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?

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A Different “You”, Still the Same Story

“I’m in a cycle
Yeah, I admit it
How can I change it when I don’t know when I’m in it?”

Those are the lyrics to a song I’ve just recently discovered along with other songs from the same artist (Tove Lo). Her last album has become the soundtrack to what I’ve been going through the last couple weeks. The excitement, the butterflies, the intense sexual longing for you.

But wait… this “you” is not the “you” from before. It is a different guy.

You’re not a complete stranger. You’ve been working with H for some years now, must be 6 or 7 years? If I remember correctly, I first met you at one of the office summer parties around 5 years ago? The memories are so vague; you were so weird. And young. Almost a stereotypical IT guy. Just a face in the crowd at that party.  Later on (again I don’t remember dates or times here), you regularly joined H’s weekly gaming sessions online with his brother (yes, the first “you”) and another friend. Some time at the end of 2015 there was this new popular dinosaur game for which you set up a private server and I joined in those weekly gaming sessions because I liked playing this game as well. Nothing special there. I still considered you a little weird, but got used to you. Accepted you as H’s friend and coworker. I think you once or twice came to the movies with us and some other friends. And last year, H invited you to his birthday party. We also went to the Christmas market once as a group. Nothing out of the ordinary there.

The weekly gaming sessions together had ended some time last year, I believe. But I wanted to start my own private server again, this time to play with my parents and H (they all love that game). When H told you about this, you asked if you could join again as well. Of course, no problem. The more, the merrier. So the gaming sessions resumed about 2 months ago.

At first, it was all perfectly normal. Just like in the past. And then one day, out of nowhere, suddenly and unexpectedly, there it was. At first, it was just a “mmh,-interesting-guy”- kind of feeling which I immediately tried to shrug off. Barely even noticed it. Yet it kept creeping up, becoming stronger and stronger. Suddenly I felt myself looking forward to the gaming session, to hearing your voice. I felt a bit disappointed whenever I saw you as being online but then you didn’t join our game or voice chat. And I fell back into the trap of interpreting certain things you did or said into something more. Was this a compliment you just gave me? Did you purposely position your character right next to mine? Twice?

H, you and another friend wanted to go to the movies last week again. H wanted me to join. At first I declined. It wasn’t really a movie I would insist on watching at the theater, but then I thought about if I could convince my silly heart to stop this nonsense with you when I see you in reality, making me realize that you’re still the same weird, uninteresting IT guy.

This great plan of mine… well, it backfired! (What a surprise, eh?) You still are a bit of a stereotypical IT guy: intentionally scruffy looking dark hair, dark full beard, a bit of a belly, tall, wearing black jeans and a dark t-shirt of U2 that day. You are so much the opposite of the other you. Yet, I immediately realized that now I wanted you even more. And yes, it was pure sexual desire! To be honest, you are, in fact, my type of man. I like beards, dark hair, and I don’t mind a bit of meat around the waist. By chance, we ended up sitting next to each other during the movie. H to my right, you to my left. I put my arms on the arm rests, leaving enough space for you. We once touched like this by accident and you immediately pulled away. Not so the second time, or the third. Or the fourth. However, it was so barely noticeable. I am not sure if you even felt it? To me, it was clear back then. This could be mutual.

It fired up all my sexual energy. I wanted you. I kept imagining hooking up with you. How it would be with you. Exploring your body. Running my hands through your hair and your beard. Feeling your beard tickle me while your head moves down on my naked body, from my excited breasts to between my shaking legs.

I used these fantasies when making love with H. And damn, we had some really great and intense sex!

As mentioned before, I’ve also been listening to some new songs and coincidentally, they are sexually explicit in the same context. I wished I could experience what they were about with you. Just uncomplicated, hot and exciting sex. Fuck whatever the consequence. Fuck morale. “Fuck, fuck some sense into me.”  

