“No Pressure, Though…”

The concept of not knowing what you want is unfathomable to me. Maybe I do too much internal analysis, but I’ve never been unsure of what I want out of a relationship, a friendship, my career or life, in general. Ever.

Expressing those desires, however, is a different matter—especially on the topic of romantic interests.

When it comes to people I don’t know very well, I can easily express my desires (ex: “get away from me right now” or “you should come home with me”). Easy. When it comes to expressing my desires to one person in particular, I lose the ability to form any connection between my brain and my mouth.

I could be thinking “I would take an actual bullet for you” while “Love You Madly” by Cake blasts in my head, and something comes out of my mouth that sounds like, “Haha yeah…I mean, whatever you wanna do works for me.”

This disconnect is indescribably infuriating.

For years, I haven’t been able to understand why I do this, but luckily, as loved ones often do at the worst of times, he called me out. He used the word “ambiguous.”

Maybe I just needed someone calling me out, but something finally shifted into my consciousness: I am unspeakably terrified of the risk of actually doing something about how I feel. As bold and brave as I like to think of myself, I am not and have never been a true risk-taker. Calculated risks with a low probability of failure? Sure. Actual risky risks? Hell. No. And I can’t think of anything riskier than speaking my truth and potentially damaging my crossbreed friendship-romance with this man that I love in more ways than I knew existed.

There is no end to this story yet, and there probably never will be, but knowing that I’m the only thing blocking the answer to the question, “what if” provides clarity and allows easier recognition of my fear response for the future. It also brings up an intimidating idea: maybe unrequited love is not the worst thing in the world. Maybe living in the limbo of potentially unrequited is much, much worse.

Time to find out.

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by Charlotte King

I like to read and write and better myself and make the lives of my loved ones easier and happier. My career passion is marine and wildlife conservation. I’ve been a zookeeper, teacher, water quality tester, nanny, peace corps volunteer, yoga studio worker, bartender...basically, a bunch of stuff except a writer.