Hey everyone! Long time, no see; am I right? First of all, I want to apologize for my absence. I know I used to be a prominent YOB contributor, but for the past couple months, even years, I haven’t been able to write anything down. If anyone has listened to me share on the ConvoCast, you might recall I’ve been dealing with massive writer’s block, trying to muster up even a paragraph to no avail. But anyway, I’m back now, so let’s return to where I left off . . .
It was the last service of Sunday morning, and church let out. As usual, I was being my social self and wanted to talk to everyone I saw.
Plus, the church parking lot is always full, and it’s a hassle getting out after church. So, why not talk to people while I waited? From my seat by the church’s coffee shop next door, I made sure to say hi to everyone I knew so that nobody felt excluded.
And then I saw her: Annie in the coffee shop talking with a few of her friends.
She had recently broken up with her boyfriend, and she was about to move for a job opportunity in a couple of weeks. We were good friends, and we’d hung out a few times, both by ourselves and within groups. But there was just never a good time to talk about how I felt about her.
If I didn’t get to talk to her this morning, then I might never have another chance!
I met up with her, and she was ready to leave for home. I asked her if it was alright if I could walk with her to her car. She agreed, and we asked one another how our weeks had been, your typical small-talk.
As we arrived at her car, I told her I needed to get something off my chest, something important. Annie looked concerned, but she had a gentle spirit about her. I knew I could be honest with her about anything without judgment.
“So, I think I like you,” I told her.
With a confused and shocked look she exclaimed, “What?”
“Yeah, I think I like you, but I don’t know what this means? I just had to tell you. If I didn’t, I would have had this weight upon me that I should have told you.”
Somehow I felt both relief and tension from my body as I mustered these words from my mouth. I didn’t even look at her face while I spoke to her.
“You know about my sexuality and that I’m gay!” I continued. “But for the past few months, I’ve been wrestling with these feelings for you, and I don’t know what to do with them! I just knew I had to tell you, and it felt like the right thing to do. I’m sorry if this is confusing for you, especially since you just got out of a relationship.”
Annie had something of a stern look on her face. “Thank you for telling me that, and I know it was hard for you to do it. But right now I don’t think about you that way. I only think about you as a friend and nothing more. Yeah, I just got out of a relationship, and I think I need time to be with myself for now.”
“I understand,” I said, my chest pounding fast. “Again, I’m sorry that I just put that on you. It probably wasn’t fair to you.”
“No, thank you for opening up about your feelings. Are you going to be okay?” she asked.
“I will be. I’m just relieved I got this off my chest.” I did feel a bit embarrassed, but I just had to swallow my pride and start moving on with my life.
We hugged and said our goodbyes. She drove off while I walked to my vehicle, telling myself the hard part was over.
Actually, the hard part was about to begin with all my confused emotions. After that conversation, so much stuff started running through my head, and I needed to get away from it all: this stuff with Annie after the advice from my guy friends, along with some drama with my best friend.
I needed a different outlook on life, someone who wasn’t part of the church, someone who could challenge me on my beliefs and thinking.
For a while I had been planning a trip to see one of my gay friends who was in the military, someone who wasn’t a Christian but respected Christianity. I went to him whenever I needed someone who could give me advice not dripped in church culture.
It was time to visit my friend Ryan. Little did I know, he would add more confusion to my life.
To be continued . . .
Have you ever told someone of the opposite sex you liked them, whether you consciously realized your same-sex attractions or not? How did the momentous interaction go, and what did you learn from it?
I like how honest you were (i.e. “You know about my sexuality and that I’m gay!”). I admire that since I was not open about my sexuality when I dated girls in high school and at Christian college. I always thought that if I just met the right girl, everything would change. It took a long time before I thought about the damage to the young ladies I left in a wave of confusion when I moved on because I did not want sex with them.
I’ve never told a girl that I like her. Most of the time I’m too confused about it all to be sure anyway. But one time one of my friends fell in love with me, and I felt bad for her and for missing the signs, but didn’t really know what to say. (I just kind of let her talk and move on.)
MATTHEW. What a lovely turn of events seeing a blog from you again. I hope you don’t leave us in suspense and keep the story going! Eager to see how it unfolds from here. I’ve never told a girl I liked her, let alone have that feeling not be reciprocated. Thanks for putting yourself out there with us. I admire your courage.
Finally! I’ve been wondering when or if you were going to write again. Thank you for sharing this moment!
I wish I would have had the courage to tell my wife about my SSA while we were dating. It took 7 years into marriage before I could tell her. I followed the “good Baptist boy” pipeline and was too scared to deviate. For what it’s worth, I’m proud of your courage to be honest not only with coming out to her, but with your hetero feelings too!