Confessing attraction towards someone, whether it’s mild or severe, can feel awkward for a variety of reasons.

  • Perhaps you’re friends, coworkers or classmates – How will this affect our existing relationship? Will it make things weird?
  • Maybe you’re in a relationship – Does it count as cheating? Does it mean I’m attracted to my partner less?
  • Sometimes it doesn’t fit social norms – Will my parents disown me? What if my small town finds it taboo?

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The awkwardness produces doubt which consequently breeds denial. However, sometimes the attraction still bubbles to the surface, past denial and straight-through doubt, due to a sudden event like a kiss, job change or move.

Or, if you’re like me, you know that you’re one booze-ridden night away from declaring the attraction in a drunk text too embarrassing to look at the next day.

To avoid the latter, I spent a sober Tuesday morning transcribing my thoughts in blog post form (the way I communicate best) and included it in an email to someone I had briefly kissed at a holiday party.

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However, when it was time to finally send it, I suddenly felt like I had walked through the doors of Urgent Care where I needed to confess to the nurse that I was experiencing the first signs of a UTI, despite what that might mean about me. But as I stood to face her, I began to doubt my symptoms.

Once the send button was pressed, it was as if the doctor had walked through the sterile white door where my feet nervously dangled off the exam bed. Was I sure that it hurt when I peed? Would he tell me that it’s all in my head again? Was I being overly sensitive?

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Exiting my laptop screen, I grabbed my car keys to run necessary last-minute errands before I could comfortably drink wine at home to ease the anxiety. However, as I drove towards Petco, I already received a text.

It was from her.

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The Blog Post I Sent Her

The following is the blog post draft I sent her to describe my feelings.

For the past month and a half I have been impatiently waiting for a letter from a friend to come in the mail. Each day I check the mailbox hoping to find an envelope from Portland addressed to me in a male’s handwriting with two sheets of typed computer paper folded inside.

Since he has traditionally been a sounding board whose wisdom I take as truth, I sought his response to my letter’s forthcoming confession about a kiss like I would a Sunday sermon or yoga instructor’s intention for the practice.

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You’re Asking Out Who?

We walked arm-in-arm through Williamsburg to fit under the umbrella that shielded us from a New York rainstorm on our way to dine on artisan pizza. As we dodged puddles, I imagined the hot Australian guy that my college friend was describing. When she met him recently they shared an instant connection, and she was excited about the possibility of him moving to the States someday.

“What are your plans on Saturday?” I asked her later over prosciutto pizza and Cabernet.

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“I’m going on a date,” she replied back. Apparently the Australian wasn’t the only one who had sparked her interest. “With this girl I met. I’m taking her to an outdoor movie.”

Oh? I had so many questions. My friend was known for having the same long-term boyfriend throughout college, and this was the first time I had heard of a girl. Was it her first girl date? Was the girl a lesbian? Was my friend bisexual?

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I Still Don’t Understand

In high school, kissing your girl friends at parties was a playful means of garnering attention from onlooking guys. However, it also required a fair share of confidence which I was never able to muster no matter the amount of liquid courage.

A couple years ago when one of my guy friends found a pool party photo featuring a blacked out Annie kissing a girl friend in the background like a Where’s Waldo? illustration, I felt as though I had graduated to the confidence level of my high school friends. Finding the photo hilarious for its unexpected nature, I quickly forwarded it to everyone in my phone, who found it just as entertaining.

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However, it was not the same as what was discussed over that NYC prosciutto pizza or the similar experiences that have been described by a handful of my female friends. Girls who have told me about their feelings for girls in detail, varying from mild attraction to love. Girls who land in multiple places on the sexuality spectrum.

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That night I didn’t see it coming, but in retrospect, I suppose I should have.

At the end of a holiday party this past December, a high school friend and I sat facing each other at the dining room table. The only thing preventing us from being incoherent was the copious amount of cheese and crackers consumed with the wine and cocktails. In the middle of showing her my latest male crush on Instagram, we kissed.

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I didn’t text everyone in my phone about it when I returned home, and I avoided the topic when I saw friends from the party the next day. I told a couple friends what had happened but provided no explanation to whether it was intentional or not.

Why Was It Different?

A couple years ago, when my high school friend and I saw each other for the first time since college, we bonded over our openness to new things and ideas which is a quality I love in people. But to be honest, I don’t know what made me feel differently towards her, besides her beauty and brains that everyone adores.

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However, this is what I do know.

  • I know that I enjoy her friendship, admire her boldness and appreciate that she gets me.
  • I know that on two occasions I’ve drunkenly told people in conversation that I like her in a different way than other friends.
  • I know that she is the only girl who I am guilty of drunk texting and Facetiming obnoxiously.
  • I know that I thought about her in the following weeks after the party, similar to what I do after kissing cute guys, whether it was due to oxytocin or adoration.
  • I know that there has been a subtle shift in my writing. Referring to the potential dating pool as simply “guys” has felt strange given how I felt, and I have been using the word “people” more.

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What Does It Mean?

Kissing a girl was not an item on my bucket list. It was not a task to check off in order to feel like a complete person. However, I have a better understanding of what was described to me on that rainy evening in New York when my friend spoke about attraction without labels or limits.

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And I’m not worried about that piece of mail arriving from Portland anymore.

In the letter to him, I described 2015 as a clouded car windshield. One might think that kissing a friend would only further fog it up, making the road ahead more difficult to see. However, it’s unlikely there is any response that would make me question the last paragraph I wrote:

What I find important is that I kissed a female friend, and it meant something but didn’t change everything. When hangover anxiety wore off the next day, I didn’t question my sexuality (minus 5 minutes of “Am I lesbian?!”), and I didn’t regret what happened. A beautiful, smart person who I adore felt like kissing me. Another portion of the foggy windshield has been defrosted. The one that reminded me that we must be more concerned about who we are as people instead of simply as guys or girls.

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Her Response

When I returned home, I sat down at the dining room table, poured a glass of wine and opened iMessage on my laptop. At least I would be armed for the doctor’s prognosis with Cabernet.

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Now that awkwardness has been dispelled, doubt and denial are dissolved as well. Regular texting has resumed about boring douchebags, charming assholes and how we don’t give a fuck about taboos.