On face value this seems ridiculous doesn’t it? Why wouldn’t you tell someone you like them? How else are they going to know how you feel? How else are you going to start a relationship?
People hate when they have to read people’s minds. Men complain about it all the time. Women are the ones who stereotypically do this but they are aware it isn’t fair.
So what gives?
I recently heard a guy tell his friend that he told a girl that he liked her but she ghosted him. The friend laughed and cautioned him that in the future, he should never tell a woman that he likes her.
Why you may ask? Because girls love the thrill of uncertainty. Moreover, if you tell her how you feel, that means she has you locked down. Now she will test the waters and see if she could secure an even more eligible guy.
So if you really like her, you can’t tell her how you feel.
Before I deconstruct this, let me give you the woman to woman version of why a woman shouldn’t tell a guy how she feels.
What it all boils down to is that a man should be a man. To put himself out there with vulnerability is not only attractive, it is necessary. Because if a man cannot tell someone how he feels, he’s immature.
A woman deserves someone who will proclaim their love for her, not necessarily from the roof tops, but they’ll admit it if they truly care.
When it came to same-sex relationships, there was no line of reasoning that sounded like these. People either said how they felt if they could or they said nothing. Any games that were being played were due to one’s personality, not as a principle of an entire sex/gender.
Which leads me to my first point: men and women need to stop generalizing the opposite sex. It’s shallow and unintelligent. It shows that you refuse to look at the nuance of the opposite sex while setting up absolute rules on how to deal with them.
Secondly, they have a point to what they are saying.
In the guy’s situation, it is true that some women are going to monkey-branch because they want the guy that is highest on the social tree.
In the woman’s situation, it is okay to want a man to confess his feelings. If he genuinely likes you and he tells you, it illustrates that he is okay to risk the pain of rejection because that’s how much he cares.
But I’m sure you’ve already spotted the delicious irony here.
A guy is being coached to not tell a woman how he feels while a woman is being coached to expect a guy to tell her how he feels!
If these two people were to meet and they liked each other, he would never tell her how he felt while she would assume that he doesn’t like her because he didn’t say anything.
Do you see why generalizing what the opposite sex wants and how to deal with them is a problem?
As I said earlier, the advice they received wasn’t total B.S. Some people will genuinely relate to the advice that was given. But to say that it is the iron-clad rule or even the typical rule is foolish.
Now here’s the third point:
In the case of the guy being told to never tell someone how he feels, this piece of advice could benefit both men and women. How? Because there are both men and women who are unconsciously addicted to insecurity.
So if this type of man or woman (regardless of sexual orientation) were told that they were liked, they would probably ghost the person who confessed to them.
They may tell you that they want a secure relationship, but subconsciously they want an insecure one. This is usually due to having an insecure attachment style based on how they were raised as a child.
So if you are trying to date someone who is addicted to insecurity, it implies that they aren’t healthy enough for a relationship anyway. But it goes even deeper than that.
If this played out in the context of friendship, the dysfunction would be even more obvious and the advice would make even less sense.
Imagine you’ve been hanging out with someone for a few months and you tell them that you like them. Remember this is in the context of friendship.
If this other person ghosts you, it is simply a sign that they aren’t capable of intimacy.
This is exactly what is happening in the context of romance too.
If someone ghosts you after you tell them how you feel, they don’t really care about you. Or at the very least, they care about themselves far more than they do you.
There was a certain depth that they were comfortable with, but once you told them how you felt, it went too deep for them. They wanted a more superficial you, not the multi-layered you. It scared them.
Furthermore, if you need someone to tell you how they feel about you, this is also a sign of a fear of intimacy.
It’s true that if they can’t tell you how they feel then they have a problem with vulnerability (and therefore intimacy). But the same goes for anyone who refuses to say how they feel because they think they deserve to be told that they are liked.
Imagine having a reservoir of emotions that you won’t confess because of pride. It’s like having a piece of art in your mind but never painting it. It’s like having a song in your heart but never playing it.
Emotions want to be expressed!
Again, imagining this in the context of a friendship, it just looks so ridiculous.
This other person hasn’t said how they feel about you but you both hang out and have a good time. Nevertheless, you refuse to tell them that you like them because they didn’t say it first and you deserve to know that you are cared for.
Like I said, it’s ridiculous.
So should you tell someone how you feel about them? Yeah, if you want to. Shy people are going to have a hard time doing this, so I wouldn’t demand them to do anything.
Besides, actions usually speak louder than words so people would be able to gauge how someone feels about them anyway.
But in the context of us talking about the importance of intimacy in relationships, I have some important questions for you to consider:
Do you really want people to see you for who you really are?
Do you even want to see people for who they really are?
Do you really want to know who you really are?
Do you believe that if you were to show someone the good, the bad and the ugly of you that you would not be loved?