Love is a funny thing, sometimes. By funny, I mean foolish, irrational, terrifying, and awe-inspiring. The suddenness and intensity of falling madly in love with another person seems to take all of the constants out of the equation that was your life and replace them with variables. Telling someone that you are in love with them is the most terrifying thing on this planet because of all the variables involved. I would rather BASE jump off a cliff 40 times over than to do it. So why is vocalizing your love for someone so gawd damned scary? Is it a fear of rejection? A fear of getting an "I know?" It is like it plays on every single emotional vulnerability that we have and uses the special amp that goes to 11 to broadcast it to our brain. So why do we feel the need to vocalize our undying love for someone, especially when we have absolutely zero idea of how that person feels toward us? We can make a guess and assume things based on their actions, but you know what they say when you ASSUME...
I have recently tripped and fallen into a puddle of love, and it has been a very challenging thing for me to verbalize. The emotion leading up to telling this person was probably the suckiest feeling in my life in the last 4 years. I had so much anxiety leading up to it and the only reason I even acknowledged it aloud is because of a conversation that made me face it, otherwise, I probably would have continued to keep it to myself for another two months before I worked up the courage to say anything... because I don't know exactly how this person feels about me. I can assume, but again... you know what they say about that. So why did I feel the need to tell him?
This part of the equation is so much more difficult to answer. I knew what he would say and I knew what his reaction would be, it did not surprise me when it happened the way I thought it would. Knowing his reaction made it no less distressing... it actually made it worse; however, it did give me a sort of freedom now from myself, which is often times my worst enemy. Emotional vulnerability is one of the biggest fears I have. I am the product of an interesting environment that forced me to develop some austere coping mechanisms, which have proven to be difficult to keep in check at times and even more difficult when it comes to merging lives in a relationship.
Building walls and keeping people at bay comes naturally to me and when I perceive a situation a certain way, my automatic response is to put another brick in the wall and close up shop. I start devising an escape plan to GTFO when it comes to boyfriends. So why did I tell him? Well I did not tell him that I loved him for validation or for acknowledgement from him. I told him for me, because I don't want to be emotionally damaged anymore. I want a partner for life and I want someone that I can finally unload my emotional quirkiness on and know that he isn't going to judge me. I want someone to go on a grand adventure with through the rest of our lives. It might turn out that this man is not the one for that epic adventure, I am not ruling that possibility out... but at least it won't be for my lack of effort this time to develop anything meaningful... and gawd dammit this one is going to hurt a lot if it fails.
I am going to sound like a hypocrite when I type my next statement, as I am 33 years old and have done a bang up job of closing myself off from emotional vulnerability all of my life - we can't let fear from the past continue to emotionally batter us. Some of us are emotionally banged up.... too bad, so sad. That is part of life sometimes, but that doesn't mean that we are not worthy of being loved or that we can not give love. Continuing to close yourself off from the full range of emotions will protect you from the certain hurt that is part of life, but in the end you will also miss out on some of the greatest emotions, love being one of them.
“We're all a little weird and life's a little weird. And when we find someone who's weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” ~Dr. Seuss