Unrequited Love

https://www.flickr.com/photos/fabolous/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/fabolous/

Nowadays “friendzoned” seems to be the term to use when someone has a crush on another person and that person doesn’t reciprocate the emotion and/or classes them as a friend. Way back when, people would call it unrequited love. Doesn’t that sound so tragically poetic? So heart-breaking and you don’t even have to hear the story behind those words.

From this point forward I’d like to think we’ve mutually agreed I’m a mess when it comes to love and relationships, and that I’ve had more than my fair share of being friend zoned. Each experience is new and quite painful, and yet it’s difficult to learn from it because no one ever plans to be friend zoned, and no one ever willing walks down the path of unrequited love.

The thing is I’d like to think that I’m a good friend, as you probably do too. When I care about someone, then I can be the most dedicated friend to that person. I’d do anything that is right by them. I would protect them, and be there for them. I get quite close to certain people, sometimes they’re men…but I’ve found that… sometimes I can quite innocently confuse friendship with love…I think most people have gone through that…where we’ve gotten so close to a person, told them things we may not have ever told others, lean on them for support…and they might even do the same things for you…at 4am in the morning, you may have deep meaningful talks…you could find that those become more frequent, and you might find yourself thinking…there could be something more between you two than meets the eye… and then the lines between friendship and budding romance becomes blurred…

Sometimes you can be so sure that there’s something more, because after all why would she be so caring if she didn’t care? Or why would he text you 3 x’s when he only sends other people 2? Yes it’s easy to get confused… Yes it’s easy to get lost… Yes you might be right… But most of the time, you’re probably wrong…

Sorry…

In the age of social media and online romances I wanted to talk about the importance of human interaction, face to face, being present… The real relationships people face every day, the ones that exists beyond emoticons and hashtags…

I once met a guy… This story is about him… To this day my encounter with him has influenced the way I look at love.

As a writer I’ve learnt to watch people…not in the creepy sense, I observe people, how they interact with one another… how they react to situations…it fascinates me…and this guy, well he really fascinated me. He may read this, he may not…he may recognise the story as his…but it’s also part of mine…

Let’s call him Tony.

To be honest I only met him once and don’t really know an awful lot about him, I don’t really remember how tall he was or what accent he had, what I do remember his how his green eyes would glisten every time the light hit them from the right angle.

I barely knew him but from a first impression he seemed like a decent enough person. I was drawn to his personality and found myself watching him all night. He spoke with a delicate voice but had a tough exterior. He looked intimidating with his muscles, stubble and tattoos, but there were times when it felt like it was all just for show, and deep down he had a lot more to him than a muscle head. He seemed like the kind of person who would be tough to understand and much harder to get to know, but I bet once in a while he would let someone in, because I’ve met others like him before and those people have a lot of emotions, hidden away because they’re afraid to really show anyone, for fear of being left vulnerable, people who find it easier to admit they don’t care about anything because the true reality is they care about everything and it kills them…people like me.

I met Tony on a night out, I don’t think I would have had the opportunity to meet him in any other circumstance but as it so happened the leading lady of this tale of woe was a mutual friend of ours. I won’t go into too many details, they aren’t important. What is important is the little things I picked up from him. He looked like he belonged in the army and looked out of place anywhere other than the gym, and yet he was very quiet and often looked like he was deep in thought. I was the only new girl in this particular group and there were times when I’d catch him about to say something to me then stop, afraid to offend me. I found this amusing, most men who looked like him and had the same build also came with a loud personality and would often be happy to lead an overly opinionated one sided conversation. There were times when he’d go quiet and not say anything for a while, but then I’d catch him looking around, it made me wonder what was going on in his head, then I saw him staring at her. This look I tell you now was painful for anyone else to see. It was clear from the first moment I saw him make this look that he was in love… In love with her.

Let’s call her Jane.

Picture this… A room full of people, some truly stunning ladies, and he only had eyes for Jane and yet, not once did I see her return this look for him, I think that made it more painful to watch.

During the course of the night he found excuses to touch her… Gently… Carefully… He treated Jane like she was fragile but each touched seemed more urgent than the last… He’d put his arms casually around her but it was obvious that it meant a lot to him. That night girls would throw themselves at him, they’d flirt and buy him drinks, at first he would politely return the conversation but after witnessing a girl give him her number at the bar, Jane walked up to him, gave him an icy look and called him a flirt, I watched him as his face twisted as he was processing this insult. For a few moments I thought he would stand up for himself, a few more seconds pass by and he sighs, defeated he puts the piece of paper down on to the bar and walks straight past Jane. From that point on, he would only talk to our party, not another girl approached him, probably from the frighteningly angry vibe he was giving off, he didn’t entertain another conversation with any other female other than those already in our social circle and yet to Jane, he had nothing but patience and love. When he spoke to her he was sweet and looked at her more often than I cared to count. Something I noticed was how Jane never seemed to acknowledge the atmosphere that was surrounding them both. I don’t think it was on purpose, but this clearly hurt him. Jane wasn’t a vindictive person but I think she was so busy looking around that she never saw what was right in front of her, she couldn’t see how much her friendship with Tony was damaging him. We could play the blame game but I don’t think blame will go far here, at the end of the day it isn’t about who is right and who is wrong but about whether or not the friendship is important enough to try and fix. But then how can you fix a friendship when one loves another one in a way that the person can’t love them? No one can win that battle and really the best you can hope for is that you both grow and learn from the situation. Tony sighed and looked at Jane, he sighed again and finally lowered his eyes down to his hands, as if he knew he needed to give up. I’ve seen myself do this countless times and it’s never been easy. To reach a point when you’re so exasperated at the situation and yet, you will yourself to keep on fighting for the relationship you want, even if you know you deserve it, sometimes if it’s not meant to be, then it’s not meant to be. What could possibly be going on in his head? Does he know that the fight for her is pointless because they’ve known each other for so long and yet it’s never happened…

