I always have been someone who has had a really hard time in life denoting the very thin line between flirting with someone and being a nice person. To some people this subtle distinction is glaringly obvious, but for people like myself you might as well be asking us to become Tom Hanks and solve an international mystery.
So I had to ask myself “Why is this so hard?”
The answer to this question ironically enough is solved when you’re a child. Now before you write this completely off as crazy crackpot theory lets examine the proof. When you’re a child and you were crushing on someone, it was simple. You flat out told them, and perhaps shared your lunch, and for the particularly daring the face of the coodies epidemic a kiss on the cheek. You knew your feelings and knew there were only two options, either they liked you and a playground romance blossomed, or they did not and you moved on. The social stigma of rejection was not understood, and for all purposes didn’t exist. We were honest, regardless of what could happen.
So when we look at how children can do what scares most adults to the core, what are we missing?
The answer is simple, honesty.
When we are honest about what we want, and are unapologetic about how we feel, we galvanize ourselves and free ourselves from the charade that we buy into. We take the feelings that scared us and we conquer them, and even if nothing works out you always know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you did not misread the signs. You can live free and clear of the regret of never asking and not knowing.
I am struck by the quote “Courage is found in unlikely places” –JRR Tolkien, which while was written about a fabulous land of magic and dragons, applies no less to the real world and the dating scene. We find the courage in all aspects of our live when we are honest, and when we flirt with honest intentions in a straightforward manner we are seizing that courage and choosing happiness to either explore another’s feelings, or to unapologetically move on.
While the clothing may have changed, and we may not have a lunch box to share from, those kids we were definitely knew a thing or two that we the grownup children could stand to remember.