For over a year, I liked the Hot Nerd. A year, you guys! For over half that year, I’d say, I was in love with him. I never quite got enough clarity about how he felt about me. He’d say one thing and do another. I still maintain he did this accidentally. He is a nice guy, he wouldn’t want to confuse or hurt me. But, nice or not, he’s a guy and I guess we just weren’t on the same page.
We had a lot of fun, otherwise. We get along so well. We enjoy one another’s company. Friendship was great but those same reasons always made me want more. But I’m not so good at being up-front about my feelings and even less so after my divorce. I’ve never been very good with rejection and I really didn’t want to wind up in the same depressed state as I was during the last months of my marriage.
And I was okay with the mixed signals for a while. I could deal with the cuddling, even if it meant nothing, and the flirtatious nature of our friendship felt good. Having something to possibly envision for the future made me feel so hopeful and I craved that after feeling so hopeless. Everyone worried I was going to get hurt. I tried to convince them I could handle it and, sometimes, I had even fooled myself. All along I was hoping against hoping that something might change.
But then he started talking about going on dates and I.. just couldn’t handle it. It make my stomach turn. I had a freak-out session the first time. Everyone told me I had to tell him about my feelings but I didn’t believe them. To my mind, this would only result in us having to cut back our friendship and ending the cuddles. I could be open, get rejected and lose the cuddles or I could keep my mouth shut, enjoy the cuddles when they happened and pine for him the rest of the time. It was a rock and a hard place and I didn’t like either option.
So, eventually the stomach turning stopped and, much to the chagrin of all my friends who were oh-so-sick of my emotional roller coaster, I decided not to tell him. Maybe the worst had passed, maybe I could still do this. But then he went on another date. Cue the butterflies, hello anxiety!
I decided, once and for all, that I needed to tell him how I felt. Everyone seemed to think this was what I needed to do but I couldn’t figure out why. I didn’t want to just tell him how I felt in passing; I felt like I needed some sort of plan of action so a) it wouldn’t seem random and b) I could retain some semblance of control. I really, really didn’t want to be rejected.
In the end, Juliettia suggested that I just needed to get it off my chest. Her husband said I should skip the words and just put the moves on the Hot Nerd. My best friend I shouldn’t tell him at all because she also fears rejection and another thought I should have already told him. Opinions were split but, the more I thought about it, the more I figured I did want to tell him.. even if I couldn’t quite figure out why.
So Juliettia suggested I aim for four sentences and, after hanging up with her, I called my best friend and worked out a plan. I avoided anything she thought was too clingy, guilt-trippy or knife-wieldy. I don’t know why my best friend thinks I’m so fond of knives. It only happened once!
So I wrote it. I send it via Facebook, unfortunately, because we don’t email or talk on the phone. I apologized for sending such a message via Facebook but I’m glad I sent it while he was asleep!
Now, we wait. Maybe he won’t want to be friends at all (I doubt it). Maybe things will be awkward. Maybe he feels the same (also doubtful) but maybe we can work this out and just be friends. Maybe I can get over him. Maybe I’ll meet someone who will make me completely forget him. Who knows what the future holds.
I’m not entirely glad I didn’t do it sooner but I’m glad that 2012 isn’t the year I’m sitting around waiting. I put myself out there. It may not (probably won’t) have the desired result but there’s no way waiting was helping me toward that either.. and I took the first step. I finally took my own advice.