Mutually Friendzoned

Almost 5 months since our first date which wasn’t a date.

5 months and 4 more dates that were not dates.

We went out for more ice cream, then for dinner, for dinner again, last we went to the bowling alley. Next weekend we will go play pool together.

We have agreed to meet up regularly, to hang out together. And yes, just as friends. (H is fine with it; he sees no issues. We had actually asked him to come along, but he doesn’t want to, so our regular “pseudo-dates” have become a thing…)

But I would like to have more. And judging from the way you act around me or even when you are not around me, I can only come to the conclusion that you have started falling in love with me as well. I checked like a trillion websites on interpreting men’s behaviour and it all boils down to the same. I have been wrong before about these kind of things in the past with the first you, but now I don’t see how I could be wrong when there are so many clear, blunt and obvious signs. It could only be more obvious if you said the words (which I know you never will).

You have this constant silly smile on your face, this puppy grin when we’re out alone together. With each “pseudo-date” you have become more attentive, more chivalrous, and physically closer. No touching but almost there.

I have also noticed that you tend to need some distance after each of those dates. It’s like you need time for yourself to sort your feelings again and then you come back to us again, a bit hungrier for it, whatever it really is.

Nothing will happen, I guess. We have made it clear. We are doing this as friends. So far no one has crossed any boundaries. No touching, like I said. We didn’t even hug when saying hello or goodbye. Well, not until yesterday at least. Had to kind of convince you it was fine to do so as friends. Wait, actually I had told you I felt weird just shaking hands and that you’d remind me of a big cuddly teddy bear that just begs to be hugged. Yes, I told you this. Couldn’t tell you face to face, even though I had wanted to do. It was after our last date at the bowling alley: we went to the train station together for you to catch your train back home. We were standing right opposite of each other, as close as never before. Your train was coming. Time to say goodbye. You were looking into my eyes. It felt intense. And sad. But I just couldn’t find the courage to ask you for a hug this time. So I texted you a day later and asked. A smiley face later you said it was fine.

Yesterday you were invited to our party here. So we were not alone, it was not one of those dates. But when you arrived here, I opened the door for you and out of habit, I offered my hand, but you went in for the hug saying “nah, that’s what you had wanted, right”. And so we hugged, we were close to each other, our bodies touching. And also when you left, I just hugged you. I wasn’t sure if we had silently agreed on just one hug or if it was solely hugs from now on, so I will just go for the latter option 🙂

I feel high on whatever we are having. I don’t want to call it love. Or an affair. It’s not just friendship either. I just know. You don’t have to say it. There are so many examples that prove all this. This time, I am not wrong. However, I am not sure if you are aware of this yourself. If you know what you are feeling. Maybe you are confused. Unsure. Or you do know and try to not fall for it. We are on a public Discord server together and we regularly chat on it with each other and other people. On the day before our party here, the topic was about emotions and you said (not to me but in general chat): “Can someone please help me throw my feelings out the window, brain tells me they are bad and I trust my brain…” You keep saying that you are kind of immune to feelings and emotions, but I don’t believe you. I saw it clearly when we were talking about your beloved puppy from your childhood and obviously you seem like a gentle, caring guy. And I believe this statement in general chat might have hinted at us or at least that you are aware of some strange feelings you cannot describe.

It must be hard for you I guess. You don’t want to hurt H, who is my husband, your friend, your coworker, your boss-to-be. You don’t want to lose our friendship. You don’t want a relationship in general, want to stay by yourself. And you made it clear that you would hate me if I ever cheated on H for no reason. I guess you settled for what we are having now. I am trying to do the same. We have mutually friendzoned each other, one could say. I don’t know if this will work. Guess we will have to find out and see.

For me it’s clear that I love both of you equally. I have tried to figure out what’s wrong with my marriage or what I am feeling for H. But there is nothing wrong. It’s all good. It’s perfect. Still, I love you just as much. And why should it not be possible? After all, I love both my parents equally. I don’t prefer one over the other or love one more than the other. But I guess no one would understand this with regards to romantic relationships and as long as neither you nor H would understand that this is possible, I will have to leave it as it is. Because I do not want to hurt either of you. I do not want to lose any of you. It’s a compromise at best. But one I will try to accept. I wouldn’t be able to choose just one of you because the other would always get hurt.

I will accept our mutual friendzone with all its ups and downs. Right now I am on a high from the party yesterday and yes, the hug. And I am looking forward to our next pseudo-date on Saturday.

I also know that there will be days when I will want more, when I won’t be able to deal with your need for distance, when I will cry like a baby, when I will miss you like crazy. But I do not regret feeling all this for you, do not regret having met you.

