I’m in love with a man I put in the friendzone. There, I said it.
I’m in love with a man I put in the friendzone, and now I can’t even get him on the phone.
I’ve been grappling with a range of emotions for the past eight to nine months that have me more in my feelings than ever. I started to write as a means to explore the nuisances and truths within myself, and I realize I have to return to my roots for exploration. I figured I’d write about this situation until the feelings escape me. There is no cool, new age dating term to explore, and I don’t share any advice, either. Today, it’s just my feelings spit out on the page, my little version of self-comfort.
We met a decade ago. He was young, handsome, and chasing his dream. We were definitely compatible. We were both young and hot, for lack of better words. So, we built one of those unexplainable friendships — good enough to tell people we knew each other, but not well enough to wish each other “happy birthday” without a Facebook reminder.
It wasn’t until I was deep in the middle of my depression after a nasty breakup that God restored our relationship. Some six years later, we were different people. He was incredible. He was well read and even more polished. He was strong-willed, strong-minded, and strong with me. He knew when to let me rant, when to tell me I was crazy, and just how to motivate me to get me off of my behind. He supported me and encouraged me, and we became the best of friends. Our relationship remained undefinable, despite him being my first call for everything. Whether it was to share an idea or get an opinion, I had to tell him first.
Last fall, I attended a friend’s wedding, and she stood in front of her husband-to-be and said, “I knew you were for me when I had to call you to tell you anything, no matter how big or how small.” She gave some great examples along the lines of “just got bad news at the dentist; gotta call Kevin,” “just caught the best sale at Saks; gotta tell Kevin,” and “just passed a new puppy store on Melrose; gotta tell Kevin.”
That was the moment, six months ago, that I realized I was completely in love with the guy I swore was just a friend. You see, with this guy, I wanted to tell him EVERYTHING, almost to a fault. I would share stories of my ex and would even share stories about the other bozos who were courting me at the moment. He was the first one I read the first draft of my blogs to. I would subconsciously look for his approval before further exploring the topic. I valued his input, but I continued to chalk up my constant search for his approval to “he just has this unique talent at identifying talent.”
What I did know was that he was so special and someone great had to experience him. I wasn’t going to let some random, undeserving girl have him. So, what did I do? I pushed my feelings so far aside that I even tried to set him up with a friend of mine. She was equally intelligent, cultured, obsessed with music, and woke. However, it didn’t work out.
Shortly after, something weird happened. I found out through another friend of mine that he might be dating a girl she knew. That was exactly what I wanted to avoid. Jealousy, confusion, and unbeknownst regret rose up inside of me. I started getting snarky. I turned into a smart ass and, ultimately, my pettiness pushed us away from one another. He couldn’t understand why I had a problem with him. As far as he was concerned, it wasn’t true, and he couldn’t understand why I cared if I didn’t view him that way.
He had no idea he was one of the very few people in my life I ever imagined spending forever with. I would constantly ask my friends what was wrong with me. “He’s perfect,” I would say. “He’s smart, driven, funny, and tall. He’s tall!” The height factor is frivolous, but it speaks to my insecurities about my weight, so let me live. He is everything I want in a man.
Despite knowing all of these things about him, I could never wrap my mind around having romantic feelings for him, and at the time, I certainly couldn’t let him know I was developing feelings for him. This truth was hard for me to realize, let alone share. I knew that I may not be able to have an emotional attachment to another man in a romantic way for a while. Inside, I knew I had some healing to do. I had some holes in my spirit that needed filled. I had some dreams to realize. I had to make me whole again.
The truth is, we both had growing to do. He was a nomad at the time. Literally, he did not have a home. He would go where the wind blew him. Me? I’m the polar opposite; I craved structure, yet hardly had any. At the time, I didn’t know what my life was about. I was actually incapable of intentionally handing over my emotions to anyone, but that didn’t stop the emotions from building. I chalked it up to timing. We weren’t meant for each other when God placed us in each other’s lives. We slowly began to fade to black.
However, watching him grow from afar, some two years later, is hard. Our communication isn’t what it used to be, and the man I once planned my future with is merely a non-contender. I don’t know what he’s doing anymore. I don’t know how his dreams have evolved. Did he get to check off some places on his bucket list journal of places to visit? Did he decide on his next 90 days? Does he think about me?
On days like today, I wonder where we could have been, but I guess I’ll continue to chalk this up to timing. And I hope one day we have our time again, in whatever form it takes.