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?


My Beacon/The Blinking Cursor

Getting over this second miscarriage is really hard. Even though we lost this baby at an early stage, the pain is there, full force. At the same time, I don’t feel sad, I don’t need to cry. However, neither do I feel anything at all. No joy, no motivation to do anything. Nothing. I just feel really numb. There seems to be only one thing that can still bring a smile to my face, that gives me something to look forward to, to enjoy. You guessed it probably: it’s you. It must sound so cliché, but right now you are my beacon of light and of hope. The one thing that gives my life some meaning right now. Don’t get me wrong, I still love H, probably now more than ever, after all we’ve been through recently. But he’s hurting so much, too. He’s sad. Crushed. We are not able to cheer each other up right now. We’re supporting each other, but it’s so painful. So I’m coming right back to you. It’s not about love or sex. I guess it’s the same as last time. I find strength in your silent comforting, your support, just you being there. Your understanding. Your friendship.

We told our parents and kind of agreed to also tell our siblings, which is my brother and you. At one point or another you’d find out anyway. So I expected your mother to tell you, but maybe when H talked to her he told her not to say anything to you. You only found out about it when I told you yesterday.

But let me back up a bit first: on Saturday you made a really thoughtful offer. That next weekend get-together is approaching, you know, the one when we are to talk. So instead of just meeting there and having to find a good time to go for a walk together without anyone else around, you offered to come to us on Friday, have that conversation here while H is at work and then drive up there together with us. You’ll have the week off so there would be no scheduling conflicts. When I read that message on Saturday, it really brightened up my day, made me happy. It was just what I needed then. (I told you…my beacon.) I didn’t give you a definite answer then, just told you that I wouldn’t have to go to work that day either and so it would be an option, but we didn’t make a “final arrangement” yet.

Then yesterday was a really tough day for me. We met up with your mother nearby. It was very emotional, lots of crying. She’s trying to comfort us, but with her it tends to make matters worse sometimes. She’s a wonderful person and she does it from the goodness of her heart, but I just can’t deal with that right now. So after that emotional day, I decided to email you and honestly told you how much it would mean to me if you could actually do what you had offered. And then I also openly told you why it means so much to me. I told you that we’d lost another baby last week and that things are rough right now.

I got your reply about 2 hours later. You said it would definitely be no problem to come here on Friday and that you would do it. You mentioned that your mother had not told you about the miscarriage yet. And then you said: “This blinking cursor is getting on my nerves. Let’s just use that Friday for everything else.” It took me a while to figure out what you meant by that. I guess you were at a loss for words and could only stare at the mouse cursor blinking in your email that you were trying to write…

I’m sorry. I didn’t want to burden you with this. I really thought your mother had told you already. I actually have no clue what this kind of news does to you. Do you just feel really sad for H and me? Or is it a different kind of pain because you might actually like me a bit more than I think?

I really do look forward to that Friday. Two and a half weeks still. I’m not afraid. I feel that I can be completely honest with you. And I am open to whatever you will have to say, to this crazy mess I got myself into with you, to your feelings for me (of whatever kind they are) and to H’s and my recent loss. I really feel this deep connection with you, some bond on a more profound level.

I am so glad to have you in my life.

I Clicked On “Send”

It’s done.

No way back.

I emailed you just now. No, not to tell you that I am crushing on you, hard. But to ask you if there’s a chance to have a one-on-one talk on Friday. You are in town for the weekend, not to stay with us, but with some friends. I think you’re doing a bicycle tour or something and you will drop by here to pick up H’s spare bike on Friday. Depending on the time, we might have the chance to talk without anyone else around. That is, if you’re willing to do so.

