The Friend Zone

In today’s daily reading from More Language of Letting Go, Melody Beattie writes, “Stop asking yourself if you’re good enough to handle the situation. Ask yourself if the situation is good for you.”

Somehow I had this feeling that once I started letting go, truly, in my bones, and looking at my previous relationship in this light, that it would somehow magnetize my ex towards me, and lo and behold, he sent me a long email last night. Not that that’s a marriage proposal, but it’s all part of the push-pull of our relationship. The way in which I’m either invisible to him or his bestest friend in the universe.

I was out late at the diner with my new old friends and didn’t respond until this morning, after he’d sent another email, early this morning (ie, he’s not sleeping, ie, he’s getting over the depressive episode and drifting toward mania). He wanted to know how I was doing, and how my family was doing, and wrote that he was going to therapy and ACA meetings and riding his bike, etc.

Last week was probably the first week I didn’t check my email repeatedly to see if he’d emailed, or ruminate over why he left, and whether or not he’d come back. I’m not proud to say that it was due in large part to the fact that another man has been texting me, and we’ve gone out on a coffee date, and tonight we’re going out on an actual date. I wish I could say it’s because I’m a badass woman with her own (female, platonic) friends and have no need or interest for a relationship, but that would be a lie. But I can say that I don’t want to get into a relationship right now and am not sure how best to handle the inevitable sex question which will make everything complicated if it happens and… let’s be real: boring if it doesn’t. God please help me be okay with the boredom.

In the meantime, another dude appeared on the horizon, who I saw last night, who also recently broke up with his girlfriend of seven years. This guy I’m even more attracted to and I have more in common with, and when I saw him last week I sensed this feeling was mutual. Of course this week the first thing he mentioned was how happy he is being single and that sex complicates everything and causes all kinds of problems, et cetera, et cetera, yada yada. My response (via body language): friend zone activated. No lingering eye contact over here. The platonic, impenetrable (literally) wall is up, buddy. Message received. I don’t have to sit next to you at the diner. I’ll go sit over here with my other friend because we’re all just friends here, being friends, platonically.

Because that’s what happens for me. The men I don’t want become super needy, and the ones I do want are unavailable. The first man was married to his wife for a hundred years, and the second man who I can’t stop thinking about did not marry his ex-girlfriend, and he’s a hundred years old. Probably never been married. Probably hates marriage or maybe he got so badly burned in a divorce he’s forever turned off. Oh and just kidding. Both guys are about 47 (reminder: I’m 41 in two weeks though a lot of people think I look about 12… or 30—I only say that because I have to remind people of this. Like how last night one of my new friends, a guy in his 50s?, starts going into this long diatribe about how life was before the internet, and I had to remind him that I know, I was there, and can we please get to more interesting conversation, please?).

I digress. And I want to correct my previous paragraph because I am re-wiring my brain for positive thinking. Here’s my revision: the right one is out there for me, and right now is time for me to grow. When the time is right, I will find someone who’s ready for a relationship, and I’ll also be ready for a relationship.

Back to the daily reading. All this time I spent trying to mold myself to be the perfect partner for my ex, suppressing that quiet voice inside that asked, Is this really good for you? That is the real question to ask. That’s the voice to listen to. Had he and I still been in a relationship, he’d have never liked that I was out with friends, especially with other men being there. I knew that and never went out with friends, and had no male friends for that reason. And this was all an unspoken agreement. I simply would not have even gone out with them due to this unspoken agreement. I may not have even gone to the meeting, because I made him my higher power.

Of course I still love him and wish the best for him, and I think my anger is finally beginning to subside. I no longer believe in coincidences. This had to happen for me to grow, and probably for him to grow as well. We meet a lot of potential partners in our lifetimes, and I often think, Maybe in another lifetime. Because it’s about timing, and clearly the timing is not right for me with any of the men mentioned in this post, or anyone else. Now is the transition phase. Now is the time to just be friends and focus on my personal growth–even if it gets boring sometimes.


2 thoughts on “The Friend Zone

  1. Letting go is never easy. I held on to obsessions over females for years. Some of them were real unhealthy. Like you, it was always the women who were unattainable. I treated the women in my life who were closest to me like shit because I cared about going after the unattainable ones. Sick-mindedness, no doubt.


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