The Force is Strong with This One. Or is it?

There are no lightsabers in the battle of mixed emotions. Also, help me.

There is something to be said about attraction. We can’t seem to free ourselves from its grip. It is hard for us to escape this force field and move on to something else. We keep getting pulled back by the magnetism of the person we are attracted to. This is true for me at least. And what’s worse is that I justify my inability to walk away with mixed signals I receive from that person. Despite the fact that these signals are confusing and occasionally misleading, they drive me closer to the sender, or closer to the idea of him at least.

I have convinced myself I am great at reading people, but in truth, I can’t seem to figure out feelings to save my life. I can’t even decipher my own feelings, let alone someone else’s. Our emotions fluctuate so frequently that it’s incredibly difficult to understand them at any given time. We allow our emotions to follow the ebb and flow of the mixed signal tide because we don’t know what to do with them. We are terrified of actual, honest communication and silently wonder if our partner is just as confused as we are, but never actually ask.

I cling to mixed signals because I fear rejection. But fear doesn’t save me from the force of attraction in the first place--it only paralyzes me and provides me with endless excuses once I’m already weak in the knees. I remain in the solitary embrace of my own attraction while waiting for the other person to expose themselves first. It is a standoff: who will submit first to straight talk and self-exposure? But there are no clear-cut winners and losers here. Whether you’re the the tortoise or the hare, in the game of attraction, no one is safe. You are in danger when you share your feelings and you are danger when you don’t. So we send mixed signals, never saying anything real, never risking anything real, never getting anything real in return.

The real point here is I like him. I am tired of thinking he is into me one week and then getting my ego shot down the next. I cannot stand the push and pull of the Force. Are we attracted to each other or is it just me? I want to know what he is thinking and the only way to do that is to stop assuming what he meant by his most recent actions or words and ask him.

Easier said than done obviously. And since I am a scaredy-cat, maybe you can help me. Feel free to tell me in the comments section what your take on our magnetism is.

  1. We talk everyday, but when it comes to getting close, I hear the words, “We don’t know each other very well.” I am pretty sure you speak to me more than most people in your life right now, so please, if there are things I don’t know, enlighten me. Also, I would say we know each other pretttttty well, y’all know?
  2. He once invited me to a get together with some of his friends (whom I did not know) and proceeded to ignore me the entire evening. Seriously, he spoke maybe two words to me. But, every time I looked up, he was looking at me with that stupid half smile shit. If that was a test, I have a new hatred for school.
  3. After sensing that career and school factors could make this relationship difficult, we decided to just be friends. As soon as we came to that agreement, the “relationship” became 45 times more intimate both sexually and intellectually.
  4. We talk about vacationing together and commit to events that are months away.
  5. He describes evenings together as romantic, but gives me the infamous side-hug at the end of the night.
  6. It took months for him to add me on Facebook. (Which reminds me, he is probably reading this and definitely confirming all of his thoughts regarding my craziness. So I guess now it doesn’t matter if I never discuss any future relationship, because I definitely killed the possibility. Sidenote: Is “Do it for the ANNA article,” anything like, “Do it for the Vine?” Is that even cool anymore? SOMEONE SAVE ME FROM MYSELF!)
  7. He challenges me to be a better version of myself. He encourages me in all of my pursuits, and that means a lot. He listens to me and he takes me seriously, that is when we aren’t in stitches from each other’s jokes.

I know, I know. If you want answers, ask questions. If you want something, you need to pursue it. The worst thing that could happen is that you find out your feelings for him may be better suited for someone else. And if that is all, wine can heal the brief pain that realization causes.

Don’t be paralyzed by fear. Don’t be hampered by the power struggle. Don’t submit to the push and pull of the magnet that is him. And most importantly, do as I say, not as I do.

Feature illustration by Kirsten Samanich.