I’m in love with a man I put in the friend zone. There, I said it.
I’m in love with a man that 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 the past eight to nine months that have me more in my feelings than ever. I started this blog as a means to explore the nuisances & truths in myself, and sometimes you have to return to your roots. I figured I’d write about this situation until the feelings escape me. There is no cool, new aged dating term to explore and I don’t have any advice this blog. 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. While we were definitely compatible, we were both young & hot, for a 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 off of my behind. He supported me, he 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.
This past fall I sat at a friend’s wedding and as 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.” “Just passed a new puppy store on Melrose — gotta tell Kevin.”
That was the moment 6 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 even stories about the other bozos who were courting me in the moment. He was the first one I read the first draft of my blogs too. I would subconsciously look for his approval before exploring the topic further. I valued his input. But I continued to chuck my constant search for his approval up 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 girl who didn’t deserve him 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 naturally, 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 to be snarky, I turned into a smart ass and, ultimately, my pettiness pushed us away from one another. He couldn’t understand why I had such 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 what 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 own insecurities about my weight, so let me live. He’s tall. 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 I couldn’t let him know I was developing any feelings for him. This truth was hard for me to realize, let alone share. I knew inside 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 to be 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 crave structure yet hardly had any. I didn’t know what my life was. I was actually incapable of intentionally handing over my emotions to anyone, but that didn’t stop the emotions from growing. I chucked 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, now 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 our futures 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 chuck this up to timing. And I hope, one day, we have our time again in whatever form it takes.
If you’re reading this, because there’s a slim chance you might, hug your mom for me; she’s a warrior, and have an extra chat with your dad for me, too; he’s a real one.
Word to the guitars on Yosemite RSM.