 

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The Date That Was Not A Date

We went out together today, just the two of us.

I had asked you about a week ago if we could meet, just as friends. I was feeling like shit then, because I was missing you, being utterly confused as to what to do about our situation, but I couldn’t tell you that this was the reason for wanting to see you.

We met at the train station and walked to the ice cream parlour I had suggested. At first, it felt strange, having you all to myself in person. Usually there’s always been other people with us. Or we could only talk to each other online. This today, it felt nice, strangely familiar, yet new and exciting at the same time.

Shortly after sitting down at the parlour, there was some silence, no one saying anything. I guess we were both kind of unsure about the situation. And then you were saying it out loud: “mmh, this feels weird, kind of like I’m on a first date again, … but this time it’s with my best friend’s wife.” You were smiling hesitantly, or nervously? I couldn’t answer right away; it took me a minute or so before I said “But it’s not a date.” I tried to sound convincing, but really I was just reminding myself that I agreed to just be friends with you, that I had told you my feelings towards you were in check, nothing inappropriate anymore.

We ended up staying at this place for about 3 hours. Just talking. Once in a while sitting there in silence, contemplating (at least I was). You told me more about yourself, your past, your reasons for not wanting to be in a relationship with anyone, your ways to deal with negative emotions or depressive episodes. I told you more about my problems with depression, the miscarriages, my current mental state (leaving out whatever you might have to do with it…). Besides serious topics like these, we also laughed, made jokes, talked about regular stuff, funny or peculiar things we had experienced here and there in our lives. We talked about our jobs, video games. I really liked spending time with you. And I think you really liked spending this time with me.

Afterwards we went downtown together because you wanted to check out some stores in order to get a new keyboard. I wasn’t sure if I could accompany you or if that would seem too clingy. I had asked and you said it was fine.

We said goodbye at the central station. I thanked you for meeting me. You reminded me of your offer that I could join your online game with one of your sisters tonight if I wanted to. And then we parted ways…

I felt my heart breaking. I didn’t want to leave you yet. Not like this, not as friends. At least I had hoped to give you a hug when saying goodbye. Not sure why we didn’t hug. Even good friends would do this. I also regretted not telling you certain things I had wanted to tell you or not replying to certain things you had said today or not asking you to further explain them.

Like when you told me that you hadn’t actually finished reading my last email, even after a few attempts already. Was it too long? Too serious? Too difficult for you to deal with? Or all of these options?

Or when you told me that H wouldn’t have to worry about you and what you might do when it comes to meeting me one on one like today. Is this just because you have the integrity not to betray your friend by stealing his wife? Or are you also not even interested in doing so?

I texted you at home, thanking you again for meeting me, that it was nice just talking to you and that we should do this again some time if you want. You: “I see no reason yet why not.” (Yet?)

It did feel like a date today. A first date. Getting to know each other more, confiding things in each other, smiling and laughing, at times interrupted by almost awkward silences, our eyes meeting and nervously looking away again quickly, (still) keeping a certain distance physically, not crossing any inappropriate borders. Maybe neither some appropriate borders when it comes to a friendship, both knowing that we’re in this weird situation where I had admitted to having felt a bit more than friendship at one point in the past.

From the outside, it also must have appeared to be a date.

*sigh*

But it was not a date, right?

 

Can We Be Friends?

This new you really has messed me up. I don’t know what to do, how to stop the pain, the tears, the heartache, the longing and the yearning…

It has been such a roller coaster ride again. After the WhatsApp text I had sent you, I felt okay at first, but quickly went back to my usual love-hungry foolishness. I sent you a long email explaining what I felt, why I might feel this way (just guessing, but maybe this crush is just there to substitute negative emotions left over from recent losses, miscarriages… I really have no clue why I keep falling for other men, so intensely even).

And then there was silence on your end: no reply, no text message, no online gaming together, you didn’t even show up online, appeared to be offline… There was a long weekend coming up; growing impatient, I finally asked if you had received the email? Yes, you answered and you would try to write something on the weekend. Weekend was over – still nothing. I felt angry, sad, disappointed. Did I go too far? I didn’t ask you out, I didn’t ask for sex or an affair or any type of relationship. I had just explained what happened and why I thought it did. I told you I do not want to leave H, that I am very happy with H and the only thing missing in our relationship were our own children. Why was there no answer from you? I didn’t want to annoy you, but I needed to know what was going on. Could we stay friends, gaming buddies? Could we get back to where we were before? After all, I really enjoy your company online. I would value you as a friend.

