The first conversations were playful. I had yet to develop actual affections, so it was natural to speak whatever, whenever.
Ever since meeting up for the first time and getting to know each other better, I found myself writing and deleting texts repeatedly before sending them out. I can’t afford to upset her or make her think there’s anything wrong with me. I’ve fallen for her.
It’s ironic, though, that the harder I try, the more I mess up. By attempting perfection, I’m blocking my playfulness, creativity, and authenticity. I pretend not to care because I don’t want her to sense weird energy. Sometimes I feel a strong urge to message her or even call her. Instead of following my true emotions, I answer with emojis, one-word texts, no response, or waiting for days, if not an entire week without talking to her. Why? She’s done the same and it makes me leery of her interest level.
I’m rather pessimistic because she has invited me to snowboard multiple times, hinting or directly. Then asking me to join her in Badminton and other activities that include her friends. For a girl, that’s initiative. I know that. I wanted to go. I wanted to ask her to be my Valentine.
Yet, I fear rushing will disrupt the flowing pace we’re going at. I’m waiting to fix my teeth before she sees my face under the medical mask. My car, my lack of a social circle, unstable income, family background, and dull lifestyle, there are too many things to hide.
I keep wondering if this will end up like many of the past failures. I keep hearing someone in the back of my mind saying, “she only thinks of you as a friend.” “she doesn’t know you that well yet; once she does, she’ll lose interest.” Every time she shows the slightest sign of disinterest, I become anxious. Terrified that she’ll ghost me in the blink of an eye and leave me obsessing over what went wrong.
Some might criticize me for my lack of courage. I get it, yet conflicted. I think most of us have hardened or build some wall to shield ourselves from getting hurt. The more we like someone — the more is at risk — and the more we distance ourselves — the more we push them away.
. . .
Now I try my best to craft something interesting to say, something that won’t turn her off. It needs to be fun and casual. I’ve made this a job. It feels like talking to my boss.
I can’t help but sit there and wonder if she reciprocates mutual feelings and if she is trapped in the same emotional roller coasters as I am. Probably not. She’s a social and active person.
Backing away is one of my many defensive mechanisms. I know the need to open the door, but what if she doesn’t want to come in? What if she peaks in only to bounce immediately? If it’s just another girl, I could get over it. But she isn’t. She has a kindness and maternal instinct combined with a sense of authenticity that’s rare to find.
This post was previously published on Medium.
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