Why we need more people like Ryan O’Shaughnessy

In early March, a shy teenage songwriter walked onto the stage of Britain’s Got Talent and sang to his best friend who he has liked for six years. Six whole years. Although he wasn’t brave enough to name her publicly, Ryan O’Shaughnessy put his heart on the line as he told the judges “she’ll definitely know” it was her.

Romantic, right? At least my heart melted (although to be completely honest I am a hopeless romantic). It turns out that the girl he wrote the song about, Katie Keegan, told him afterwards that she didn’t feel the same way. Simply heartbreaking! (Luckily, Ryan made it all the way to finals of BGT and was able to grace the world with another song he wrote.)

The Ryan O’Shaughnessy case, while extremely disappointing for all of us romantics out there, is an important lesson for everyone. Simply put, there is not enough romance in the world. This is for a number of reasons, but most importantly because people are afraid of getting hurt. This avoidance is completely understandable- why would anyone actually want to feel the pain of rejection? Although there is pride and happiness on the line, there is so much more to gain  by being open and romantic. Being willing to put yourself out there gives the person you like the opportunity to be swept off their feet, which ideally is something every pursuer wants. Ambiguous actions, the “go to” pursuit for most of us, allows for wasted opportunities. Every person I know, guys and girls, wants something special to happen to them, and that will never happen with guarded hearts locked with bars of steel. I think society tells people, especially guys, to never reveal your heart because it might be broken. Broken hearts are undeniably unpleasant, but the stark truth is, you get over them.

A good friend of mine said “Better a once was, than a never was. Better a never was, than a never tried.” This should be taken to heart in all aspects of life, from academic achievements to romantic interests. All goals in life should be treated with gusto and gumption, because those are the memories that people carry with them through life. Everyone regrets ‘the one that got away,’ but almost no one regrets trying. Why not be romantic? Why not knock that special someone off their normal, everyday, dull balance? No one ever complains about romantic situations. It may be the start of something unique and if it is doesn’t it deserve an incredible beginning? At least for me, and I think I speak for millions of people, I would much prefer the chance to someone incredibly happy (myself included) than to pass through my life being almost happy, or settling for something when I wanted more. All I have to do is learn to trust myself, and bravely step onto the stage.

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