made them feel good and could tell them what she wanted, instead of confusingly giving them the mixed signals of kissing them and then teasing them because I didn’t want them to think I liked them if they didn’t like me.  Ugh, I am frustrated just thinking about it.
Looking back, I realize that I never regret the boys that I told how I felt.  Even if it blew up in my face and the end results were not what I was hoping for, eventually the embarrassment would pass and the knowledge of where I stood allowed me to move on to bigger and better things.  Like boys who did feel that way back….once I actually let them in on the secret.
And by the way, love should never be a secret.
So ladies, who are you ready to tell?  Talk to me.

Does Chivalry Even Exist in the College World?
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