Contributed by: Anonymous (named Lara for this article)
Story from: Amman, Jordan
Putting Yourself Out There
After reading Sumayya’s story from Day 10 of 365 Days of Love, I remembered the first and only time I told a man how I felt. Being raised in an Arab country I was taught that women need to be more passive and have men take the lead in many aspects of our lives, especially when it comes to love.
There is great wisdom in this but I sometimes feel we have lost the right balance and are at a point where we need to take a step back and seriously take a deep look at how our society works. But this story is not about society’s functioning but about love.
On May 2018 I met the man who I thought I was going to marry. It was like out of the movies, where everything stopped, people around me disappeared and time itself seemed to have paused. This feeling alone was a miracle because I am one of those girls that takes a mountain to really move her (maybe a good thing or a bad thing today, not quite sure).
I knew he felt the same because some feelings just can’t be one way. We walked towards each other and even though the Prime Minister was standing to our left, an ex-President of a specific country was to the right (no joke), I could only see him. We talked for the rest of the evening and walked outside on the terrace overlooking Amman’s beautiful hills. I have never felt so safe and at home in my life.
A part of me was like, Lara*, you are stupid, you should go network and talk to the Prime Minister and the X number of Ministers in the room! Why are you wasting your time with a stranger that you could talk to later?
Fast forward 6 months we have talked and talked but things were not moving forward and I was facing big life changes. I got offered an incredible job outside of Jordan and there was no reason to decline it other than the potential of him.
I hinted to him to get him to be clear on his intentions with me. I slept frustrated on many nights just waiting for him to give me some clarity on where we are and if there was even a we.
Then one day I prayed deeply for God to guide me and give me the strength to take the right decision. I slept and woke up all of a sudden from a dream of me telling him how I felt. I took that as the sign to go do something i’ve never done before - tell a man how I feel about him.
My heart was beating so quickly and I thought to myself but isn’t that wrong for a woman to put herself out there? Aren’t I supposed to be the receptive person? Shouldn’t I especially as an Arab woman let the man take the lead?
But then I pictured myself 5 years from now without him and I couldn’t imagine it. So I said to myself similar to what Sumayya said yesterday, what is the worst that can happen if I just told him how I felt?
So I got the courage and did.
His response wasn’t similar to Sumayya’s husbands response. Basically it was a no. He told me how much he cared for me but was not in a position to get more serious (I wasn’t asking for marriage but I certainty didn’t want to waste my time and emotions).
It hurt for many months knowing that it wasn’t moving forward, knowing that I put myself out there and was essentially rejected.
But what would have hurt more was never knowing and having a what if in my mind. The potential what if question would have haunted me for years. Putting myself out there stings but not close to what not having done so would have.
Today, I am writing to you from England where I have accepted my new job and am single, happy, empowered, full and hopeful. Today, I live knowing that I have the power within me. I hope you know that you do too.
This is Aida, Founder of 365 Days of Love <3
First, a big thank you to Lara* for sharing her story. I related to her on so many levels and am inspired by her resilience, strength and acceptance. Thank you for reminding us to reduce the number of what if’s in our lives and to sometimes take that risk of putting ourselves out there.
Second a big thank YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. If you enjoyed this and have a story or thoughts on love that you would like to share please get in touch (button below). We have 354 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!
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With Lots of Love,