You apologized for not replying sooner and you finally told me more about what was on your mind. You told me about your issue coming to terms with all this, the situation, if I could or would really consider doing something like leaving or betraying H, your only real life buddy? You told me about being a psychological wreck after your first and only girlfriend betrayed you, not with another man, but with a woman. How you hated infidelity. How you had no clue why H hadn’t yet happily announced that he’s going to be a father soon. How your older sister experienced the loss of an unborn child as well. How you cannot deal with emotions. How you seem to be a black hole for negative emotions and there seems to be no room for other emotions. And yes, you kept your distance as you didn’t know what else to do. You thought of the worst case scenario – me leaving H for you and how all I would get from you then in return was pure hatred for cheating on H for no reason at all. You don’t want to hurt H. You do want to stay or become friends with me, but as long as I feel what I feel it wouldn’t work.

Reading your message made me cry. I felt so sorry for what you had experienced. I had no clue you were an emotional mess as well. A different emotional mess, but still in pain. I could almost feel your pain. I wanted to relieve you from it. Reach out to you. Be there for you.

At the same time I felt relieved to know that you stayed away because you wanted to stay friends. That it mattered to you. I had feared to have pushed you away, that you might have even hated me already.

I texted and emailed you again. I had to make it clear to you that it was never my intention to leave H or to even cheat on him. I had never really the intention to start something with you. Your friendship means so much more to me than an affair or one-night-stand ever could. I meant it. I mean it. I had hoped you would believe me. I would have accepted the fact that you needed more time to deal with it, to believe me. But right away you said you had no doubts about me being honest. And we could be friends. And you wouldn’t even mind hanging out with me alone “just as friends”.

So I was happy, I was relieved, elated even! The highs… just to be followed by the lows again. And again. And again… It never stops. My mind is a fucking mess. I do value your friendship. I don’t want to lose this. I appreciate all the little things you told me about yourself, your dark sides, your emotional baggage. I know it takes a lot to open up like this. I value your openness and honesty. I know we can be real friends like this. Share our pains. Be there for each other.

But at the same time, my heart is still crying and aching for more… I just cannot help it. Everything I said and told you about not wanting to leave or cheat on H is true. It is not a lie. Please believe me. I love him dearly. I’ve been through so much shit in my past relationships, H is an angel in comparison. The man of my dreams. I do not want to lose him. So it hurts me even more to feel the way I feel. I want to be close to you. I want to feel you. I want to touch you and kiss you. I fantasize about making love with you. I wish it could just be a silly crush or innocent fantasy. But it is such a strong longing. I don’t know what to do about it. How to stop it. Whatever I get from you (and honestly, it is a LOT!), will never be enough. I question everything you do. Try to figure out if what you do is a reaction to something I did. Are you avoiding me again? If so, because you feel I like you more than I told you? Or is it because you might have stronger feelings as well and are trying to get rid off them because of H?

It doesn’t matter that you were all well-mannered to me last week when we went to the movies again as a group, even holding the door open for me. Looking at me, smiling at me (and maybe secretly checking me out?). I was a good girl that day. Even though I was sitting right next to you again, I kept my hands to myself, I didn’t go for a touch (even though I so much wanted to…). Yes, I showed some cleavage, but hey, it was (also) for H. It also doesn’t matter that you kept texting me while your vacation flight was being delayed and finally postponed to the next day and that you even texted me when you finally arrived. I hadn’t expected to hear from you the entire vacation, but you kept texting me once in a while. Told me how you would rather be home instead. It doesn’t matter that you sound so happy and cheerful when we are playing together online, that you were laughing so hard about my silly joke. That you keep making jokes that only I seem to find funny.

There are so many amazing moments we have shared together so far. Moments that show that I matter to you at least a bit, at least as a friend, a good friend even. All these moments don’t seem to matter because as soon as I see you “hiding” online or as soon as you take too long to reply to a text message, my mind keeps wondering why… What did I do wrong? Did I say something? Did I push too far again? Am I being too greedy and showing it? Do you know?

There could be so many valid reasons for your actions, but I feel like I would be making excuses again for you. I am getting mixed signals I feel. Or maybe I am just hoping they are mixed? I guess what I really want is for you to feel something for me as well, but because you got hurt in the past, you don’t want H – your only real life buddy as you say – to get hurt as well.

