Ever told someone you loved them at 3 in the morning and regretted it the next day? Yeah… we’ve all been there! Emma Tonny shares what she learnt by a mistimed revelation of her own. Her advice? Take a risk; make a fool of yourself!
I spent the last part of my 23rd birthday sobbing hysterically on my doorstep. I cried in the porch, on my sofa, and in my bed… where I promptly fell asleep and woke up feeling totally fine the next day. I’d told someone I loved them and, quite honestly, that was absolute bullshit. I did admire them, I did find them attractive and there were several considerable obstacles that made it totally impossible for us to be together; so, naturally, I wanted to be. He was my boss, he came from a family that would never accept me and he was still in love with his ex- fiancé. Who could resist such a litany of disasters?
To make this experience even more painful and embarrassing, he’d already made it totally clear that he didn’t want to date me. Why do I do these things to myself? To this day, I don’t know if I do it for the drama, the rush or because I absolutely mean it at the time and just can’t hold it in. Honestly, it’s probably some bizarre combination of the three.
I am almost terrifyingly honest about my feelings… up to a point. If I like someone, I tell them. If I (think) I love them, I tell them. If I don’t like them, I will absolutely never tell them and will still be nice to them because honestly why would you ever confront anyone unnecessarily? This selective honesty around my emotions has gotten me into trouble on more than one occasion. However, I have never caused any harm to anyone other than myself and the pay off when it does work is incredible.
Every time I make an enormous tactical error and tell a guy I love him, when I don’t, I tell myself off for this character flaw. I reprimand myself for the impetuosity of these declarations and the ludicrous light in which they paint me. I don’t change, however, because I don’t honestly want to. The old cliché: you regret the things you don’t do, far more than those you do is true for me. I’d rather laugh at myself for drinking too much white wine and gin and telling someone I love them, than stay quiet and hidden and never take the risk.
Yes, I know, I should probably find a balance and I’m working on that, but as a general rule of thumb it’s always better to speak up than be silent. There are exceptions! There are some dangerous ones. I would recommend caution in declaring your feelings to someone you know loves you. If they are head over heels and you’re just experimenting, that don’t be a dick. Don’t mess with their head or their heart. If in doubt in a situation like that, then shut up.
If, however, you know you love them, or think you love them, or have a pretty good idea you could love them if only they’d let you, then go for it. What’s the worst that can happen? Speaking as someone who ended their birthday in floods of tears, I can tell you: it’s honestly not that bad.
For context: this declaration was made after he decided to make out with me on the doorstep. (Hence my tears there, I’m not just massively dramatic.) When I asked what he was doing, he justified this bizarre move by saying that he was: ‘kissing me goodbye.’ Ok pal, a kiss goodbye is a quick peck, not tongue & hands up my top. Get it together. The whole thing was ridiculously daft, but no one got hurt.
I cried, was comforted by a guy I’d made out with twice and would go on to keep hooking up with (life takes strange twists and turns sometimes) and fell quickly asleep. Next day I crawled into the beds of the girl friends who had crashed at mine and ate two pizzas in quick succession. And that right there, is where the real love was to be found. In the arms of my sisters who will both mock me relentlessly and be 100% there for me every single time I fuck up. Which I do, with worrying regularity.
Don’t: hold back from telling people how you feel.
Do: surround yourself with friends who will love & support you no matter how idiotic you may be.
What I learnt: If in doubt, do it. Stay safe but speak up. Take a risk and make a fool of yourself.