What's the Fuss 'Bout Liking Someone?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I believe that I like her, but I’m not sure how, when, and if any relationship will develop. As I spend my days and nights daydreaming about her, my thoughts drift from the first time I met her, the first time I learned from friends of how she is as a person, and to fantasies on how a relationship between us would be. When you’ve a crush on someone, there’s a thin line between sanity and believing that you’re in love even before you’ve the chance of meeting the person.

Then, what’s so difficult about me telling her that I like her?

On many occasions, I’ve witnessed my friends, both female and male, who agonized over someone they had feelings for—a crush—never share their affection or follow through with taking one step closer with that person. Yes, it’s obvious that sharing your affection with anyone can be nerve-raking, intimidating, and come with a high level of anxiety and uncertainty. While some crushes are easier to move past than others, I’m deciding to face my fear as opposed to waiting for a fairy tale scenario to happen.

So, I had a dilemma and believe that the posted video says it all. Over the last few months, I wanted to put an end to me chasing after this girl I once knew from ballroom dancing class. Two years ago, my friend Mike dragged me along a couple of times to attend Ballroom Dancing with him since he couldn’t dance and was very nervous. Soon he realized that I was probably the only black man in America without rhythm and couldn’t dance either.

With my head under water, my heart beating rapidly, I would often stand to the side until someone on the dance team needed a partner to follow through with dance steps for competitions. I literally made myself into the “last resort” because I didn’t want to stand in the way, especially considering that I wasn’t an official member of the dance team. I’m one of those technical dancers (e.g. think of a robot) that needs to be told exactly what to do rather than feel my way into the rhythm of the music. Times were hard and I would often walk home pissed at myself for messing up.

All that changed when I first saw her and she decided to dance with me. I started off nervously; stepping on heels, palms sweaty, and not being “dominant” when I signaled a turn. In Ballroom Dancing, the man takes the lead and when he wants his partner to turn or switch places, he presses hard into her back. I was such a disaster that the instructor had to come over multiple times and show me what to do. After some coaching, my nerves were finally calmed and I gained some confidence. I stopped thinking from my mind and did incredibly better. After we finished dancing, I knew that experience would be the spark for me to improve my dancing and possibly get to know her.

A few weeks later I got my lucky break when I found out she needed a dance partner for this dance competition at Rutgers. Both of us agreed to be partners if we could get rid of our previous engagements. I immediately contacted my friend Justin who was more advanced than myself and taught a dance class. He agreed to show me everything he knew and not make it apparent that I had two left feet. Nevertheless, I couldn’t get out hosting my first party which I hyped all semester long. Later, I learned she couldn’t get out of work.

Eventually, I got the dance lessons I needed to increase my level of confidence, got my own place to host my own parties, and attended almost every Salsa night that the dance team hosted the following semester. She was nowhere to be found. I found out from a friend that she quit the dance team because it conflicted with the amount of time she worked.

I tried my best to move forward with my life; knowing full well, there was little chance of contacting her and small hope of seeing her again. No matter how many conversations I started with random female strangers or how many times my friends would encourage me to talk to their single friends, nothing replaced the thought of this mystery woman.

One may conclude that I fear expressing my affection toward this mystery woman due to the fear of rejection. They’re correct with their presumption, but they’re only scratching the surface. If she rejects me theoretically, my daydream is over, the fantasy is gone, and I’ll have to live with the consequences of that reality. No woman stood tall over her because I was able to project my imagination onto her. Why would any one want to sacrifice living in that daydream? Insecurities are bound to appear, and second guesses surmise to could, should, or didn’t.

The reality is there’s no perfect way to tell someone that you like them. While friends may boost your confidence or laugh and nitpick at your faults, there’s no perfect outline to getting someone you desire. The truth hurts and the truth is she may not be as interested in me as I am into her. No matter how many dating books, dating advice columns or friends providing insight and secrets on how to escape this reality, there’s no guarantee that their advice will succeed.

Call me crazy or obsessive, but I’m tired of witnessing my friends live in regret about the one that got away. Excuse me if I can’t and refuse to bottle my emotions; but, I believe if I’ve confidence and put on my best performance, eventually I’ll be able to create that perfect moment and reach the heart of the woman I desire. The perfect way to make peace with yourself when faced with those circumstances is to face the fear: My fear is asking for one last dance.

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