Tissues, please baby. Tissues.
One of my most embarrassing moments to date was during my senior year in college. My boyfriend at the time wanted to watch Step Brothers as we spooned on the couch. Thinking it was a funny movie, neither of us really considered the emotional effect it would have on my overly-sensitive self.
It’s likely one of my worst (and ahem, best) qualities that I empathize so deeply with other people, and apparently movie characters, but when it comes to tears, I'm mighty good at producing them. I'm a genuinely happy and optimistic person, but I likely cry way more than the average person. I'm talking at least once a week, and not because I'm sad.
But when I'm really happy, or when I'm nervous or I'm scared or I simply see something moving, I cry. It's been interesting with boyfriends as they try to navigate the difference between my excited and upset tears, and frankly, it's a fact I've come to accept about myself. I'm unashamed of those splashes down my cheek, but if you're going to date me, there are a few things you'll simply have to understand:
Because, I tell you, they'll happen all the time. When I get sweet reader mail, when I finally nail a yoga pose I've been working on, when a friend writes me a kind text message or I see a lovely old couple walking hand-in-hand — tears. ALL of the tears.
Anytime I see anyone I care about tearing up, for good reasons or sad ones, I immediately tear up. It's something my friends have come to love about me, but their happiness feels like my own, their sadness feels like my own, so I'm actually pretty great at responding to whatever they need. Though, I actually kind of worry about the day when I have children and they cry to get their way.
When a guy shows he's paying attention or he wants to make me smile — like having almond milk in the fridge for me because I'm lactose intolerant — it means more to me than any fancy gift. Because I value sentiments and emotional connections to experiences and things, going the extra mile (or let's be honest: the extra minute it takes) to be thoughtful is so appreciated.
Some of the unhealthier relationships I've had were with men who couldn't let me express myself in the way I do naturally. Even if I'm not that upset, my voice may crack and my eyes may well up a bit. It doesn't mean I'm about to freak out or burst into a panic attack; I'm just trying to say how I feel. The best kind of guy is the one who supports me and says, "I'm listening. Breathe. Tell me how you feel."
I can likely tell you every single place in New York (where I live) that I've cried: almost all movie theaters. At a bar in the East Village because I was breaking up with my ex. On a corner on the Upper West Side when a little girl told me to believe in love, randomly. At a pet store in the West Village when I adopted my pup. Places aren't just places — they're memories of places I felt something intense.
And yes, I'll even cry excitedly for you in the process.
You don't have to cry, though a tear every once in awhile won’t bother me. But because I'm able to fully accept myself and my feelings, I'll want you to do the same. I've dated enough emotionally unavailable men to know that type of relationship will never fulfill me.
Being sensitive might make me come across as less together or mature, but I'd like to argue it's the opposite. I'm unafraid of my feelings. I'm willing to be vulnerable. I'm willing to let my emotions come as they will. It also means I'm willing to stand up and be accountable for myself, my thoughts, feelings and values. And I'll expect the same out of you.