No, I don’t know this. I've been told this, and many things like it, and I feel that it has--always--failed and I'm sick of it and angry.
People can misconstrue their feelings for a million reasons. I do it every day. What's to say that if I drop hints, and he understands them for their true meaning, that he wouldn't be so flattered by their true meaning that he'd mistake flattery for affection? Or that he won't, on his own, develop an infatuation for me that he mistakes for a deeper kind of caring that in 3 months turns sour because we tried to make more of it than the feeling was strong enough to carry? This shit happens. It's a risk we take. It's a risk to be in a relationship at all. I accept that risk.
And if he’s going to back off because my hopes and expectations are too much, at least they’ll be my actual hopes and expectations, and not what it is he will imagine I have. Who knows what he might think I want? The truth might be scary, but the misunderstanding might be scarier. I don’t know. The truth isn’t anything more than the fact that I am interested. I would like to explore that interest. Or, if the attraction isn’t mutual, I’d like to explore a greater friendship. The kind where it isn’t weird to do something without other people acting as a buffer.
I think that the pressure of direct communication can be eased by indirect form of communication. Something he doesn’t have to have a response for right away.
I think that what I do depends on how he feels. If he’s not sure how he feels, but thinks it’s a possibility worth pursuing, if he’s open to being courted, then I court him. If he knows it isn’t a possibility, then I back the fuck off. I can take a no. But I’d rather not assume.
Please, I am not angry at you, even though I sound like I am. I am frustrated. I am frustrated by an accumulation of events. I am frustrated by the accumulation of my entire fucking life, which seems like an exercise in failed communication.
And there are few things I hate more than not knowing. It’s the one reoccurring nightmare I have, where I do something wrong, or I fail to do something I should, because I didn’t know. I couldn’t have known, I was sick the day they announced it; no one told me. But it doesn’t matter why, all that matters is that I failed, and I failed because I didn’t know.
I am terrible at jokes, and I am terrible at polite lies. I don’t see them. I take what people say at face value. I think about all the times that someone has tried to reject me nicely, with shoddy excuses that were meant to be seen through. Except I didn’t see through them. So I kept trying. Until that moment of realization, that the answer was “no” all along, I just didn’t see it. It’s embarrassing. It’s bad enough being rejected, it’s worse feeling rejected and stupid and socially incompetent.
I think about the times when what I wanted was what someone else wanted, and we both waited and waited, thinking that we were alone in our wants. When I was thinking, “why does he stop? Is he really more interested in the tv than me?” And he was thinking, “it’s so hard to stop but she’s not that kind of girl.”
And I think about how grateful I am when people are honest and unambiguous with me.
There are myths that say demons travel in straight lines, so the people make zig-zagging pathways to foil demon approach. A direct approach is crude, inelegant, unsophisticated, unintelligent, and offensive. The same myths also say that a person who is stupid enough to be tricked deserves what they get. Everything should be examined for hidden meaning, for motive. Except I can’t. I can’t tell when people are lying, so I can either trust everyone or trust no one. I can’t tell the difference. So I live on the hope that, most of the time, people mean what they say. Because it’s all I can do.
And I am aware of the hypocrisy in this argument. I am aware that, most of the time, when an opportunity arises to tell someone that I'm not interested, I run away instead. I hide, and hope that my silence communicates what I'm too chickenshit to say. I realize that I ask more of other people than I do myself. But even now, when I'm trying to be honest, all I hear is people telling me to stop.