What happened? I couldn’t recognize myself anymore. And within hours after the movies, things got completely out of hand again. My mind was focused on you. Couldn’t sleep. Couldn’t concentrate at work. When would be the next time we could play together online, when would be the time we could play together for real? And gosh, was I disappointed and sad and angry when you didn’t join our game the next 2 days. Surely, you were trying to stay away from me so that it would be easier for you to resist me, right? I was desperate. Even sent you a message on WhatsApp, asking a random innocent question just to stay in contact with you somehow. On Friday you finally joined again and we had some time online together just the two of us. You asked me about that message and we kept talking more about the topic. A normal conversation. To me, it was a sign you were interested as well. What else could it be, right?

The disappointment when you didn’t join in even though you were online, the longing, the sleepless nights… it all was starting to drive me crazy. It had to end. Either by a night of spectacular sex or by you telling me to go fly a kite (I’m tough like this, there’s no in-between, it’s do-or-die). I drafted up an email. That worked so well with the last you… Didn’t send it though. I remembered you have a week off now. How about asking you out for coffee? Telling you in person? Seeing your reaction in real? (Wait…that also worked out great the last time.) Fall in your arms after, go to your place and fall into your bed.

So I sent you another message on WhatsApp yesterday. Just wanted to ask you out, but then it turned out to become a confession already:

Any plans for Wednesday or Thursday yet?

-No, nothing yet.

Would you like meeting up for coffee or something with me? I’d like to get something off my chest. Could also email you. Whatever you prefer.

-Mh, okay, just tell me where and when and I’ll be there.

-Or write an email. I’ll leave that up to you.

Okay. I will think about it. Thx. But please don’t tell anyone.

-Well, I figured to better keep my mouth shut.

Good.

So I guess you also figured what it might be about?

If it’s not too uncomfortable for you, I’d prefer a conversation in person.

-Nope, I actually have no clue what it might be about 😀

-Well, I might know WHO it is about, but What… I would have to think hard about it.

Okay. Thought it would have been more obvious by now. Who do you think it is about?

-H? If not, I have no clue.

Mmh…well. It’s the no-clue-option.

It’s about you.

And that is exactly what the problem is 😦 But I will explain more to you soon. Like this, it’s not really good.

To sum it up, it’s about me spending a little too much time thinking of you. More than I should. And it’s confusing me and has to stop soon.

No idea what you could do about it or if a convo in person would help at all.

-No clue really what I could do… but meeting up wouldn’t be the… wisest idea for now, I guess.

 

In the end, you reassured me that we would stay good gaming buddies and nothing would change.

I did feel relieved. At the same time, I felt sad. And really angry at myself. How did I end up in such a mess again? How come I always fall for other guys while I am in a happy and also sexually fulfilling relationship with H? What is it I am looking for? I really can’t figure it out. Do I need to be admired by other men? By younger men even (the first you was 4 years younger than me, the new you 8!)? Is it just hormones? Am I addicted to the butterflies? The feelings of falling for someone new?

It is always the same: Feelings come up, can’t get rid off them. Suddenly everything he does matters. He can do 1 thing that might show his mutual feelings and a hundred things that clearly don’t. And I will always make excuses for the latter and only focus on the first. Worst part: even when he tells me there’s nothing he wants from me, my silly silly heart tells me it’s because of his respect for H. (“He’s my brother/coworker/friend/…”)

Yes, sure, all men I long for secretly are longing for me, too.

I feel stupid.

Nothing

The doorbell is ringing. I’m stalling before I push the button to open the door. You’ll have to come upstairs, 5th floor. I’m pacing back and forth. So nervous. It’s ringing again. You’re at the apartment door. A deep breath and I’m opening it. There you are. You’re entering. We’re hugging to say hello. “Did you get wet a lot?,” I’m asking since it’s raining outside. “Just a bit,” you’re answering. You’re going into the living room, then into the kitchen to get a glass of water, while I’m still pacing around from one room to another, pretending to pack things together. I’m stalling again. What’s the point? Let’s do this!

