“It’s such a stubborn reminder one perfect night’s not enough.” was the line I kept humming from that incredibly sad, relatable Joyce Manor record. Yes, I was listening to angst filled music hoping that if I moped long enough maybe, just maybe my heart head would understand that I was trying to forget someone. This wasn’t the usual scenario, where he was long gone from my life and I happened to have severe attachment problems. No, I wish. This was a “we’re still friends and I see you at least once a week” kind of deal. What was I thinking when I decided hooking up with him would help me move on? Apparently, nothing! Hooking up knowing he was simply looking to have fun made me think I would not be like the Cindy’s or Julie’s that instantly lusted after him full of lost hope.
After that night, I seriously pined like some love-struck girl that didn’t know the situation she put herself in. What drove me crazy was the fact that I did know that it would lead to nowhere, but hey, we were close friends, I held onto that for dear life when I was fooling myself into thinking there could be more to us. The emotional exhaustion I went through just to trying to get over him and equally wondering if it could be more was maddening; which is why I feel the need to let you know that it will be okay. This ladies and gentlemen is everything leading up to how I got over my friend…
The Day (s) After: In other words: awkwardly not trying to be awkward about your feelings and semi-succeeding but…not really.
You will most definitely wake up with late night thoughts about him. And let me tell you: you are the most emotionally vulnerable when you are thinking about him at 4 in the morning, learned that the hard way. You will daydream about the possibility of you two together and how much of a match it would be. Forget the flaws, no, you two will most absolutely work things out, you “get” each other. Hmm, no text from him. It’s okay, you know he isn’t much of a text-er and why would he want to discuss what happened via text?
You certainly cannot say anything cause then it may seem like you are desperate or show that it meant more than what it was. At some point, you realize you are going to see him. At this point in time you realize if he really wanted to say something to you about that night he would have made an effort, no one waits this long. So you play it cool, while making sure you look as good as you can. Aaaand he seems to not really be looking at you. Wow, dick. Oh wait, he is addressing you, and talking to you…about the weather. We’re not strangers, no need for small talk! Try to smile, seem totally carefree. Oh gosh, this is so weird. There is definitely some sort of wall put up between us. Don’t start to regret that night. Too late.
The Regret and the Other Girl: When you try to believe that things are great and realizing you are not special. Ouch.
Your mind goes against itself. The main thing is that you are trying to detach yourself emotionally from that night and the memories. God, those memories! You want to believe that it is simply just a night that happened and that was that. On the other hand, your brain is overanalyzing everything and going haywire thinking that night was a complete mistake because you guys will never be the best friends you once were. That there is a sudden divide and you might as well give up now (believe me, you may develop some serious trust issues). Everyone wants to know what is going on with you guys, ha! You wish you knew! And that one chick who craves drama wants to know simply for the purpose of letting her own friend know whether or not she has a shot with him.
At this point, you simply pretend and pretend and pretend. You rehearse the same lines of, “It just happened, *shrug*, we wanted to have fun, and we did. Don’t worry about it.” You act as if you could care less about what he does with his time after that. Your female friends, who know the truth, tell you, “Sweetie, you know it’s not going to go anywhere right?” And you say the same lines you rehearsed, but you have a twinge of anger. But it’s sparked from knowing your friends definitely know what you are actually feeling and are trying to look out for you. Your anger comes from knowing that you are in denial. As for the guy himself, he is as normal as ever. Maybe this weirdness is simply coming from you? Uh! Try to be cool.
Every time you see him, no matter where you are or the circumstances, the memories will flash in your brain with no disregard of where you are or who’s talking to you. In the midst of this dilemma, that girl just won’t let up. She is trying to get him without any shame of how desperate she is appearing. You think to yourself, some people don’t learn. Only to be hit with the thought of, hey, maybe you and her aren’t so different.
Acceptance: You realize you are low-key like the Cindy’s and the Julie’s
You, my friend, are in the same position as every other female who wants him. Yeah, you spent one night with him, but maybe they have too. I mean you know that girl definitely had a brief thing with him, twice. And he may have been the first to make a move when things happened between you two, but you slowly realize that doesn’t mean anything. At least, he is respectful enough to not shove it in your face but unbeknownst to him, word certainly gets around. It is too late, to bring that night up, but you know you have thought about him more than he has thought about you. And that my friend, is the beginning.
The beginning to realizing you have wasted your time on an idea. A mere thought. You fell for an illusion. You cannot blame anyone but yourself. Yeah he’s attracted to you, that much you know, but the other girls were very much attractive, and it doesn’t make you have more of a chance than they have. You think back to every deep conversation and the “connection” you had, but you know what, that’s maybe all he wants from a friend not a girlfriend. You may never know why he doesn’t want to pursue something. He could simply not be into you in any other way than physically or he doesn’t want to ruin a friendship that, when putting aside the crush you developed, you have to admit was freaking great. And that’s one thing you do have over any other hook up, it’s the ability to know him on a different level than any of his hook ups will. He won’t look at you as just some hook up. Your friends won’t refer to you as a Cindy or a Julie. No. You will both remember that night, as what it truly was, a night that was fun and worth experiencing.
Because it did help you move on (after a confusing few months). But you know what; you did have to let yourself feel what you felt. Singing along to the Smith’s, writing about him, and driving yourself crazy with thoughts full of “what ifs” were a necessity to slowly, painfully, but successfully getting over him. It may happen when someone mentions, “he hooked up with so-and-so last week”, and you wait for your stomach to drop, but…it doesn’t. And a spur of emotions go through you, confusion, happiness, anxiety your heart hasn’t caught up with the news, and then complete bliss. You did it. You don’t know what it was exactly; maybe it was all of it. But you certainly don’t feel a thing for him except the same way you felt about your other friends.
And this time, you look him in the eyes, and you are taken aback, not because of their beauty and the secrets they hold, but because you can look into his eyes and finally not look away from being flustered. Your body doesn’t heat up from nervousness and you brain isn’t drawing blanks trying to force words out of your mouth. No, instead, you talk to him like before, about life and music and everything you felt that was filtered before. And when you ask him to go to a show with you, you aren’t worried about him thinking you’re asking him on a date, instead you are excited to hang out with your friend. You don’t realize it until then, but you missed him. You miss the “us” that didn’t have a deeper meaning than it being simply platonic. His excitement and interest-that you haven’t seen in a long time- makes you realize that maybe he was missing the friend in you too.
All the efforts of trying to be coy, trying to be someone else, just made you waste your time. Just remember, the dark times will certainly pass. Even when you begin to think you have accepted the fact that you will never move on or like anyone the way you like him, there will be a morning when that is simply a thought of the past. And it may be sooner than you think.