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.