The Guy Who I Could Not Make Into a Friend

I met this guy. A long, long time ago. We talked a lot a couple of times. I really liked him a lot… as a potential friend. I was upfront and honest with him from the beginning. I told him that I was not interested in him for dating, but as we had so many interests in common, it would be great if we could become friends.

Yes, he did hear me, as in the words did go into his ear and he was capable of hearing and understanding the words that I was saying. But no he did not hear me, in that he did not respect my no and not try to romanticize our interactions. After a few get-togethers and a few phone conversations I was so done and so over that.

There were two ways of looking at it; I had been very honest with him, and, I had not been brutally honest with him. I really don’t believe in being brutally honest with a guy. Well I guess it was true that I did not believe in being brutally honest back then, when I was  in my early twenties. Now I might actually believe in being brutally honest. Especially since not being brutally honest has not worked for me very well.

The reason that I am sharing about this is that I discovered recently that this guy lives in my apartment building. So I have thought about him a few times and tried to process that time I tried to make him my friend and he tried to make me his girlfriend. When I think and feel about this non-relationship I get overwhelmed with such feelings of anger at him.

I think we would have made great friends and it is hard not to think about how much better my life and potentially his life could have been if only we had managed to become and stay friends. If only he had been able to respect me and my boundaries and limitations to where our relationship could go or not go.

I had told him no and did go into some detail, though I tried to be as kind as humanly possible. I did not tell him the brutally honest truth, and he really seemed to be begging from that from me. He kept bringing up that sometimes you meet someone and feel nothing, but then you need to give it some time and see where it goes. I kept insisting that I knew where something could or could not go. The truth is that at that time in my life that was absolutely true.

The brutal truth is that I found his looks repulsive. I would never have told him that, I did keep insisting that he had no chance of having a dating relationship with me and never would. Perhaps that was brutal, but I don’t think so. He needed to be told the truth and when that didn’t matter to him, I needed to get him out of my life. So I did. I’ve always wished that we could have been friends.

Meeting him at the backdoor of our apartment building was a bit of a shock. Yes he looked just like himself, though older, and definitely not as tall as I remember him. I didn’t even recognize that it was him. He even told me his name, Richard, and that didn’t register right away. He mentioned his adult daughter and I think he talked about his partner, though I couldn’t tell if he was married or divorced or never married.

I excuse not connecting the dots because the security back door was not working and we were standing out in the cold. He called someone else in the building and asked them to let us in. He was nice and polite to me, giving me his phone number if I ever needed any help with anything, he noticed that I had a cane, and even offered to help me take my things up the stairway.  He had seemed nice back then as well, except for disrespecting me and my boundaries, so I guess that means not very nice. I’ve run into him a few times in the halls and he always asks me if I need help getting my groceries upstairs, though I always say no to everyone in the building. When I figured out it was him I deleted his phone number from my phone. I don’t think he has ever made the connection to me and the me from the past.

He is the person I am always thinking of when I say, you can’t make some guy be a friend when he doesn’t want to be your friend and instead wants something else. And I always feel sad about that. So I guess anger isn’t the only thing that I think and feel about when I think of Richard. Perhaps he couldn’t have been a good friend to someone. Perhaps my estimation of him was wrong. Perhaps I give him a lot more credit than he deserves. Perhaps I didn’t miss out on anything.

I know that guys get all pissy about women putting them “in the friendzone.” I know that is something that men call it when women offer men that they are not sexually attracted to instead of a sexual relationship. But that was not what I was doing. I don’t offer the “lesser” of two relationships to everyone that I don’t want to date, or not even to a few guys. I’ve only offered a friendship with a guy in real life, a few rare times. None of them worked out. None of them had a good respect for my boundaries.  None of them were free from sexual issues. I guess trying to make men my friend, in real life,  just doesn’t work out. I guess I can admit that now and it just is what it is and I am okay with that.

I think I would probably still offer friendship to a guy in real life, who was gay.

I also think it is a great thing that friendships with guys online have worked out so much better. So I got that going for me.

