Hey there, stranger. If you follow the blog on Instagram, then you know I took some time away to regroup and refocus my energy. It was time well spent, and I've had a lot of epiphanies about myself and the way I approach relationships, but one of the biggest things I realized was that I missed you. I MISSED YOU. I missed this...but I'll get into all that in another post.
For now, let's talk about one of dating's biggest nuisances--The Friend Zone.
Have I ever put a guy in the friend zone? Most definitely. Sorry, I don't do it on purpose, it's just the truth. But it wasn't until recently I've realized that the tables have somewhat turned. Here's what happened...
The Universe decided to throw me another test. I may or may not have mentioned this before, but a recurring theme in my life is being given the lesson of letting go. I'd never accept it. What can I say? I have a hard time letting go, whether it's personal relationships or a situation that didn't go the way I envisioned in my head, I refused. Slowly but surely, however, I've been getting better at it.
One of my latest lessons was the guy I told you about. From the outside looking in, it didn't make sense why anyone would hold on. Why care so much about someone who willingly chose to leave? Why care about someone who made it abundantly clear, time and time again, that they don't really care about you? But as we all know, when you're in it, your perception is skewed.
When your heart's on fire, you get smoke in your eyes.
I wouldn't let go because I was afraid I wouldn't feel that connection with someone again. I went out on dates, I tried to distract myself, I did whatever I thought I was supposed to do to help the situation, but I always ended up feeling the same way--empty.
It always happens out of the blue, right? You continue going about your life, seeing the world in shades of gray, when all of a sudden, you meet someone who adds some color. You're caught off guard because there was only one person who had that ability, but they're not around anymore, and maybe you wouldn't allow yourself to give anyone else the right to bring color into your life...but sometimes, it happens without your permission.
Thank God for those moments.
We connected in an effortless way. Simple, easy and organic. I wasn't sure I'd ever experience that again, and yet, there I was. But remember how I said the Universe gave me another test? Here he was. The pop quiz I didn't even think to study for.
But here's the best part--I didn't fail.
He told me he wasn't ready because he's still healing from a previous relationship. How many times have I heard "I'm not ready" from a guy? Plenty. But how many times would I actually listen? Never.
Normally, I would try to wow them with my amazing personality and selfless acts of kindness and witty charm in hopes that they'd change their mind and decide to love me instead. And when that would inevitably blow up in my face (because they're just not ready), I would get pissed and push them away, shunning them from ever even acknowledging my existence.
That's definitely the easy way out. Push someone away and pretend nothing ever happened, as opposed to accepting what is from the jump, and either moving on or growing to know that person and forming a friendship instead. And that leads me to one of my epiphanies...
I've expressed to you, and anyone who asks me, that I want to be with my best friend, but I realized that I never take the time to form a friendship before trying to be romantic with someone. I jump into a relationship and hope the friendship forms afterwards, and that's not how it always works.
So this is what I decided to do...Instead of pushing him away, I just chose to accept what is and embrace it. Here is a guy that I have a rare connection with, who I enjoy speaking to and value as a person. We're not dating. And that's OK, because we're friends.
Over the course of a few months, we built a very deep bond. Sometimes I wonder how that can be. How can you create such meaningful relationships in such a short amount time, when there are people you've known for years who will never understand you at such an intimate level? And that's what's so amazing about these sorts of connections. Time is irrelevant. The energy just sort of takes over. And I'm grateful for those experiences, because they are far and few in between.
I was telling one of my girlfriends this whole scenario, and then it hit me, and I told her--Damn, is this what guys deal with in the friend zone? Caring about someone you're not with and having to see them date around and act like it doesn't bother you but deep down you're kinda like WTF? LOL
Hey, we're all human. I had my moments. But I worked passed them. Yay me!
But here's the real--what's meant to happen will always happen. Will something flourish with this guy? Maybe, maybe not. I can't predict the future, as I've painfully learned, and I don't intend to. Perhaps his only purpose in my life was to spark this enlightenment.
Not only that, but there was obvious deep-rooted issues within myself that were the core problem for all of these failed attempts. I needed to fill myself up with love, which is much harder to do, before I could accept anyone else's love. It would have been very easy to use this guy as a crutch, and have him fill the void that's been there since the last one left. But that's not fair to him. More importantly, that's not fair to me. I needed to fill the void myself. I needed to stop expecting people to love me in order to believe that I am worth loving.
We have very little in our control in this world, but we can always control the way we react to the various situations we face, and in this particular instance, I'm just allowing myself to appreciate the connections that I cherish so deeply, without any hidden agenda.
If something happens one day, great. And if not, that's fine, too, because regardless, this process helped me reach a new capacity in my understanding of forming relationships, both romantic and platonic.
Plus, I earned a friendship that will always hold a very special place in my heart, and that alone makes everything worth it.