As love and romance are on my mind, this weekend, and as I put myself out there as a career, life, and dating coach, this blog is about taking risks in love.
A short while ago, I saw a humorous response to a question posed on Facebook. The answer to the question, "When is the best time to tell someone you love them?" was "Before someone else does."
I had one of many conversations, this weekend, with a bright young man whom I know in a casual way regarding risk-taking and never looking back with regret for not taking the risk of telling someone that you love him or her or, at least, letting the person know that you have romantic feelings for him or her.
It takes courage to expose your feelings but, to quote Amelia Earhart, "Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace." You will never be at peace with yourself if you don't reveal your feelings to a person for whom you have deep romantic feelings. What is the worst thing that can happen? Very few people die of a broken heart. You might feel foolish or embarrassed, temporarily, if your love is unrequited, but you'll survive. I've been there, so I know. Frankly, I didn't feel all that foolish as, knowing myself as well as I do, I would have felt more foolish for not taking the risk. At best, the other person feels the same way that you do. As things don't always work out the way we would like them to, at least, if you're dealing with unrequited love, you have options. You can either hang in, for a while, to see whether you can change the person's mind and heart or you can move on. In my experience, love is complex and (1) not everyone is capable of it, (2) not everyone is looking for it at the same time that you are, (3) not everyone is as aware of his or her feelings as you might be, (4) some people are afraid of their loving feelings as they've been hurt in the past and don't want to be hurt again, (5) people, sometimes, fall in love with each other at different times in a relationship.
The basic point, here, is that the worst thing that I can imagine is looking back at one's life and thinking, "If only I had had the guts to tell him or her how I felt, I might have had a wonderful life with him or her". As I said to my young friend, "The expressions, 'could have', 'would have', and 'should have' should not be in your vocabulary."
Don't let a great opportunity slip through your fingers because of fear of rejection. These opportunities don't come around that often and you should grab them when they do.
I have never regretted revealing my romantic feelings and, if they weren't reciprocated, I've come to the conclusion that it was his loss, even though it might have felt like mine, at the time.