 

7 thoughts on “The Guy Who I Could Not Make Into a Friend

  1. One of the most-destructive tropes in Western culture is “If you persist, you’ll get the girl.” It’s right up there with the whole idea of the “friendzone,” which, as you point out, devalues friendship in a really horrible way. It must have been very weird for you to sort out that the guy in your building was the same guy who hadn’t been able to respect your boundaries or value the gift you had offered him. And yes, sometimes the only thing that can be heard is a two-ton anvil drop on the head, though I think that for anyone with a trauma background, the default instinct is to be kind. I’ve had to do a couple of anvil drops myself, and I hate how inauthentic it feels, even when it’s literally the only way to establish a boundary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi David,

      It has been so nice that it seems like Richard hasn’t a clue about who I am. His offer to help me bring my belongings two flights of stairs and to give me his phone number so that I could call him if I ever needed any favors in the future, I think, shows some of his nice qualities and that they remain in his life still.

      He wasn’t trying to intrude into my life, but did make offers of niceness. It did help me to feel as though he was indeed nice in some ways. Because he did not respect my stated limits and boundaries I always believed that he was lacking in important social skills as well as respect and honesty.

      I deleted his phone number and never asked him for any favors, because I really felt the need to keep strong boundaries between us and to continue to let him be ignorant of who I was. But perhaps I flatter myself, perhaps he does not remember me at all. Lol.

      The way that he looked at and talked to me made me feel that he did not see me as a potential anything in his life, but rather someone who was disabled, which was fine, but also not someone that I would not want in my life. I don’t want anyone to look at me like they are a boy scout and I am the old woman he wants to help across the street. It was kind of hilarious cause I totally take care of my life and we are about the same age. And also kind of insulting. So yeah I think he still relies too heavily on putting people he meets and knows into little boxes, cause he likes it that way and it makes him feel more comfortable. So again, not someone that I think realistically could have been a great friend to me, ever and not for decades. Well it was a dream, that I dreamed, while all alone, cause he refused to stop romanticizing me.

      Still processing and thinking about him, not like I lost out on a huge friendship, but like I took really good care of myself the year after my daddy died, when I was very broken and sad and dysfunctional, and still turned away someone who was a very bad match for me. I didn’t turn away his friendship, he never offered that to me. So I have a lot to be proud of in all of that. And proud that I didn’t embrace him back into my life now, even as sad and alone as I have been due to my ongoing chronic health issues.

      There have been times in my life where I didn’t know my worth. But I see then I did, about him and what he was offering, and now about me and about everything in my life. I’m real proud. Good times.

      Thanks for the much appreciated help in processing. You do good friendship.

      Good and healing thoughts to you, your homespace, and the queens.

      Kate

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m very proud of and inspired by you, too—knowing what you deserved and were worth, and holding your boundaries clearly. I wonder whether he’ll ever figure out who you are? I really hope he doesn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi David,

        Thanks so much. 🙂

        I’m happy to report that I feel no trepidation at his discovery of the connection. I guess that is mostly cause I am confident of what I want and don’t want, and confident that I will keep my boundaries. It also makes me feel good that he did not try to boundary jump on me by asking for lots of personal favors.

        Good and healing thoughts to you and to the queens. 🙂

        Kate

        Liked by 1 person

      • 🙂 Thanks so much! 🙂

        Sometimes I think that all my best of friends are destined to remain dead people, my ancestors, cats and dogs that I have known and loved and lost and gained again even though death has parted us bodily, beloved online friends, gods and goddesses, God and Jesus, my Reiki guides, my guardian angel, and a few precious friends that are now parted from my life.

        Healing in the areas of self-esteem and self-love has really changed how I feel about connections to others. I am connected to me, to us. I love me, us. Everything else comes from that space inside of us.

        Now I am the center of my universe and getting there has been a lot of long and hard work, but it is beautiful here and I think I am okay with all that I have in the area of these kind of connections. I’d like more, but I see now that I can have a very happy life from this space. I am not sure if I am at the space of contentment about connections to others, but I am certainly at the space of gratitude. Certainly not a space of giving up, but at a space of giving more to myself than to anyone else. Perhaps not a space of resolution, but definitely a space of resolve. Definitely a space of badassness and fierceness, exactly where I want to be. 🙂

        Good and healing thoughts to you and to the queens.

        Kate

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think that’s the space we have to occupy until we’ve really absorbed those lessons, and then we’re ready for healthy connectedness. All honor and respect to you, in your badassery. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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