I’m going back to the living room. You’re looking at me expectingly. “Shall we sit down?,” I’m offering, pointing to the couch. We’re sitting down, well you’re kind of lying down and you’re asking “so what’s it about?”
– “Do you have an idea?”
– “No, not really.”
– “Well, it’s about the same issue that I’d once sent you an email about” I’m shaking, probably blushing. This is more difficult than I thought. Can’t keep my voice and hands calm. I’m playing nervously with the long sleeves of my cardigan. I am daring to go on: “I guess your answer to that question would still be the same now?”
– “Yes.”
I knew it, but my heart is sinking. You are adding: “I have no feelings for you. And it’s nothing personal.”
I’m nodding. Can’t even look at you. You’re looking at me. There’s a pause before I can go on: “I expected this answer. The thing is that I had recently noticed that you did a lot of nice things for me and I wonder why you did them.”
– “Like what, for example?”
– “Well, like when you didn’t let me eat by myself at our friend’s house. You came into the living room to me even though you already had a seat in the kitchen.”
– “Ah. I didn’t even notice until you sent me that email afterwards.”
I’m taken aback. Wait, what? He didn’t even think about this? Just did this for no reason? This seemed to be so obvious to me.
– “What else?,” you want to know. If you can’t even remember having done this on purpose or not, what’s the point of even mentioning the other things?
– “Well, there were a lot of minor things that probably didn’t mean anything at all either, like during that long weekend at our buddy’s place.” I’m so disappointed. I don’t want to go on. We’re sitting there in silence.
– “Maybe you should teach H to be nicer to you,” you’re suggesting.
I feel insulted or that you’re attacking H. ” I’m not saying that H is not nice to me. I don’t know why these feelings keep coming back. I don’t have a reason to look for another man.”
Again there’s uncomfortable silence.
– “I don’t know how I can help you with this,” you’re saying.
– “I know you can’t help me with this. That’s why I needed to talk to you. To get confirmation that those nice things didn’t mean anything. Because I get confused at times. I don’t want you to stop being nice now either; that wouldn’t make sense. Besides, things have changed a bit since the other thing happened.”
– ” What other thing?”
Gee, you really don’t know?, I’m wondering. – “The miscarriage. One starts to think differently about things then.”
More silence. Nothing coming from you. No comforting words of empathy. I’m trying again: “I feel as if we could get along well, like I get along with my brother. But I feel these other feelings keep holding me back when I am around you.”
– “Holding you back from what?”
– “From being the way I really am, I guess. Or simply talking to you about regular stuff.”
– “Well, I don’t talk much anyway. I’m not into small talk.”
– “I noticed that already.”
– “But it doesn’t mean anything either,” you are adding right away, defending yourself as if I’d put this as a sign that you’d feel something for me as well. Oh my… this is not going well at all. You didn’t say anything about at least getting along well with each other. Then you’re mentioning that you inviting me to play that online game together doesn’t mean anything either, that it’s simply more fun to play together. “I figured,” is all I’m saying. I’m out of ideas. Utterly disappointed. I want this to end. So I’m concluding: “Like I said: this would be quick to talk about. We’ve cleared this up, I guess.”
A bit more silence and then you are starting up a conversation about that online game, as if nothing happened. So superficial, so shallow. We’re laughing, making jokes.

Even later on in the car to pick up H from work, we’re casually talking (even though you just told me before that you’re not the type of person for small talk).

At your parents’ house this weekend, same routine as always. I’m hurting so much inside. I kind of expected you to not have romantic feelings for me, but at least I thought there were some nice feelings, of friendship or like brother and sister, because after all, you have done lots of nice things for me. Obvious ones. But apparantly you did them unaware or subconsciously, without really meaning them. So when you said you have no feelings for me, it means no feelings at all. Nothing.

Nothing.

That’s the worst thing. I did not even consider this a possibility.

I’m not your love interest; I’m not your friend; I’m not your sister-in-law. I’m just your brother’s wife. Nothing else. I’m so utterly disappointed and heartbroken. I lost you. I lost your friendship, even though I never had it, I guess.

Saved As Draft

I just finished typing up that email to you. I did not push “send”. I stored it away as a draft email. Will I send it?

Can I handle the truth, whatever it may be? Do I want to risk what we are having now, whatever it may be?

Or would it be better to wait so that I could tell you everything in person, face to face? Would I be able to handle the truth then, deal with the risk?

I’ll sleep over it…

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…