tl:16

“can we talk”

These are the BEST POSSIBLE WORDS Bitty could say right now.

Everything starts from here. Everything.

These boys have had a bit of a honeymoon so far. The excitement of their new love has kept them going. But reality always sets in, and with reality comes the realization that those Magical Moments aren’t enough to propel a real relationship forward. The heart and soul of a healthy relationship is communication, and while these guys haven’t been keeping Big Dark Secrets from each other, they HAVE been letting some things go unsaid.

In particular - and we saw this as early as 3.3 - Bitty’s been swallowing a lot of his needs for Jack’s sake. One of the touchstones of Bitty’s career at Samwell has been his enjoyment of being totally and unapologetically himself. He has been able to embrace every aspect of his identity - the pie baker, the hockey player, the gay boy - and find acceptance with his friends. But along with finding love, he’s also had to compromise that for the first time. Which he was willing to do, at first. But it was never going to be something he could tolerate in the long term. Too much of this story is wrapped up in Bitty’s sense of self.

So Bitty needs to start communicating his needs to Jack. He needs to say to him, “Honey, I know we’re keeping things quiet for your sake, but I need something else. I need an outlet.” It’s good for everyone for him to communicate those needs. It means Jack knows Bitty better. It means Bitty knows himself better. It means they can take care of each other and themselves better.

But, you know, one of the scary things about communicating your own needs is that the other person can say “I can’t continue in a relationship with you if you want that.” So yeah, Bitty has to put everything on the line, including his relationship with Jack. But if this were a relationship where Bitty had to continue to suppress his own needs, then it wouldn’t be sustainable as a relationship. All relationships need to move and change and grow.

So how does Bitty effect that move? Does he get angry at Jack? Does he issue an ultimatum? Does he tell Jack “I can’t do this anymore”? No. He says the thing that needs to be said. He initiates a conversation.

He says, “Can we talk?”

And as long as the answer is yes – as long as they *can* talk – this relationship has as much of a shot as any relationship has ever had.