Life is like a series of t-ball games. You go about life gathering some friends, call yourself Team Blue Crush and take a whack at life together. Sometimes you win the game. And when you do you're thrown into the air on top of your friend's shoulders and rewarded Kool-Aid Jammers and Fruit by the Foot. But sometimes life comes up from behind you, pulls your feet from under you and you lose the game with your face smack down in the dirt.
Unfortunately this post is not about one of those Kool-Aid Jammers moments.
Kill me if I'm crazy because I'm only like 33% sure that I am not the only one who has experienced what I'm going through right now.
I have this theory there are three categories of the opposite sex in someones life - strictly friends, "just" friends and boyfriends.
Brief explanation of each category:
Boys that are strictly friends are just that. Strictly friends. These are the guys that are practically one of the gals. You might not see them all that often but you're always on good terms. You always pick up where you left off when you see each other and its never awkward. These are the boys in your life that offer relationship advice freely. The ones that look at you and can tell you "I told you so" about the guy you've been dating. The guys that ask you if they have a boogie on their face and the ones that call you for a midnight McDonald's run. They're your friend. But strictly friends are far and few between. Strictly friends require this mutual understanding of one another's feelings towards the other. You've gotta be on the same page. And it's hard, well because of the way men and women were built. Its not impossible to be strictly friends with the opposite sex, but it is rare.
In most cases strictly friends just doesn't work because, quite frankly, one party in the equation has thought about the "What if we could be more?" question. Sorry to burst your strictly friend bubble but its true. Especially during this time in our lives. You see no guy is going to stick around with a girl for forever that he is strictly friends with. A majority of the time there's always a self motivation of personal interest for a guy to stick around. Guys simply don't waste their time. But for the boys who are in this category, they hate it. Because the "just" friends category is for those who are absolutely perfect for you on paper. Who you get along with so freaking well and understand you regardless of an explanation. They are the boys that you wonder why aren't you dating already. And when you start to give the idea of dating true consideration you realize something is missing. That is why you remain "just" friends. If you don't believe me, Ryan Reynolds proves my point in his film Just Friends. Check it out.
This category is pretty straightforward. The boys you date. Hopefully one day, if you're lucky, you'll eventually marry someone who graced this category for some time.
The category I want to delve deeper into is the "just" friends category. There are two roles within this particular category - the giver and the receiver. I think everyone encounters this stage, experiencing both sides of the equation, sometime during their life. For me there have been times when I am the giver as "just" a friend and there have been times when I am the receiver of someone who is "just" a friend to me. If you've ever experienced the side where you are the giver you understand how heart-wrenching this unrequited love is. However, I am here to say that it is equally as heart-wrenching to be on the side of a receiver. Because you see this perfectly person in love with you and you wonder what the eff is wrong with you that you don't love them back. Like you legitimately think something is wrong with you. You wonder if you're too picky, if you're expectations are too high... because this person, this guy who falls at your feet, is beyond perfect for you. He has everything you've ever wanted. But even though you see absolutely no flaw, something is missing. And when you're absolutely honest with yourself, you know it just isn't there for you regardless of the many times you've prayed and wished for it to be there.
And as the receiver it is hard to give up this "just" friend. Because everyone wants to be loved. It's nice to feel loved and it is a natural human desire for that love. Overtime you gather up the strength to turn away the "just" friend who loves you. You realize it is only fair to love back - to return the love we receive. So you let them go. You stop talking everyday freeing them to leave the "just" friend category. Inevitably you lose them as it is impossible to jump into the strictly friends category from here. Because you can only try for so long as "just" a friend before you peace out and leave.
Then you start dating someone else in the boyfriend category where its all dandy and great until its not. And all this time everyone else goes on living their lives, progressing and moving forward. But when you get jolted five steps back you kinda expect everyone else to still be there too.
But they aren't.
Because all this time while you were off dating someone, it was only fair that former "just" friend category members started dating someone else too. And in the midst of it all you thank the Heavens for those solid strictly friends who have your back. Because those midnight McDonald's runs start to really mean a lot again.
So on goes life till you run into a "just" friend on a random occasion. And they might happen to ask you about your collapsed love life and they might happen to show some concern. And they might happen to voluntarily inform you of their newfound love of three months and they might happen to tell you how great and wonderful it all is. Hearing it all hurts. You have to face the fact that your importance to them is no longer prevalent. But all at the same time you're okay with it - its the way it should be. Still you know of their importance to you. And their happiness is important to you even if it is at the expense of hurt feelings.
Then later that same day they might happen to call you and volunteer reason as to why you have had a relationship collapse. And they might happen to tell you you need to be more vulnerable. And they might happen to tell you you need to open up your heart. Yet they have no idea how much of your heart you gave to the relationship that just didn't work out.
At the end of the night it is all one big reminder that you're back in the solo scene for sometime. And not just a little reminder notification on Facebook, it's one of those face down rubbed into the dirt post lost t-ball game reminders. So its a good thing you've got a sense of humor because karma. So instead of wallowing in self-pity. You get up. You get out of bed. You count your blessings for those who are a valued part of your life. You pull your hair into a top notch top knot. You start your New York applications. You choose to be happy. And you go about your day doing so.
Ramble over. Here, please, take my soapbox away.
K, perf. Thx.