This year has been a great year. Among many other things that happened in 2016, this was the year that I learned to love myself more. To enjoy being alone, to enjoy my free time however I pleased (e.g.: I went on vacation solo), to disregard society’s expectations (Yes, I am a 29 year-old woman, still living with her parents — it’s called living in NYC and saving—with no boyfriend or husband, and no children, and I don’t plan on having kids anytime soon). I spent a whole decade in three long term relationships, valuing someone else’s worth over mine, so I plan on using this “single” time to continue learning about myself and loving myself and putting myself first. I never thought about dating anyone until I met him. He caught my interest right off the bat. Not with the typical way a guy tends to sweep girls off their feet, with his charm or with his suave moves, but instead with the way he carried himself. I was attracted to his personality, his adorable nerdy look, the way he went out of his way to make me feel welcome, with his kindness and sincerity. Then things took off and it felt so new and exciting and full of butterflies. Then things got a bit complicated, but I was able to be honest with him and open up a bit to see exactly how he felt about me. And things seemed great after our conversation, but once he came back from Chicago, things just didn’t seem the same. What ever happened to texting every day, or every other day, or even just random cute texts to let me know he was thinking of me? Life happened, I guess. Busy lives. Busy people. But are we ever that busy to send a quick text to someone we supposedly like? So the less I heard from him, the more discouraged I became, and the more discouraged I became, the less I initiated texts. I just didn’t want to get my hopes up about this wonderful guy whom I already was growing lots of feelings for, just so he could reject me. I would feel rejected or think he wasn’t that interested in me or that I just wasn’t interesting enough for him to entertain the idea of being with me for things other than “Netflix and chill”. What ever happened to going out to dinner or other activities, like we used to, or like he easily does with friends? And then he would ignite the small light of hope I had for us, with his texts and the cycle continued: we would hang out and have a great time together, have that physical connection, that one-of-a-kind genuine intimacy, go back to our lives, text here and there, maybe see each other in group outings, discouragement on my side, less initiation from my side, etc. Here’s the thing: This situation is unlike any other I’ve ever had because 1) This is my very first dating experience so I have no clue what I’m doing. 2) This is his first dating experience as well. 3)He’s not a jerk at all. On the contrary, he is the sweetest, most kindest, very caring introverted nerd I’ve ever known. He stimulates my mind and I find him very sexy and I want to get know him even more. 4) I am obviously catching feelings for him but I do not know how to bring it up. We’ve had a serious talk before when I wasn’t sure how he felt about me and I learned that he liked me and felt bad that I even thought he felt otherwise, and he even told his family about me (I’ve met the family). But six months of dating and I would really like to move this relationship forward—I just don’t know how to bring it up. I am scared about being so vulnerable with my feelings and being rejected but I know it’s a conversation that must be had. I know I have to rip the bandage off but it’s something that will take me some time to be ready. I have to be ready to sit down and be absolutely honest and then be ready for the response—which could go either way. I’m a very emotional person and overanalyze every detail and I don’t want to look like a fool or a crazy person, crying as I’m telling him how I feel or crying as I hear what he has to say in response. Who knows, he might be wondering what’s going on with me—like how come she hasn’t texted me, why doesn’t she ask me to hang out like she did in the summer? People have told me to talk to him and be honest and others have told me to stop acting like a girlfriend and stop initiating contact with him and stop being intimate with him and then his actions will tell me what’s what. Decisions, decisions.