Once upon a time...
There was a boy named Max.
He was my first kiss. He was my first legit crush. He was my first church camp romance (I know what you're thinking... oxymoron, and guess what... you can bite me).
He was the first guy to call me on the phone. He was my first boyfriend, subsequently making him my first ex-boyfriend. We couldn't really do that whole "OMG I HATE YOU AND I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN, thing" since we were both on the District Youth Methodist Conference Board together, so eventually I forgave him for being a buttface (I was in junior high/high school I didn't really cuss then) and we went about our way at becoming friends again.
When I went off to college, we hadn't dated in a while, but we were still good friends. We'd AIM back and forth, and we use to joke about how bad our first kiss was and how funny it was that we were so different (he had a wild streak a mile wide, while I would blush if a man took off his socks and thought that movie night was an exciting night) yet for the most part, we held the same ideals about life and love and faith.
We weren't the closest people on planet earth, but we were still good friends. Since we hadn't seen each other since he graduated high school, we made plans to meet up over our winter break.
Winter break arrived, and I hopped a plane and flew on down to Texas. I'd only been home a night when another friend gave me a call.
"Did you hear about Max?"
"No, what did that crazy SOB do now?"
"I don't really know how to say this, but he's in a coma."
"I'm sorry, what?"
"He's in a coma. He fell off the back of a truck during the parade out in Nederland. But there's... LoRo... there's no brain activity."
Have you ever actually dropped a phone during a conversation, because your body no longer functions?
I plummeted to my knees, no longer able to hear anything but the blood rushing through my head and the soft padding feet of my dog outside, as she paced on the back porch.
Managing to cradle the phone again, I thanked my friend for letting me know.
"They're going to pull life support tomorrow."
I picked myself off the ground.
I walked down the hallway and into the bathroom.
I turned on the faucet and sobbed until tears would no longer form.
Why did you just tell me that, LoRo?
For this reason, and I'm sorry how blunt I'm about to be because a lot of you are going to think I'm being crass.
You never know when someone close to you is going to die.
It could be today, tomorrow, or 20 years from now, but if you let that person pass on without letting them know how you felt about them, you're only doing yourself an injustice.
I tried to write a beautiful segway to my next point, but it didn't work.
So here's point 2.
Just like death can rip us apart from our loved ones. There are those times in life when you have this guy you've been crushing on hard core, or that girl you've just been longing to go out with, but you're too shy to take the next step.
"What if they say no?"
"What if they don't like me?"
"What if we have the worst date ever?"
"What if they blackball me from my favorite bar?"
"What if it doesn't work out?"
Everyone has them, but NOT asking - NOT making that next step is one of the worse things you can do in dating (the WORST thing you can do is lie to yourself). Because you never know if tomorrow, it wont be an option. I'm not saying that tomorrow the man of your dreams is going to die.
What I AM saying is that, if you don't take that chance - tomorrow they could be dating someone else. They could become exclusive, get engaged, get married, and then your sitting there thinking, "but - what if?"
I happen to do the what ifs too...
To be perfectly real with you, I don't let my emotions out, very often. I play my cards close to the vest, and anything aside from silly blushing or my very obvious facial expressions about things that often don't matter, no one really knows how I feel, because "what if they hurt me?" or "what if they use those emotions against me?"
For example, I dated a guy from April to the first week of October last year. Never seriously. We got along like a couple of champs. Great conversation. Great chemistry. Great everything.
But I never told him that I liked him. I just assumed the old bugger could figure it out.
A couple of nights ago, I'm skyping with him. He'd had a few. I'd had a few. We were chatting about when he used to be in the area, and how much he had liked me, blah blah blah.
And then he stopped and said, "did you like me?"
"Sometimes I felt like you were just using me for my couch and watching more than basic cable."
"I liked you. I like you. I miss your face off, but yeah - no, I really like you. That's why I'm sitting here skyping with you."
"I didn't know..."
"I thought I made it pretty obvious."
"No, you'd come in, plop on the couch and say, 'yo how was your day?' and sometimes - sometimes I just wished you would have walked in and kissed me, and offered a hug or something more than a bro, chilling with another bro. You know if you were just a bit more girly in that aspect, the whole emotions thing, you'd be the perfect woman. You're pretty fucking great now, but just that... just a little more 'aww, babe' or 'sugar, what's wrong?' and you'd be perfect."
"So what you're saying is that if I were a bit more 'aww sugar britches, I just love you to itty bitty pieces, this would be something more than me and you tipsy skyping?"
"Yeah, it gets kinda lonely without you. There are film/tv/media jobs out here, you know."
In November I bored you all with the tale of "Why I'm Still Single."
Today I'm going to bore you with, "They're Not Going to be There, Forever."
Don't let the opportunities that you want, pass by you. Don't keep saying, "But What If?!"
Take the bull by the horns and just say something.
Ask them out.
Tell them you like them.
Say you'd like to see them in their name day suit.
It doesn't matter, because those what ifs are impeding your life.
The worst thing that can happen is that person can not reciprocate.
But what's even worse than that, is if you never took the chance to ask or say something, because while you keep thinking, "I'll say something tomorrow" or "after I've seen her a few more times, I'll do something then," the tomorrow you're hoping for might never come or it might bring tidings that the person you want SO badly is moving away or found someone else.
And then those what ifs will echo in your mind for an eternity.
Just some food for thought.
It's a new year. Why not make a change in your dating life and cut out the what ifs?