I have become a complete mess again. Every day I just keep waiting for you, for a message, a sign, something. I can’t do anything else. I can’t concentrate at work. I don’t enjoy what I usually enjoy doing. My mind is constantly with you. I felt horrible last Friday. I was crying a lot. I texted you, asked you to meet up for coffee or something to just talk. I told you I felt like shit, which is true. I just didn’t tell you why exactly. But I figured you could help me since you sometimes seem to feel this way as well. And you agreed. If I thought you could help me, you’d try. So we have a date this upcoming Saturday. Today I texted you the location I chose… that’s again about 3 hours ago. No reply yet, even though WhatsApp shows that you had read the message (oh…the joys of modern technology). And again, my mind keeps spinning. Why is it taking you so long to answer? Second thoughts? Just no time yet to check if the location is good, if you could get there by public transportation without problems? Are you just genuinely busy? Or just absent-minded? Lost in thought?

See what is happening? I can’t even appreciate you taking the time for me to help me, trying to be supportive, be a good friend. Just what I had asked for. No, my stupid mind and heart conspire against me. Make me go insane. I keep checking my phone. With each time I light up the display and see nothing new, my frustration keeps growing. My doubts win. Will you actually cancel our date? Find an excuse?

Ohhh… I want this to end. I really just want to be friends with you. But would that ever work? Can I quiet my mind and heart one day? Or will they always ask and beg for more?

Can we ever be just friends?

Confessions

When I fall, I fall fast, deep and hard. So before I completely lose my mind to a man I am falling for, I’ll have to find out where I am standing with him, if he feels in any way like me. I need to know the truth. I can’t stand not knowing because then I will drive myself crazy wondering about everything he does and if it could mean something – Was he flirting with me when he gave me that look? Did his foot touch me by mistake or intentionally? Did he stay up that late to just watch TV or to watch it WITH ME?

So I usually go straight for the truth, head-on-collision if you will. Because most of the time, that’s what happens – a crashing end to all hopes of ever getting together with the man I am longing for. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It sets things straight, erases all doubts, gives a chance to move on and try again. Better luck next time! Waste no time!

And that’s what I did. After that eventful New Year’s Eve a year ago, I couldn’t stand the thought of having to wait weeks before I could see you again. I didn’t even know a date when exactly that would be. And I missed you so much. It was driving me insane. And in my mind, I was asking myself constantly if you felt the same way I did and if how you recently acted around me could have meant something to show me that you do feel the same way.

So I took the courage (or the plunge…) and sent you an email.

I wanted to be completely honest with you and I confessed my feelings to you. I also told you that I knew it was wrong and could never really become a reality, that I did not want to hurt anyone or destroy your relationship to your brother, H, or to your family, everyone involved. I asked you for a favor: to be completely honest with me as well, even if it meant hurting me. And in the unlikely event that you also had feelings for me, I offered to think about a solution together so that we don’t do anything stupid.

Waiting for your reply was painful (also because right that day, our internet connection went down)! Yet, I also felt relief. I calmed down. My mind was no longer going through this tedious, repetitive and fruitless process of wondering about this and that. I went to university in order to check my emails. I locked myself in the women’s bathroom, my mobile device in my hands. I logged into the wireless network there and with shaky and sweaty fingers, I opened my email program. There it was! Your reply. My heart was pounding when I opened it.

You were surprised, of course, did not expect something like that at all. And you were honest as well: there are no feelings towards me that would need to be denied.  You regard me simply as your brother’s girlfriend, nothing else, not even as a friend of yours as you are peculiar about who you consider to be your friend. There are a lot of things you couldn’t care less about, but this issue is not one of them. You care and want to help. You are glad that H is getting along with me so well and that we are a happy couple. You think I am a smart, intelligent person, easy to talk to and be around with; I might be a friend to you after that email as I’d now know more about you and the way you think than most other people. If I needed more help with this, I should feel free to write or ask you.

And that was it. At first, I was really disappointed that you didn’t love me or feel attracted to me. But the more I thought about what you said (and the way you said it) and how things turned out, the better I started to feel. At one point, I even was elated, ecstatic! Really happy. I could move on now, forget all the silly thoughts, put those questionable moments with you in perspective, see them for what they really were instead of interpreting things into them. No relationships needed to be destroyed. No secret love affair. No stupidities. And besides all that, I felt like I had just gained a true friend! A trusting person. That we got closer to each other in a much more intense and special way than a love affair or romantic affiliation could ever offer.

I emailed you back again and told you that you said exactly the right thing, the only thing that could get everyone out of this mess unharmed. I thanked you for your openness and your help, because you really did help me out there. And I offered you help, should you ever need it in the future. I told you that I am sure to quickly forget about these feelings for you and get back to normal. Nothing between us had to change. We could stay friends, joke together, talk about stuff, go about our lives just like we used to.

And that’s really what I meant, at that time. And yes, things went back to normal soon right after.

But you know what? I wouldn’t be doing this blogging thing now, if this “normality” was still the case today…