If you've ever really liked someone, then the waiting game is something that you're probably familiar with. The formula is almost the same every single time.

It starts with a text: "Hey."

And so does the overthinking. You check the time stamp on the delivery receipt and begin calculating how long you should wait to reply. Immediate responses reek of desperation, and 10, 15, and 20-minute intervals are too obvious. So, what do you do? You choose a time somewhere in between and hope for the best until it's an hour later and your phone still hasn't buzzed.

Stupid, you think. You should've waited. In fact, maybe you shouldn't have responded at all because the message thread has obviously turned into a one-sided conversation. Your greatest fear has almost revealed itself, and they're going to know it.

You care.

Much more than they do. At least, that's what it seems like.

Texting games and concealed emotions play a crucial role in 21st-century dating. Countless conversations with friends on campus have led me to believe that we're all facing the same issue.

"But, I don't want it to seem like I'm into him…," they say. If you really think about it, the entire situation is backward. If you're texting someone that you like, and there's a chance that the feeling is mutual, why are you so afraid to show it?

I get it. I really do.

No one likes to be rejected. No one wants to be the one that cares too much but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't care at all. (Or at least pretend that we don't.) Rejection is simply a part of life. There's no way around it, unfortunately, and it's much easier to come to terms with when we allow it to happen.

Am I saying that we should wear our hearts on our sleeves and send our crushes paragraphs about how much we love them? Absolutely not. But, we should own our emotions and stop being so afraid of showing our feelings.

If it doesn't work out and your crush doesn't feel the same, it's not the end of the world. It sucks, yes, but at least you were upfront about how you felt. You should never feel bad or embarrassed about that. It just wasn't meant to be, and now you know it so you don't have to waste time pondering 'what if' anymore.