From Richard Gere climbing the fire escape in Pretty Woman to John Cusack holding up the boom box in Say Anything, declarations of love in the movies are nothing short of magic. In real life however, sometimes it seems easier to just keep your mouth shut rather than letting on how you really feel.
But at the end of the day, keeping your feelings to yourself will never get you the love you want and deserve. To help you get the ball rolling, here’s a step-by-step plan for sharing your feelings.
Examine your feelings
Before you can even begin to communicate your feelings, you’ve got to understand what they really are. Is your crush just a passing fancy or the real deal? Do you genuinely care for him or are you just attracted to him physically? Understanding how you feel may not be as easy as it seems — you can’t always trust the butterflies you feel when you’re around him. To really examine your feelings, you have to consider what you really think of him as a person, even when he’s not around to make you feel giddy.
Communicate your feelings
After you have a firm grasp on how you’re feeling, it’s time to find a way to communicate it. But that doesn’t mean you just knock on his door and spill your guts. Just like a singer doesn’t stand in front of an audience and sing a song for the very first time, you shouldn’t try to communicate your feelings to the object of your affection without carefully considering how you’re going to articulate them.
Talk to a trusted friend or family member to determine the best way to approach the situation. You can also talk to a therapist or counselor. If you’re not comfortable talking with anyone, write a letter explaining your feelings. But don’t send it – remember, this is just a dry run to get your communication juices flowing.
Reevaluate your feelings
After you’ve discussed your feelings with a trusted friend or put your thoughts on paper, you’ll probably be chomping at the bit to share your feelings with your crush. But before you dive in head first, take a step back.
You’ve finally got a clear picture of how you want to communicate your feelings, but before you take the plunge it’s important to check in with yourself to make sure you’re still feeling the same way. You might also want to do a “reality check” with a friend who knows both you and your crush to get a better idea about how the object of your affection might react to you sharing your feelings.
Share your feelings
After all that preparation, it’s time to do the deed – before you chicken out! The idea of writing a love letter may sound romantic, but it’s probably not the best way to declare your feelings. In some ways, love letters are grand and dramatic, but in they end, they’re just monologues on paper.
If you really want to share your feelings, it’s time to have a two-way conversation. The dialogue should fit naturally with your personal style – and your relationship with your crush. Depending on your comfort level, you can test the water by asking questions or dive right in with an “I love you.”
Sharing your feelings is exciting and scary — you never know if you’ll end up with a new love or a broken heart. But it’s a risk worth taking. No matter what the outcome is, you’ll be better off for having shared the most special part of yourself – your heart.
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