We hide behind sarcasm. We roll our eyes at sappy remarks instead of admitting to the butterflies flapping around our stomaches. We make lighthearted jokes that verge on teasing instead of doling out compliments on the tips of our tongues. We pull ourselves away whenever our feelings grow too intense.
We take precautions to prevent ourselves from getting too attached. We raise our guards. We padlock our chests. We are careful about who we let into our lives because we are not interested in getting our hearts shredded.
We come across as heartless because we would never get caught mooning over a crush. We would never risk pouring our feelings into the open whether we are drunk or sober. We would never show our vulnerable side with onlookers glancing our way.
We keep our secrets to ourselves. We never admit to the way our hearts skipped a beat at a text message or a glance that lasted a little too long. Whenever someone tries to ask about our feelings, we make a sarcastic comment and find a way to circle back around to a more comfortable conversation.
We act like we could not care less about the people who mean the most to us. We wear a mask whenever we step into public — but we are more sensitive than anyone realizes.
We pretend we are heartless because we feel more comfortable telling white lies about our emotions than embracing them. We would rather put on an act than deal with our innermost feelings. Feelings are messy. Feelings are complicated. Feelings can lead to heartache.
We are not the type to scream our love from the rooftops, but our feelings peek through from time to time. When we get lost in a set of eyes and lose track of whatever we were saying. When we lose our breath from an unexpected text or kiss.
If you look close enough, there are moments when you will see through our charade — but not many. We are careful about how we act when other people are paying attention. We have mastered the art of looking like no one and nothing else matters.
We keep our feelings under lock and key because we are worried about getting hurt. We are worried about exposing our vulnerabilities and having them used against us. We are worried we are finally going to take a risk and open up to someone, and will end up paying the price for it.
We claim to be happier on our own, and a part of that is true, but there is another part of us interested in a relationship. A part that is tingling to take a risk. A part that wants to say and spill everything we have been too shy to say.
We might look heartless, we might struggle to deal with our feelings, but we still feelings. Strong feelings. Feelings that are not going away no matter how much we want to pretend they do not exit.