When you realise you no longer have feelings for somebody you were in love with for a long time, you start to see the wood for the trees – you see what it is about them that pisses you off. Sometimes you swing back the other way and you realise if this person ever changes her mind, I’m not interested. You had your chance and you not only refused, through how you reacted you completely blew away a good chunk of the respect I had for you. You have also damaged some of the trust I once had in our friendship.
Of course I’m talking about Miss X. We barely talk these days and I don’t go out of my way to contact her any more and when I do she is never in any rush to respond. Looking back now, my assumption was that I had done something wrong after I confessed my feelings for her and she chose to ignore me instead of talk things through. Even when I pleaded with her “we need to talk about this” it was ignored. Now I clearly see how badly she handled the situation.
He’s a great guy but I could never be with somebody like him – These words she told me over and over again about the person she is now in a relationship with. What sort of message was she sending me in presenting him as a potential love rival with a catalogue of ‘deal breakers’? What message was she sending me in subtlely pointing out that what she likes about me is the sort of things she does look for in a partner?
She played with my emotions while figuring out her own – I see that now and by refusing to give me a straight answer she set up a situation where I had to know once and for all that friends is all we would ever be: no ambiguity, no hints, no flirting, no mixed messages and certainly not playing two people off against each other. And when I confronted her, she refused to accept that she had acted in this way, claiming that she had made her feelings perfectly clear.
Looking back I’m thinking that she didn’t want me but perhaps liked the idea of me wanting her. The flirting while I was with her was all about boosting her ego – and if things didn’t work out with him, she could at least have enjoyed my attention for a little longer. A clear answer would have meant that she could no longer enjoy that attention.
Part time friendzone?
There is another side of the “friendzone” debate. Some women wonder why men bail out when their feelings are not reciprocated. Some of us genuinely feel that a woman’s friendship is only as good as her single status; when she has a boyfriend the “friendzoned” guy will be shoved to one side like an accessory ready for the day she is single again and needs male company to give her that ego boost. Of course, not all women do this but I’ve seen it happen.
It is possible that I’m experiencing this right now and I’m starting to wonder whether I should just let this friendship die a natural death. What do I get out of it? We barely speak. I don’t trust her or respect her as much as I used to and I no longer feel I can tell her personal things. This and the fact that she no longer makes time so we can talk makes me wonder whether there is even a friendship left to speak of.
I’m loyal to my true friends and would take a bullet for any of them (male and female) but I’m asking myself whether she still values what I thought we had all these years. She pissed me off further when I told her that ubergeek had been honest about getting back with her ex. Miss X replied “kudos to her. I wouldn’t have done that. I’d have just ignored them”. I was shocked and when I asked “even if you were really fond of someone? Even if you felt that much chemistry you hope something might happen if the ex didnt work out?” she repeated that she would have just ignored that person. And you know what? It doesn’t surprise me any more.
Am I just too chivalrous for my own good? Or is a sense of courtesy overrated in this day of ‘me, me, me’?