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.


But it was not a date, right?




So, you probably won’t have time to talk on Friday. You already made arrangements to meet up with some of your former classmates. You will probably not be able to be here before H gets home from work. But that’s okay. In your reply you seemed very open to the idea of talking to me. So worst case scenario: I will have to wait until the next family get-together. That’s not going to be before the end of September… oh well, still hoping that you could be here earlier on Friday, but if not, it’ll be okay. At least I know that we will talk and things can hopefully be settled. I need to find peace in all of this.

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…

Should I …?

Right before drifting off to sleep, I often get the best/worst ideas and I am not able to ignore them for a while; I’ll need to do something about them. Two days ago, it happened to me again. I’m still feeling so love drunk after your recent visit here, all I think about is you and if you could really feel more for me than you would want to admit.

So I got this (crazy?) idea to just ask you in person if what you told me once in that one email was the truth.

Of course, I wouldn’t just blatantly ask you next time we meet. The timing and setting would need to be right. It’s awkward enough I guess. I don’t want to scare you away, make you feel uncomfortable. It would need to be casual, but honest. I don’t want to ruin our friendship or whatever kind of relationship we’re having now. But I also wouldn’t mind being more open to you, telling you that I’m getting confused again by how you act around me at times. I think, or at least I hope that, if you told me in person that there’s really nothing besides “friendly” or “brotherly” feelings for me, I would finally be able to believe you, stop interpreting things into your behaviour that are really not there.

When writing an email, there’s more time to think about the right words, how to put things so as to not hurt the other person’s feelings or to “wiggle” your way out of the situation. And for the other person, it’s hard to read between the lines, to get the non-verbal cues, the body language, the tone of voice and so on. But I think that’s what I need to get from you. I’ll need to see how you tell me that you do not love me.

So maybe I’ll find out the whole truth this weekend. We’re picking you up on Friday and are staying at a friend’s house until Monday. I don’t want to rush this talking to you, but on the other hand, it would be great timing. Should things turn out awkward, I won’t be seeing you again before the end of July. That’d be enough time to put some distance between us, sort things out and get back to where we are now, as friends.

I’m looking forward to seeing you again so soon. I’ll stay open to the possibility of talking to you one on one, truthfully and openly, like grown-ups (despite the fact that I would probably be terribly nervous then!), but I’ll also try to stay calm if the opportunity won’t present itself.