Monday, February 3, 2014

the "I thought you moved" BLOW OFF

Ah, the classic tale of boy meets girl, girl falls for boy and tells him she likes him. To which he responds, “I can’t be in a relationship right now, but I can see us being together in the future. You’re a really awesome girl." I can hear the peanut gallery right now yelling "Run! Do not waste any more time on this person!" However, being a naïve, relatively young girl (aka 25, sssshhh), I actually took his words at face value. I remember thinking to myself that it was a very mature thing for him to admit that he wasn’t in a place to commit himself to a relationship. I was also easily flattered every time he complimented me on what an awesome girl, wonderful person, and such a sweetheart he thought I was. Now, there were some other extenuating factors....

He had just hit his one year anniversary of AA, and as many people are aware, members aren’t supposed to date anyone during that first year. So I told myself that he was still in the mindset of not thinking he was ready to be in a relationship. (I believe there’s a whole HIMYM episode dedicated to the ‘I can’t date you…. Right now.’ phenomenon)

So we continued being "friend." This was the kind of friendship where he would call during a thunderstorm just to ask if I had seen that giant flash of lightening crack across the sky. If we ran into each other unexpectedly, we would usually end up spending at least the next few hours together. We went hiking, and even did a few overnight backpacking trips together, spending a chaste night spooning in the tent. He was one of those people I could talk with about anything, who made me laugh, and most importantly someone with whom I could just sit quietly. You know how increasingly rare it is to find someone that you have that connection with. He frequently cooked dinner for us, and afterwards we’d fall asleep on the couch watching Netflix. And a few times, I slept over. (Keep your minds out of the gutter - nothing more exciting than spooning happened). I realized that sleeping over was doing absolutely no good for my mental state of mind, so I quickly started declining his repeated offers for me to "sleep over if you want" after we’d fallen asleep on the couch.

My friends were slightly worried about this bizarre nonrelationship I had going on with this fellah. On more than one occasion they expressed their concern about me being taken advantage of by his manipulative personality. I defended him every single time. I knew it was a slightly weird situation, but in my mind, the ball was in his court regarding the whole relationship thing. Looking back, I’ve realized OF COURSE he never brought up the fact that I clearly liked him so much more than he liked me. He got all the emotional benefits without any of the actual baggage that comes with dating someone. And as long as we didn’t talk about it, he didn’t have to be the bad guy telling me he was never going to be romantically interested in me.

Inevitably, things between us got shaky. I had a moment of clarity on one of our road trips, and decided I should probably take a step back. I figured I’d take a week or so and then we could hang out again. He didn’t contact me at all during that time. After a few weeks I swallowed my pride and called him, and we started doing things together again. Unbeknownst to me, my wonderful friends were planning a surprise scavenger hunt and birthday party for me. My roommate sneakily got his number and invited him. He said he’d be there, then called her the day of the party and told her he couldn’t make it. I’m surprised she didn’t break her phone. From that day on, he was enemy number one for all of my friends.

It wasn’t until he directly blew me off that I actually started to be mad at him. We hadn’t seen each other for about a month (because he’d started dating someone, I found out later), and I called him up. We made plans to go to a local festival held every April. He called me that morning to say he was going to his friend’s (girlfriend’s as it turns out) beach house for the weekend and he’d call me back later in the week to hang out. I was livid and he never called me back. The next time I ran into him was at a mutual friend’s Fourth of July bbq where I got to meet his girlfriend. I made nice, chitchatted, then got the hell out of there. The last time we talked was when he texted me that he was moving into a house with this girlfriend. (Incidentally, this was a day after a short term ex-boyfriend had broken up with me. I had also just been put in a walking boot with a stress fracture. It was not a great week).

I exercised every bit of willpower I had in order to not contact him. The worst part was that I had lost someone I legitimately considered a close friend, in addition to a (in my mind) potential romantic partner. He never once called, texted, mailed a letter, anything. It took so much time to finally get him out of my mind, but I thought I had managed to move on. I dated a few other people and while I never had quite that same level of connection, I did have fun. I was able to look at my phone, have drinks with friends, and sit quietly with my thoughts without thinking about him.

It’s been over a year since the last time I saw this boy and today he walked up behind me in the gym, and said, "Oh. My. God. How are you?!" I just about hit the floor, right between the kettleballs and hula hoops. You want to know what he said after we passed all the brief small talk formalities? "I thought you moved." Mother.fucker. You think that after 18 months of zero contact from you, you’re gonna be able to save face, act like nothing happened and pretend like we’re still great friends because "You thought I moved?"  Like hell. I have lived in the same apartment since we’ve been friends, and surprise! my phone number hasn’t changed. He actually had the audacity to say he’d call me so we can hang out sometime.

I didn’t even know how to respond. Part of what made it difficult to ‘get over him’ was that whole lack of closure thing. And now here he was, face to face. Thankfully, after taking a few days to process the whirlwind of emotions that whole encounter unearthed, I feel better than I could have imagined. I don’t want to be friends with a manipulative, weasel of a faux friend. And now I don’t have to wonder about him anymore. As cliché as it is, Iris from The Holiday, put it best when she said, "I have a life to start living! And it doesn’t involve you!"

3 comments:

  1. I literally think I may have knocked him over the head with a kettle bell. good for you for moving on- i would have totally gotten caught in the "platonic with potential" web too. I'm glad you're free of it!

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  2. Thank you! Sara- I think my shock was the only thing that prevented a punch to the face. Probably for the best.

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