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Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle

March 7, 2014

I have covered this before, but when a person is faced with a life threatening trauma, their reaction is to beg for mercy and forgiveness – whether or not they were at fault for committing any particular sin or infraction committed against another person.  My suspicion is that once the cycle of constant apologizing is started, it is harder to break than an addiction because it is an involuntary response, not a conscious choice. Basically, it is on par with willing oneself to stop breathing or blinking than to refrain from being ‘sorry’.  I have actively tried to stop myself from constantly apologizing for absolutely everything and the effort is exhausting.  I have apologized for crying, laughing, anger, fear, happiness and sadness.  Countless people have reminded me that It Is OK to Feel.

It wasn’t until a recent situation that I really saw the extent of my ongoing problem with having remorse for my emotions.  I felt compelled to explain how sorry I was for telling the truth about my feelings when it hit me that I was about to apologize for answering a question honestly.  I had started and stopped writing roughly 975,234, 975, 163 messages in response when I finally realized that I do not have to apologize to anyone for honesty. (Sorry for the hyperbole.)

Almost universally, people say that they value honesty in others.  It simply isn’t true.  What we really mean when we say this is that we want someone to reinforce our personal beliefs and agree with our inner desires even when we haven’t made those desires known to the person with whom we are interacting. When the honesty by one party leads to rejection by another, who is it fault?  The reality is probably on one, but that doesn’t mean that no one got their feelings hurt.

I previously addressed this topic here, and as I have previously stated, my response to the inevitable “what’s up” question was, “FWB, about 1/2 of the weekends out of the month – exclusively all the time.  Public proclamation of said exclusive status.”  Then probable rejection of that proposal, and a resounding “Let me think about it.” It doesn’t take a genius to know that after hours upon hours of (nearly) daily communication on various topics, both general and personal in nature, that some type of bond would form. People aren’t just “casual acquaintances” at that point, if for no other reason than they can maintain an engaging conversation and exchange meaningful information on a daily basis.  When you add to that a couple of f2f meetings where (at least in the second one-on-one meeting) where there was some (I am told) mutual interest, it’s not exactly shocking that there would be some discussion of “what’s happening here”.

So, as I anticipated, Bike Boy’s response after ‘thinking about it’ was, “Let’s just be friends.” And. Just. Like. That. He became irrelevant. The person who I looked forward to talking to every night, who is smart, funny and made me blush without even pproacihng an inappropriate comment… gone, by my choice. Not to mention one of my kids cried over it, which is unprecedented in my world.  The kids normally don’t have an opinion, even about B and that was several months in the making, but this caused an immediate reaction.

Am I sorry yet for being honest? Nope, and  little yes.  Being ‘friend-zoned’ isn’t a great feeling for anyone, but it’s certainly no terrible insult.  I neither know, nor care, at this point to any great extent what Bike Boy wanted me to say – or what response I could have offered to make him happy. Would it have made any difference if I just wanted things to stay as they were – but let him, ahem, “assert himself” physically while keeping it a secret?  “Secret is a whole different thing than keeping our intimate interaction ‘private’.  “Secret” is, quite frankly, an insult – like being the ‘other woman’ whether or not he has a ‘regular’ woman in his life.  It signals his deep-seated embarrassment at having others know about his physical contact with me, or his protection of another person… he also didn’t got the other way and say it wasn’t enough, so I take it at face value: rejection.  “Just Friends” simple as that.

I have elected to remove him from my life altogether. With all I have been through, I have very little use for other people in my life other than superficial interaction.  Even my “dates” aren’t real Dates.  I always make it a point to make it known upfront that I have NO interest romantically so no one gets their hopes up or feelings hurt.  Bike Boy was different in that our conversations seemed easy and natural even when the evolved into complex or personal topics. I let him interact (on a very limited basis) with a couple of my kids. (Stupid me.) I am rarely impressed with other people’s intellect, but Bike Boy and I had common interests and even when he talked about things he was passionate about that i have ZERO interest in, I was interested when he explained them.

Yeah, I was pretty attached to him fairly early on even thought I wasn’t attracted to him even though we had made suggestive comments to each other online from time to time.  I wasn’t really attracted to him until about halfway through our only outing together, and I know the exact moment when it happened.  Which brings me to this: I have a right to protect my own feelings.  If I accept ‘just friends’ and continue the ‘friendship’ I will just become more attached and the whole mess will just be more painful.  While Bike Boy rejected my idea of the scenario that I felt would balance our individual goals and be personally satisfying, I was left with only one choice, and that was being honest with myself.

Investing more time in a relationship (platonic or not) where feelings were not mutual, would be plainly counter-productive emotionally.  At a minimum, continuing to interact guaranteed that I would get my feelings hurt in an even bigger way than the minor disappointment I felt at his initial rejection of my offer. (and let’s be honest, escalating a friendship to include physical intimacy is an offer coming from me) Whatever I have lost by making the decision to stop having contact, I have gained in keeping my dignity and self respect intact… because that’s what every little girl dreams of… a platonic relationship with a person who is emotionally significant to them, but has no physical desire for her.

carrie nationBecause superior morals and being valued for her ideals are what make every woman feel special.

(Bonus points if you know who that is…)

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  1. Peregrine John permalink

    I was going to say, “Loads of truth in that 1st paragraph!” but then I read the second. Turns out, I was nodding and making “Yep” and “Hell yeah” sounds all throughout. Especially the bit about people not wanting honesty though they claim to. Some day I’ll write a book on that one. And except for the secrecy thing. Big ol’ WTF? sign blinking over my head at that part. But I’ve seen it before and have given up trying for comprehension.

    platonic relationship with a person who is emotionally significant to them, but has no physical desire
    Yeah… yeah.

    In related histories: Took me for freakin’ ever to stop apologizing for doing nothing wrong. Finally stopped it verbally, but stuff comes back for a little emotional torture for no good reason anyway. Hopefully you’ll skip that bit.

  2. Oh, John, I don’t even know what to say. I really miss my friend, I just can’t wrap my head around the ‘dismissal’. Sigh, another chapter written in the book of sleep alone and struggle…. I must have some really awful past-life karma to overcome.

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