This article was originally published as a guest post on GayRepublic.
When you start seeing someone new, you alone are responsible for the picture another person will have of you. So, what do you share with someone you have just met? On the one hand you want them to think the best of you but on the other hand, you also want them to like you for who you are. I guess what I’m asking myself is if it’s unfair to let someone fall in love with you without knowing your whole story.
There are things about me I’m not comfortable sharing.
And I don’t mean that I sometimes grunt when I laugh. You don’t need to fully understand me. And if I don’t understand everything about you, that’s OK too. We don’t need to analyze each other. Ask the questions you wanna know but don’t be disappointed when you don’t get the answers you expected to hear. Always remember that everyone opens up their own pace.
I think it’s easier to be honest about psychological baggage rather sooner than later.
I wanna be my full self as often as I can. And the people I am sharing my time with should understand the bones of who I am and who I am not. That’s why I find it extremely tiring and stressful to pretend to be a perfect guy without problems, fears and emotional baggage. I’m not McDreamy and you’re not Meredith Grey. We are real people living real lives. We fart and we’re crazy. And there is gonna come a point, where I will want to talk to you about my crazy. And, potentially, about yours. I wanna find out who you are and see if what we’re having can be something real. But to find that out, we’ll have to be real first.
Chances are, you are just about as broken as I am.
And maybe you’re the guy who is damaged in the right places I am not. The lifetime chance of experiencing (clinically relevant) psychological difficulties is about 50%. So, every second guy you hook up with will have some idea of what you’re going through. Or they will learn something from you that may help them in the future. And if he/she is one of the lucky ones who experience less emotional distress, they can benefit from your insights even more. How else will they learn to be empathetic about psychological problems when they’ve never experienced any?
So, what’s the right time to tell someone how you are actually doing?
I doubt that there’s a recipe. All I know is that I personally need to have a little trust in someone before I can tell them about the dark places of my mind. So, please don’t be mad when I wait a little bit. It’s not you, it’s me. I thought you might freak out by what I’d tell.
In reality, that has not yet happened to me.
One guy even told me that my anxiety made me more interesting and I didn’t know if I should be flattered or offended. More often than not, other people open up about their own stories as soon as I start to share. Opening up did exactly the opposite of what I was afraid of. People felt closer to me and became more open themselves.
So, what are you waiting for? Own your twisted persona shaped by childhood trauma and adult disappointment and join the club. The worst that could happen is losing someone who isn’t worth having around.