The last 2 days I felt terrible. I am so sad and fed up of this mess. I feel sick to my stomach. I couldn’t go to work yesterday and today. This is not healthy. It cannot go on like this anymore. Whenever we part ways, I get sucked into this deep hole. With every new goodbye, the hole seems to get deeper and darker. Now it reached the point where I am incapable to go to work. That’s way too far. I need to stop it now. And the only way I can think of is to be honest with you, get your honesty back. Tell me that whatever I thought of your actions towards and behaviour around me was wrong and that there’s nothing romantic in them. I need to hear it from you. I need to see it in your eyes. Release me from your spell. It doesn’t matter if it hurts and how much. It’d be better this way. Sooner or later it will have to end. And it will be a painful end, either way. So let’s make this quick. Like pulling off a bandage.

I think I know you well enough. Things won’t be awkward, you will understand. Just like last time. Hopefully we can finally develop a good friendship. No silly feelings in between us. I don’t want to lose you. I don’t want to lose H. And I don’t want to lose my mind either…

Safe and Sound

After we told each other honestly what kind of feelings we had for one another, things went back to normal quite quickly. I was actually amazed how fast I got over you. Must really just have been a simple crush. But confessing wasn’t the only reason why I was able to sort out this emotional mess I was in. My life was about to be turned upside-down when I found out that I was pregnant! H and I had been trying to conceive for one and a half years at that time, so we were really excited, happy and thrilled. We were looking forward to finally becoming a little family. And it was the perfect occasion to get engaged to be married as well! Life was really, really good.

Unfortunately, we lost our baby at the end of the first trimester. We were so devastated. The pain was unbearable. It hurt so much. Words cannot describe such a loss. By the time we found out about it, we’d already told pretty much everyone, also you. I remember seeing a smile on your face, a sparkle in your eyes, when we showed you the first ultrasound picture of your little niece/nephew-to-be. Your mother must have told you about the loss after and you talked to H. I know from your mother that you were really sad and sorry for us. You really cared. You’re not a man of many words, you don’t say much, but I still tend to get a sense of what you’re feeling. In that time of coping with the sudden loss of our unborn child, whenever I was around you, I felt okay. I felt understood, silently comforted by you. It took me quite a long time to get back to the way I was before the pregnancy, to regain my positive attitude, trust in life. During that time, I looked forward to spending time with you, not because I needed to see you out of love or because I felt attracted to you. No, it was really for comfort. To gain strength in your presence, in your unspoken words.

I used to listen to a lot of music during that time. Songs to give me a chance to grieve, but also songs to cheer me up and give me hope. There was this one song in particular that I came to associate with you and your silent comforting. It’s “safe and sound” by Capital Cities. For some reason, whenever I listen to its upbeat melody and hear the lyrics, I always feel like you’re talking to me through that song. You could lift me up. You could be my luck. Even if the sky is falling down, I know that we’ll be safe and sound. In a tidal wave of mystery, you’ll still be standing next to me.

I still think of you when I listen to it. And it’s still a nice feeling. I am no longer mourning, but this song will probably always be “our” song. Not at all in a romantic kind of way. But as a symbol for our friendship, a connection on a much deeper level. Of understanding each other without words.

It is possible that my mind tricked me into believing all this in order to better be able to cope, but even now, after H and I finally overcame the loss and the sadness and grew even closer together as a couple, I still feel this odd connection to you. I really cannot describe it, it is just this feeling. A feeling that we are so similar in our emotional ways. I usually don’t like to use this term, but maybe we are indeed “soulmates”. It is also possible that we are not each other’s soulmates. Maybe you’d be just mine and there’s another one out there for you. I believe that there is someone out there for everyone who would fulfill this person’s specific needs, match his or her longings. But this person in turn might have needs that only a third person can fulfill. Finding “the one” is possible, but you might not be the one for your one.

Anyway, those are just some random thoughts that keep coming to me whenever I think about why I cannot get you out of my heart and mind. I feel wonderful around you, in your presence. Sometimes I long for your love, your touch, but most of the times, I simply like to be around you for your friendship, your comfort, because I feel so safe and sound around you.