"You miss 100% of the chances you don’t take.”
Growing up, for every life decision that I had to make, this quote would be my motivation and reminder that I had to just go for it regardless of the outcome. But for some reason, when it came to relationships or having a crush on a guy from school or work, I never lived by it.
It was only recently that I realized how applicable this quote was to the millennials of today’s society, who have one-sided crushes or deep feelings for an individual who does not even know or acknowledge those feelings exist in the first place.
A common experience among a majority of young girls and women I know is having a crush on a guy or really liking someone, but not being able to do anything about it. In this era of screen conversations, both men and women of all age groups think twice before entering a relationship or expressing their feelings to each other in real life. Often times, crushes stay as crushes and one-sided feelings end without ever being expressed or spoken of. This is especially common among women as I have come to experience and witness.
Why is it that a large portion of women develop crushes or deep feelings for someone, but don’t do anything about it? Is it out of fear of rejection or is it because of our ego? Or may it's because we don’t want to strain the friendship or bond that we have with that person by making things awkward?
A part of the answer to this question begins with Western culture. Growing up, I was exposed to a culture in which it is the norm that the man takes the responsibility to ask the girl out and initiate the first date. This expectation, that the man should ask the woman out, is very prominent among women, which is what makes us think twice about expressing our feelings to a guy or initiating the next step with someone that we like. We have this built-in ego that believes the man should express his interest in you first, and if he does not, then you will wait. But how long can you really wait? Especially if he has no signs that you like him.
And honestly, we women should question why it should be the man’s responsibility to approach a woman and say “hey, I like you” or "can we go on a date?" As society advances, we need to step away from these biased gender norms and expectations of who should initiate the first date or who should ask whom out first.
Aside from the popular culture that women grow up in, I’ve often found myself scared to tell someone I really like them because of the thought of being rejected. However, through my experiences, I have begun to question what can really go wrong with me expressing my feelings for someone. Rather than keeping my feelings inside and struggling to deal with them, I'd rather take the chance and be optimistic that it will ultimately be for the best. Otherwise, we may waste opportunities at having a wonderful relationship with the guy we like pass by easily, because we are afraid to tell him that we like him. Whether he reciprocates the same feelings or not, by telling him that you like him, you get the satisfaction that at least you tried. By expressing your feelings, you also get the chance to redeem yourself from your one-sided feelings early on by clearly knowing when the guy is not interested in you in the way you would like. By expressing your feelings, and not staying silent about them, you get the opportunity to either start a brand new chapter with your potential beau or move on and find someone even better for you.
So, I have a few words of advice for my fellow women:
If you have feelings for someone and he doesn’t know, tell him. Throw away these gendered societal norms and expectations. Throw away your fear and ego. Chances are that by expressing your feelings to him, you will feel as if you lifted a heavy burden off your back and in the end he may reciprocate the same feelings. Don’t fear, just go for it. You miss 100% of the chances you don’t take.