Dear Straight Men: If I Tell You I Love You
During the past few years, there have been a plethora of people giving me support during the rough, emotional times. From ‘hang in there’ to giving me a shoulder to cry on. Everyone, men, women, straight, gay– there have been online friends there for me. Now that I’ve had time to get my life back together, I’m looking over my shoulder and thanking people for sticking with me. I’m even saying “I Love You”.
What is happening, instead of saying “Thank You” or “Love you back, Man”, people, men especially, are fleeing what I thought was a secure friendship. Women are a bit better, but not much. I hadn’t thought about fragile, male egos or self-inflicted insecurity. There’s a phrase that is going around that explicitly explains what has happened. Toxic Masculinity; snowflake sexuality; insecure inequality. Call it what you want: what it boils down to is men are unable to say “I Love You” without immediately sexualizing the sentiment.
If I say “I Love You”, that doesn’t mean I’ve suddenly developed unrequited romantic feelings and I want to jump your bones, pull your pants down to your ankles and deepthroat you or push you over a car hood and head to pound town. What it means is, I thought we were in a great place, friendship-wise, when we connected mind to mind, during a difficult place in my life. You had my back, you held up my emotions and my heart so I wouldn’t jump off.
When you back away from my sentiments, delete or remove my post/tweet/message without acknowledgement, you are telling me more than you could ever try. That just tells me you hold what others feel, say and think more than what I thought whatever friendship we ever had. I will completely give you the space and never acknowledge our friendship ever again.