Let’s Be Friends

Trigger warning: body shaming

Last night I hung out with a friend who, for a while last year, was someone I was dating / sleeping with / whatever you want to call it. We met early in January 2014 and I instantly liked him. Handsome, charming, perfectly antagonistic in the way that I seem to love when I know the person is actually kind underneath … things were going well. Our second date was at Oasis (a local sex club) and I remember internally freaking out at how calm he was to go there for his first time … and then our fifth date was also at Oasis on my birthday. We had a lot of fun together. 🙂

Then after a while I started to get the feeling that he was pulling back. It happens, things change, but after the year that was with The Boy it was not a comfortable feeling. I ended up confronting him about it and he admitted that he wanted to just be friends. I never asked why, I never pushed. I’m surprisingly very good at giving up when presented with certain situations.

There are times when I will fight really hard for a relationship and there are other times like this one where I become very convinced by my own insecurities that obviously the other person has realized that I’m ugly or they just can’t deal with my fat body anymore. It literally makes me cry to type it now, but it’s strange how built into my psyche that feeling actually is. It’s as though there can only be two reasons that make sense to me why a person would stop seeing me: a) They like me too much, as per a post I actually wrote in 2014, or b) they’ve finally realized that I am just the ugliest and the worst.

Now I know without anyone having to tell me, that there are so many more reasons in life for everything and that I’m seeing things through insecure lenses. I can logically see this, but insecurities are like viruses. They infect your mind and make you think things that aren’t real, even if they are very real to you. So when I realized that he wanted to be just friends, I chose to ignore all of the nice things he’s said about me, as a person, and me, as a pretty girl, and me, as a lover. I felt awkward and embarrassed, desperate to know the reason why he’d changed his mind when it seemed like nothing was wrong and we had a pretty rad casual thing going, but not ever feeling strong enough to ask him. My feelings and actions felt so opposite to the fierce and secure woman I try to be.

So we didn’t hang out for a long while. I wanted to, but I also had a lot going on with my summer / fall of being flaked on by all the people and then just settling into life and being lazy. Until last night.

We made plans to hang out and catch up. It was nice. He was funny and charming and handsome, and of course, antagonistic in the best of ways, and I kicked myself for not hanging out with him again until now. I guess I really felt like my head was hanging between my legs, as though I should be embarrassed every time we see each other because I’m no longer worthy of more-than-friends attention. As though he should show me pity for being the fat girl. (Which, yes I know is riDICulous and comes from at least 20 years of having it carved deeply into my psyche.)

After much humming and hawwing and me being too afraid to hear the real reason that we stopped seeing each other, he finally got frustrated with me (rightfully so) and I agreed to listen. It’s funny. I’m an adult. I’m used to knowing that people aren’t attracted to my particular blend of looks and personality. I know that I’m a very specific type of tea, but I didn’t want to volunteer myself to hear something that would make me sad about myself. I’ve always felt flustered around him and this moment was that normal flustered X a million.

Turns out … when we had started seeing each other he was only looking for something casual but then he started to realize how much he really liked me as a friend, I guess more than he had been expected. Then he started to feel weird about fucking me as his friend. He had planned on explaining it all in person but because I’m unfortunately intuitive, I knew something was up, beat him to it awkwardly, and then we never really spoke of it again, ignoring all feelings.

You would think that’s a good reason, that I would feel better about it, and yes, it was nice to be reminded that my insecurities are ridiculous and that I need to stop listening to them, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told that someone liked me “too much” to keep seeing me. This was different than other situations, but it felt similar. I kept making jokes about how we should still just make out, and he kept deflecting them, (slowly realizing that haha this is the type of friendship he’s now signed up for. 😉 )

Because, honestly, I never really understand this. When two people are attracted to each other and have seemingly good chemistry, why can’t they just make out every now and then? Sex is almost irrelevant at this point, but how do you get to that in between place and why is it so hard for me sometimes and so easy for others? I suppose it’s person and situation specific and I’m likely overthinking all of it.

On the drive home I was trying to process his very valid and respectful/able reasoning and my feelings, and started to question whether or not I am too hung up on sex, as though I’m using it like a crutch to deal with insecurities; that made me feel sad. When I dug a little deeper though, I realized that hey, I don’t make out with most of my friends, I don’t ever sleep with people to feel validated (at least I hope I don’t anymore), so that isn’t what’s happening here. I simply just think that we should be able to make out or cuddle or whatever without it affecting our friendship. It is possible! Being able to do that with people is a very important part of my sexuality and knowing the difference between when I want to use it healthily vs. not is very important to me.

Realizing that someone else is in a different place than you are, that’s tough. When you know that your make-out logic is so ridiculously on point … accepting that others don’t feel the same way can leave you feeling frustrated and helpless and annoyed, and I feel all of those things right now but not at all with any bad or ill intent directed at him. I think about the people he’s seeing now and I get into this ridiculously stupid loop of saying to myself “Well, is he going to stop seeing them when he realizes he likes them too much as a friend or was I the only test case?”, but I also feel relief. Relief that I’ve got this awesome dude in my life that wants to be my friend, knowing how valuable that actually is. Someone who makes me laugh, makes me feel good about myself, puts up with my weirdness, doesn’t get squidgy when I talk about anything TMI .. he’s a good friend to have.

And now that everything’s out in the open, I think it was important to realize how much my insecurities were clouding my judgment before, and also how much my sexuality is clouding my acceptance now. I still want to make out with him and am still confused about why we’re not, as much as I respect his choices, but I can totally deal with not doing it. (Though I may insist that at the very least we cuddle because cuddling is super rad.)

I mean, I am a grown ass adult, after all.

  • John Stewart

    Been here, done this, got this t-shirt, and good on you for arriving to where you’re at now 🙂