Fabricated Frustrations

As things were progressing with Smiles, I started to feel guilty about The Principal. I really liked him, but I didn’t want to string him along. I needed to do some damage control.

I legitimately enjoyed talking to him and found him to be a great guy. If he lived closer, I’m sure a relationship would have developed, but living six hours away prevented all that. The time came to protect his feelings. Through our discussions, I knew he was falling for me harder by the minute. I needed to cut things off before we got any deeper, even if that meant hurting him a little now. I needed to find a way to do this without hurting his feelings.

I decided to approach it by telling him the distance thing was getting to me. I was going to blame it on that so he didn’t feel responsible for my wanting to morph the relationship into a simple friendship. This is how the conversation went down:

Me: “So, I told you I would always be honest with you on things, and I’m starting to have my doubts about all this.”

P: “Okay. What’s the mater? Figured you were giving up on me.”

Me: “I just haven’t seen this going anywhere… I can deal with the distance as long as there is progress, and I haven’t seen that. I’m worried if it’s been this tough so far to get things off the ground, it’s only going to get tougher.”

P: “We are not in a relationship. This isn’t preventing you from doing anything. So what’s the harm? Next, what’s been tough lately? What happened over the past 3-4 days?”

Me: “I think you are a great guy, and I like you a lot. But, I’m having doubts this is a good idea if feelings are getting involved. What changed is I had a hard time both remembering to text or call and to find the time to do so. And, I feel bad about that! However, I don’t hear my phone ringing all that often to be honest either.”

P: “And, this came about because? Have I done something recently?”

Me: “You’ve done nothing wrong.”

P: “K. You don’t need to feel bad.”

Me: “I’m just being honest.”

P: “I haven’t called in the past 2 days because I was waiting to see if you’d put in some effort.”

Me: “I mean in general.”

P: “So, you feel I don’t call or contact a lot first?”

Me: “You text me, but you know how I feel about that. I can’t think of this as not a relationship. I’m not capable of that based on how we talk to each other. And by tying myself up in this relationship, I don’t feel I’m opening myself up to something else, and I just don’t know if this is enough for me. Does that make sense?”

P: “It does. Why did you feel bad this weekend? You weren’t thinking of me? It’s okay. Um. You’d date a guy if he came along right?”

Me: “Which goes to say, it’s not that I don’t want to talk to you anymore. It’s just the tone and frequency that may change.”

P: “I mean first you have to be interested in someone? Then you can worry about that. No? You should worry about not being able to open up to a guy when you see someone who interests you. What can I do to have you continue to be close? My ‘babe?’ LOL.”

Me: “And, how is this fair to you? I string you along until I find another guy? That’s not right!”

P: “I know the risk I’m taking. You find another guy, I back off and let you be happy.”

Me: “I know. But I don’t play like that. The emotions that build up until I meet someone else.”

P: “Obviously sounds like you just don’t like me that much.”

Me: “I like you plenty. I just don’t like the situation. And, I don’t want to hurt.”

P: “And, then you meet someone. If we meet before then, we could discuss different terms.”

Me: “This isn’t easy, but I’m trying to make the mature decision. I thought it would go down differently than it has. I thought after a month I’d have seen you already.”

P: “I’m shocked by this.”

Me: “I thought we’d be making this work long distance, when really it’s just been ‘how’s your day’ text messages and calls.”

P: “I know you want more in-depth talks.”

Me: “We had a fight about this… I told you I wanted more. I haven’t seen more since then.”

P: “How else is making this work long distance? More talks? I have a feeling that still won’t be enough.”

Me: “Exactly. I thought by now we’d be planning a second visit. We haven’t had a first.”

P: “You haven’t been home at night. Been doing every sport in the world.”

Me: “I’m not pointing fingers in blame! By any means. I take responsibility as well. I lead a very active lifestyle.”

P: “Yup.”

Me: “I just need more if I’m in a relationship, and if I’m not getting that, it’s more of a friendship. Just redefining us. Not eliminating us.”

P: “Well. Not hearing ‘babe’ or having that closeness… Seems more like eliminating.”

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

P: “Just unhappy about this obviously. I can try to have more intimate talks and move us forward.”

Me: “I think we need to discuss this more, but I have a busy afternoon until this evening…”

P: “I like you. I feel emotionally connected to you. Of course you do. “

Me: “Can I call you later? And that snide comment is exactly why I feel this conversation needs to happen.”

P: “Yet, I get the blame for no contact. I might be with friends later.”

Me: “I’m not going to fight with you about this, so please drop the combative attitude.”

P: “I’d stop anything for a guy who will do the same for me. Babe. You made up your mind right?”

Me: “No. I want to talk to you about this, but I have work to do.”

P: “So you want to talk more to tell me how you want less contact and just a friendship?”

Me: “You are impossible. I want to discuss how we can proceed from here. Please be an adult about this.”

P: “I am if you are saying you are open to developing our closeness. Great. If you are going to continue to explain our new status, I get your thoughts. I’m not mad. Have a good afternoon. I get that you want the tone and frequency to change. I’ve missed you and care about you and think you’re an incredible person.”

With that, the texting conversation ended for the afternoon. I wanted to pick up the phone and talk to him like adults, but every time I called, he ignored me. He would go right back to texting me, but would not discuss this over the phone. I don’t like having conversations like this over text. You can’t hear someone’s tone in a text. Later that night we chatted some more:

P: “In bed thinking of you. Very unhappy about this situation.”

Me: “I don’t know how to fix this. I’m sorry. I know I need more in a relationship, but I’m also trying to take your feelings into consideration.”

P:  “You need more, so go find more… I’m very frustrated.”

Me: “What are you frustrated about?”

P:  “That you want to just quit and be friends.”

Me: “I don’t want things to get messy. I don’t want to hurt you. How are you going to feel when I say, ‘I met someone?’ “

P:  “I’m sensing you just lost interest. I’m a big boy. You meet someone and then I’ll get put aside. You don’t like me. Then there’s not much I can do with that.”

Me: “Okay. The truth is, I did meet someone.”

P:  “K. That you should have said. So much for always being honest. So what’s with the I don’t know how to fix this?”

Me: “I thought it would make things easier if I asked you to just be friends, but if that means you think I don’t like you, then I feel the need to come clean… Cause I do like you.”

P:  “Okay. I wish you luck. You’re a great guy.”

Me: “I want to keep you as a friend. That’s why I’m treating treading so delicately. Are you okay?”

P:  “We can be friends, but I need space… I’m fine. Not happy about it, but what can I do?”

Me: “The last thing I wanted to do was hurt you! You’re an amazing guy!”

P: “We are going to change our relationship, and that’s not going to happen soon. If you’re ever single and want to explore, definitely contact me. If I’m single, who knows…”

Me: “Okay. I’ll give you space. When you feel comfortable, please reach out to me again!”

I didn’t feel I got the closure I needed with him. I could tell he wasn’t happy and a little heart-broken. I didn’t know what to do, but I knew if I kept up the charade, it would only get worse down the road. I think I did the right thing. I did what needed to be done. Now it was a matter of time and healing before he would reach out to me again.

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