I first met Jack* last September – we were both working at the same place. We were both new and went through training together, but during the fall semester we rarely worked together. Last spring, our schedules always lined up and we started talking and becoming friends. Shortly after that, I realized that I had a crush on him.
Fast forward to today: nothing has changed (womp, womp). We still work together and we still get along really well. Jack and I have so much in common that even people we work with have come up to me and asked, “Why aren’t you and Jack a thing?” or when I bring him up in conversation, they say “This is off-topic, but I can see you and Jack together.”
So I ask myself: Why aren’t Jack and I a thing? I don’t have a ton of self-confidence, but for the first time in a very, very, very long time, I honestly think that something might work out. Every time I come home from work, my roommates and I dissect every interaction I’ve had with Jack throughout the night. Jack is a genuinely nice guy (yeah, they do exist) and is incredibly humble. Because of this, my roommates came to a conclusion that terrified me more than if he wasn’t at all interested: I have to make the first move.
For people with almost no self-assurance, it was the worst thing I could have been told. I would almost rather that he wasn’t interested because then, at least, I could say “Oh well, what else is new?” and move on. The problem is, if I don’t, I will honestly be spending the rest of my college career wondering what could have been. Jack isn’t the type to have random hookups or even girlfriends, and from knowing him for so long now I think it’s safe to say that he wants to know something is a sure thing before he chases it. Having to initiate is terrifying, but I’ve already started. They’re baby-steps, I know, but it’s better than nothing.
My roommates and I are avid football fans, and they convinced me to invite him over to watch Sunday football with us while his and my rival teams were playing. I was scheduled to work that Sunday, but I nonchalantly brought up that if I could get my shift covered, he should stop by. His response? “Yeah, that would be fun.”
I decided to keep testing the waters. He lives within walking distance of my apartment, and I asked him one day if he could give me a ride home. He agreed without hesitation and, even though there were awkward pauses, he made sure to keep the conversation going the whole time. It was only about 10 minutes but I think it showed both of us that we’re capable of having an interaction outside of work and talking about not work-related things.
Sure, all of this could be attributed to the fact that he’s a nice and humble guy, but it’s been enough to give me the confidence to think of different ways we could hang out. Our teams will play each other again soon and we both have floor tickets to an upcoming concert. Even if nothing comes of this, I can at least step back knowing that I tried – and gained some self-confidence along the way.
Photo by Sabine Clermont