“I think she’s in love with him,” she said as she pointed with her wine glass to a man and a woman across the room from us. I must have given her a funny look because she backtracked by saying “I don’t mean like that. I just mean… you know,” but I didn’t know. In fact it might have been the most outrageous thing I had ever heard her say based on the two people she happened to be pointing at, and it occurred to me that what she really wanted to say, or rather what she really wanted me to say, was that I am in love with him, but there are some things you just can’t say.
This was not the plan.
Frankly, when he proposed “the plan” I sort of wanted to slap him, but after a while he convinced me to give the whole “no strings attached” intimacy a try. I warned him I didn’t know how to be to intimate without being intimate, and I promise I have tried hard not to… but… I think I might have accidentally fallen in love with him. Actually, I am sure I did, which is precisely why we had decided to just be friends many months ago … and yet… my body recognizes his touch. Back turned and distracted, I know the moment I feel his fingertips on my arm, before I turn, before I see him, that he is the one I will find standing there. When he is looking at me from across the room, I can feel his gaze.
I could write (and have written) a long list of what I love about him. In fact, I told him once, with fat tears rolling down my cheeks and my heart pounding out of my chest because all of the sudden I knew, and in that moment I couldn’t escape. I couldn’t hide from either of us, but I don’t say those words anymore because I know that that’s not what I am supposed to say. I know he won’t say them back because he doesn’t feel the same way. And I feel foolish and disappointed. There is no fairy-tale ending to our story. There wont be any sailing off into the sunset.
Despite this one-way street of adoration, what I love most about him is how my love for him has stretched me, challenged me to do things I’ve never done before, never thought I would do, say, feel, want. Not only because he wanted me to, but also because I want to. I know that I am a better person because of this experience.
And part of being a better person also means being a better person to myself, which is why when my friend told me that her sweetie spoils her, what seemed like a scandalous and radical idea crept into my head. I deserve to be spoiled too. I don’t mean spoiled as in diamond earrings and fancy restaurants though that might be fun as well, but rather that I deserve to be with someone not only for right now, when it’s convenient, in between girlfriends or while they’re looking around for something better, but I deserve to be adored and appreciated consistently. I deserve to have a text me back within 24 hours, make an effort to spend time together, hold my hand in public, real deal kind of relationship.
So I have decided to forget about (actually another word that starts with an F came to mind, but my grandma reads my blog, so I omitted it) dating and friends-with-benefits because I deserve better. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I qualify as pretty spectacular in a number of categories. And instead of spending my energy searching for someone worth my time, I am going to sit on my beautiful, well-toned (thanks, salsa dancing) bottom and wait until someone woos me out of my chair. If that means I am alone forever, at least I know I’ll be keeping good company.
Besides, I am way too busy for this shit (sorry, grandma).