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Realizations: Catching Feelings and Letting Them Go

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I’ve never been a fan of feelings, much less, fully opening up about them when I’m meeting someone. I believe the only person that should get to know every intimate thing about you is only yourself. The fact that there could be someone out there that knows every single thing about you is scary. Whenever I have feelings for someone, I have a tendency to hide them. Instead of displaying them for all to see, I continue to live my life pretending that they don’t exist, but they do. Something I always seem to forget is that hiding them does not mean they stop existing. Leaving a curling iron unattended could start a fire. Not opening up about your feelings can burn you down as well. I hate to admit that I have feelings for someone; and, even worse, knowing that I have no idea what I’m doing. 

The thing with feelings is that, at least for me, they never seem to arrive at the correct moment. Between catching feelings too early on or being into (yet again) the wrong person, whenever my body starts to feel the much-dreaded “butterflies’,’ I instantly go numb. I find myself trying to run as far away from the person as possible. Because, while rejection is normal, it is hurtful and quite frankly, scary. Sometimes it is much easier to forsake your feelings than to actually listen to them and end up hurt. Why go through the burden of opening up to someone and catching feelings for them, only to get rejected in the grand scheme of things? It is a constant process of falling down, picking yourself up and getting knocked down again every single time you decide to fall in love; or, more specifically, catch feelings.

Therefore, for the longest time, my only constant and true love has been myself and my career. However, for a while now, I’ve opened the door to the idea of falling in love. Although scary, as I’ve mentioned in previous articles, I feel ready to have it all. Or at least I thought I was… 

Recently I came in touch with my feelings, and boy was it scary. It had been such a long time before I smiled over someone’s text or felt happy by just seeing a person I like. As I helped run a recent fashion show, I caught myself smiling from ear to ear because I knew that I would see the person I liked that afternoon. And when I finally realized why I was smiling, I panicked. I felt it was too early (although we have been “talking” since mid-May) and of course you tell yourself you’re ready for something, but until the moment actually comes to face what you feel you are never fully ready to deal with your feelings and the idea of getting rejected. As soon as those “butterflies” arrive, running away seems like a pretty logical and viable option. 

However, going back to “old toxic habits’ ‘ that actually worked for my emotional sanity started to not be an option anymore. I was in too deep to just disappear without an explanation. Not only that, but when I decided to open the door to love (once again) I decided that this time things would be different. Although I was scared about what would happen, I decided to go along, but in my mind I wanted to slowly disappear until, of course, I would leave his life (or DM’s) completely.  

But there was a part of me that refused to leave. I still don’t know if it was the part that has feelings for this person or this moral compass in me that wanted to try and do things differently. Whenever I feel overwhelmed with feelings I tend to distance myself from people without a proper explanation. I have such a hard time expressing them, that somehow when I do (or at least try to) I feel as if I say half of my feelings. If I was going to leave, I owed myself and the other person at least a proper explanation, and having feelings wasn’t necessarily the correct reason when the other party felt interested in me as well, or at least, I thought that was the case. 

I’ve always been scared of my feelings; and, specifically, being in a relationship. As a stubborn Pisces, I feel too hard for people and I’ve found myself in “situationships” where I’m more into things than the other person. It terrified me, not only to understand I was having feelings for said person, but that also it felt as if I was more into what was happening than him. Was I bound to yet again fall for another unsuccessful and undefinable “something”? 

While nothing concrete has happened with this person, it has hurt to realize even more, that nothing ever will. While I’m not impatient when it comes to talking, there is a lot more that has happened with other people than what has actually happened between us. However, I decided to focus on the positives of this learning experience. I have been more in touch with my feelings than ever before. I’ve been able to say some of what I feel, but then again my feelings are out there and I don’t like that. Specifically when I know that exposing them has only led me to an indirect rejection.

Getting hurt is a scary and traumatizing experience. I think I speak for all of us when I say that no one goes into something thinking they are gonna get hurt… but we do regardless. How are we supposed to be ready when we are about to get hurt? What is the correct protocol? As I’ve mentioned before… When it comes to love, dating and now having feelings for someone, instructions are not included. You have to get out there and actually get hurt to understand what works best for you.

 That’s why I’ve ultimately decided to let go of this person… Honestly, I did not expect this part to be as hard as it’s being, but it is. 

I’ve always told my friends that the first step of moving on from someone you have feelings for and you don’t want to have is to  actually recognize you have feelings for them and that nothing will come of it. And that’s what I did, or at least what I’ve been trying to do. Sometimes putting your own words into action makes you wish you never said them in the first place.  I accepted that I have feelingsーafter a quick reality check, I realized that I truly like this person. Right now, there is nothing I can do but to embrace it and move on.

 Until you get over the denial process and you keep thinking that he’ll come around, the only person you will be fooling is yourself; and thus, you won’t allow yourself to properly move on. While I find myself teetering in the denial tightrope, this circus love act is about to end. Therefore, enjoy the show and accept the experience for what it was. Every encounterーwhether good or badー is an experience and experiences make us rich. 

I’ve come to learn and understand that falling in love is a beautiful feeling, despite feeling it for someone who necessarily does not feel it for you. For me, it’s been actually knowing I can feel these things for someone. For such a long time I closed the door to love so much that after it being open a while, it is comforting knowing I can feel so strongly towards someone. Specifically seeing how creative I can get when I want to plan dates and how attentive I am when the other person is talking. Falling in love is easy, but falling out of it does not have to be so hard.  

Once you accept your feelings, the rest comes naturally. There are two options for dealing with your feelings… You can go for it! Tell them how you feel, what if it works? If past mistakes or “learning lessons” are holding you back, it’s important to understand that things are different and so are you. Knowing what is at stake does not have to be a bad thing, it could be a really good thing. Being scared is normal, even more to have feelings, but when it comes to love there is always a risk, but the possibility of it working out is so worth it. If it works out, it’s a pretty story to tell and if it doesn’t, it’ll still be a learning experience of some sort.

If you are more in the lines of me, where you want to let go of your feelings, after you recognize them, you’ll find yourself halfway there. As I’m working towards letting go of this person, it’s also time I close my doors again for a while. The ride has been fun, but opening up to love is not easy. Although I don’t understand it, love comes exactly when it’s supposed to. And, while we might not feel it, love will leave exactly when it must. When it arrives greet it, make it comfortable. When Love leaves ask it to leave the door open, and say: “Thank you for stopping by”. 

José is majoring in Public Relations, Publicity and Journalism. This communication undergraduate student from the UPR Río Piedras campus is an energetic Pisces with a passion for fashion, coming of age films, books, crossfit, and dance. Currently, José is a writer for HerCampus, the Public Relations director at Pulso Estudiantil, and a Account Manager Intern at celevideos.com.
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