Don’t Run From The Guy Who Wears His Heart On His Sleeve
If you’re still getting over the phase of playing games, or outgrowing the age of playing it safe, trying to maintain mystery, trying to “win” at relationships, and not really looking for a true connection, somebody who just puts it all out there can really catch you off guard. I know it took me a while to get accustomed to men who didn’t play games (and yes, those are men, and the ones who d*ck around are boys). For so long, I was used to guys who strung me along, sent me mixed signals, ghosted me, came back, offered no explanation, and accused me of “acting crazy” for just wondering where the hell they’d been for a couple of months.
Yup, my standards were pretty low. But, honestly, I think a part of growing up, learning to love yourself, and learning to know what you want/need out of a partner involves those crappy years of sub-par, pseudo relationships. When we don’t yet respect ourselves, we don’t date people who respect us. But when we don’t even know what it means to respect ourselves, we really don’t think it’s abnormal for boys to behave in the way I just described.
I definitely ran away from the first few men who were just open, honest, and (dare I say it) caring with me. They just told me how they were feeling and what they wanted and that freaked me out. If you have found yourself involved with a new guy who is disarmingly but also somehow alarmingly candid, and your instinct tells you he’s clingy/needy/too much, just hang on. You may be experiencing the learning curve that comes from graduating from game-playing boys to upfront men. Don’t run from the guy who wears his heart on his sleeve. You’ll regret it.
Showing affection isn’t needy
You can have this misconception that when a man shows affection and just lets it be known that he likes you, he’s needy. That’s what the boys who played games led you to believe. But, showing affection isn’t needy. How is a couple supposed to get off the ground if they don’t just say I like you let’s try this? If no relationship of yours ever really has gotten off the ground, it may be time to try this new approach.
In fact, it’s a sign of strength
Actually, when someone is willing to show his hand, say he likes you, and just let it be known that if you’re in, he’s in, that’s a sign of strength. It means that he’s so confident in himself and secure in who he is that he’s willing to make himself vulnerable. It’s not like he doesn’t think he’ll get hurt; it’s that he knows he’ll survive if you turn him down. And he will meet someone else. That’s confidence.
Don’t see it as pressure
If a man lets you know, “I like you, and I’m willing to try this if you are,” you don’t have to see that as pressure. I know it can feel like pressure. You may think, “Wow so, now, I kind of have to make a decision. I have to decide, here and now, if I want a relationship with this person. I don’t get to casually assess that from a distance of playing games.”
See it as an opportunity
It’s really just an opportunity to see how you’d actually be with somebody. All of those boys who played games and kept you at arm’s length—yeah, you never really knew what it was like to be with them. You weren’t with them. When a man is emotionally open, it gives you the chance to actually feel what it’s like to be with him. It’s not a waste of your time anymore.
Skip the guesswork
Do you know how nice it is to skip the guesswork? Stop focusing on the “pressure” of a man who lays it all out there and instead, focus on what you get to skip. Remember all of the bullsh*t of guys who would show up at the party they knew you’d be at, but wouldn’t make a plan to see you there? Remember the guys who would invite you to meet their friends, which felt like a big deal, but then mostly ignored you? Yeah. That gets to stop.
On both ends
And should this guy decide that this won’t work out, you get to skip the close-out guesswork, too. In other words, he won’t ghost you. Ghosting never gets any easier. It’s not something anybody should have to get used to. That guy who wears his heart on his sleeve will give you a proper goodbye and let you know he doesn’t see a future here. Though it can sting, it’s also a nice, clean break.
You get to state your needs
You know what’s nice about a guy who lets you know his needs? You get to let him know yours! That’s completely fair game. Though sometimes, it can be overwhelming when he tells you he needs you to do more of fill in need here, it also means that you are completely free to speak your needs, too. That’s not how it is with those boys who won’t even admit you’re committed to each other.
And not feel “crazy” for it
He won’t make you feel crazy for just saying, “Hey, for these reasons I feel neglected/not heard/not appreciated.” He won’t tell you that you’re being too needy. This man isn’t a boy who wants to be selfish and isn’t ready to meet demands, and will just tell you you’re “Crazy” rather than admit that he’s selfish. This guy understands meeting each other’s needs is part of a relationship.
You can be an emotional being
You know what you did with those dumb boys: if you had a bad day, you didn’t tell them. They made you feel like time with them was meant for fun and not real life. So you had your “relationship” and then you had the rest of your life, and you kept the two separate, so as not to burden your man (boy). But the man who wears his heart on his sleeve is okay with you letting him know what’s going on your life.
And also not feel “crazy” for it
This man won’t make you feel “crazy” for just having feelings and reactions to life. You can tell him when you’ve had a terrible day, when you’re doubting yourself, when you’re having fears about life, your career, friendships, and so on. He’ll want to be a part of the conversation.
If he wants to see you, he’ll tell you
The great thing about this guy is that, when he wants to see you, he just…tells you. As simple as that. He doesn’t say some vague thing like, “I don’t know if you want to stop by this party tonight but, should be cool. No pressure either way.” Nope. He says, “I would love to see you. How do I make that happen?”
If he needs you to pull back, he’ll tell you
Boys will freak out and disappear if they want to slow things down. They don’t know how to tell you they just need to pump the breaks, so instead, they just blow everything up. A man who wears his heart on his sleeve is comfortable saying, “I need to take this slow. But I still want to keep seeing you.”
He’ll have empathy
Emotionally open men are empathetic, and that has both emotional and practical implications. They understand that they can’t cancel on you at the last minute, or change plans at the last minute, or make plans at the last minute. When considering how they treat your time, they think of how they like people to treat their time.
He’ll force you to grow
If you’re still learning how to be more emotionally open and honest yourself, maybe you should make yourself date the guy who wears his heart on his sleeve. If he’s willing to put up with the fact that you’re a bit behind him on the emotional growth path, he could encourage you to mature.
You can enter a new phase
You have to make the change eventually. You have to date that first guy who doesn’t play games, string you along, send vague messages (and mixed messages), and leave you wondering what he’s thinking. Once you date that guy—though it can feel overwhelming at first—you’ll have no tolerance for closed-off men again.