Relationship Friday: Halt! You have just been “friend-zoned”…

"Are you surprised?  It's a relationship!!  Do you like it?"

“Are you surprised? It’s a relationship!! Do you like it?”

Okay.  I should’ve known better.  I bet you think I had it coming, and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong.

Last spring, an ex-boyfriend asked me to a networking/business outing, a charity gala where our company had a corporate table.

Sure, I said.  As long as we go as just friends.

Sure, he said.  Friends.  Totally on board.

We started hanging out a little more often, and because I have had several other platonic relationships with men in the past, I didn’t really think anything of it.  He started paying for everything, which I talked to him about — I didn’t think it was fair in our friendship — but he insisted.  Movies.  Dinners in and out.  Hanging with his family.  No biggie, at least not to me.  But lately, his texts were reading like not-so-subtle teenage “Do you like me?  Circle yes or no” kind of thing.

I suddenly became beautiful.  Smart.  Funny.  “Super cute”.  “Sweetie”.  And I didn’t know what to do.  So I ignored it, hoping I was misinterpreting it or that he’d stop.  He started telling me how comfortable he was with me, that he couldn’t wait to see me, how much his family likes me, and today, I finally got, “I really like you”, “I want to amaze you”, and “#realize I missed a superstar”.

Hoooookay…  Awkward.

It’s not like I’m seeing someone else.  And he’s a nice guy with a nice family.  He makes serious coin, owns his own home, and likes a lot of the same things I do.  But he’s not as active as I like to be, and can be really negative sometimes, almost bordering on angry for no real reason at all.  We just don’t jive.  We broke up for a reason, and it was a good reason: neither of us was wowed by the other, and we weren’t happy.  The sex was practically non-existent, and he pulled a stunt on me (unintentional, but crippling) that doused any kind of fire we had been hoping we could fan.  Done.  Over.  Fini.  But a good guy I enjoyed spending friendly time with.

After I got the texts today, I was not surprised, but I was embarrassed, guilty, and anxious.  I should’ve dealt with this earlier, but didn’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill if I was overestimating the emotion behind what he’d been saying to me.  Guilty, because I didn’t want to hurt him, and anxious because I finally had to nip this in the bud and let him know I didn’t want a relationship with him.  So, because he’d been texting me, I texted him back.

Oh, come on, now!  LOL  We tried that already, remember?  You said yourself it wasn’t working, and that’s okay.  The universe has decreed we should be friends, not lovers, and I’ll take being your friend any day.  😀

Naturally, I haven’t heard back from him.  I think he’s upset with me.  And I don’t blame him.  I fucked this one up, and I feel awful.  Not as awful as I’d feel if I got back with him, but still.  I need to do what’s best for me; if I was forced under gunpoint to tell the truth, the main reason I got married to my Assclown was because I didn’t know how to tell him no, that I didn’t want to marry him.  I refuse to do that to myself — and someone else — ever again.

I don’t think he wants to be my friend.  And I don’t want to be his girlfriend.  This sucks, like asking for the receipt for a gift someone was certain you’d want and like so you can just take it back to the store (which I’ve also never done).  It feels cold.  And I don’t like it.

…I really wish life had do-overs.