When I was in this situation my friends would tell me “If it was meant to happen, it would have happened by now.” But I always found myself fighting their words, by giving my own insight into it by saying “There’s no expiry date on love and it could happen at any time…” Which is a reasonable counter argument right? When you’re so in love with someone you would say anything to convince everyone else that you spending your time waiting around is the only way to show that person how you feel… You spend all this time trying to convince everyone that it will work out when really you’re just trying to convince yourself and for every reason why you can’t be together, you come up with ten more reasons why you should be…

When people go out for a night on the town, you usually meet someone who is interested in having a night of carefree fun, whether that means finding another person to dance with, maybe make out? Or more? And yet after the situation earlier, Tony became attached to Jane, I don’t think I saw him leave her side once, nor did he try to make a move on her. He watched as she danced, made out, and drank with other men, and every so often when she stumbled back to him to give him a friendly hug he would hold her for just a few seconds too long and every time she would thank him for being such a good friend to her, for being there for her, I could feel his heart break that much more, this feeling of despair filled the air as I watched this scene unfold in front of me, even if in that moment it was just the two of them, the story had two different sides, 1 of total ignorance and the other? Complete sadness. He was a complete gentleman always making sure she was having fun. Isn’t he the sweetest? But also a fool…a fool because I know for him it’s painful loving someone who doesn’t love you back, and yet you continue to do so because every pain is worth enduring just for the chance to get to the happy ending.

In the morning, I found myself in the same situation I have been in many times before. Sitting, talking, side stepping a topic I desperately wanted to talk about with a person so completely oblivious to the obvious. Tony had clearly built up a lot of pent up emotions that he just wanted to release, he needed someone to talk. I mean I do that too, because when you talk about how you’re feeling, sometimes it can clear up space in your head, maybe give you a little time to feel sane, even just for a little while.

I told him that I knew how he felt about her, and he didn’t deny it. “I asked her out once and she told me she didn’t think we would work out.” He said in a tense voice. I wanted to hold his trembling hand, Iwanted to tell him that I understood just how he felt… “Every time I see some guy hit on her I get so mad because I know she doesn’t like it.” He clenched his hands into fits… I wondered whether he was imagining himself punching the other men… Maybe punching himself? Maybe because he knew how futile his fight for her affection was. I wondered what kind of battle was going on in his head, did his heart sting to know he could never have her? Did his friends lie to him and tell him that it would happen for them both but right now was just not the right time? Did he stay awake at night wishing Jane could be laid beside him rather than next to that person not even worthy of her love? He recounted the night he had decided to move on, after he had spent years pining over her, watching her go from boyfriend to boyfriend to fling not once giving him a chance, he said how he felt cruel just cutting her off and not being her friend anymore so he thought he’d work hard to maintain the “just friends” status they had established…or the level she placed him in. But after a while the same old feelings crept up and Tony found that just being a friend wasn’t enough for him. He was waging a war between being a good and honest friend and wanting more… Wanting to be happy with Jane. That morning, sat in the kitchen talking, I knew he was fighting a loosing battle and though he deserved better, he was not going to get it until he let himself move forward. Why did he put himself through all of that pain? He told me there was never a time for a Tony and Jane romance, because there were men after men after her and he could never get there first, but yet he treated Jane like she held the happiness to his life. He looked at her like without her there would be no reason to breathe… But why? To this day I want to know… Why does anyone ever let unrequited love take over? It’s the most painful kind of love and yet we all seem to experience it at least once in our lifetime. I told him this and he laughed… A laugh so sweet it was hard to imagine that it was only the first time I was hearing it. Maybe he didn’t understand what I was saying? Maybe he didn’t see his situation as falling under that category? It was clear from our first and last meeting that he was a good person, a good friend, and yet he allowed himself to be punished for wanting something so simple as love. I wish I could have told him not to hurt anymore, not to allow himself to feel neglected, not to forget about his own happiness… Because I’ve watched it happen to so many good people, those with so much hope and passion for romance…

Maybe you’re reading this and you’re remembering the time in your life when you blurred the line between love and friendship, when you pined over someone who didn’t see you in the same light, when you cried over that special someone who you wished more than anything would realise just how wonderful you are. Maybe you’re reading this and thinking how lucky you are the you’ve not experienced the heart wrenching pain of not knowing what could be, what could have been? Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, remember that you’re a human being, capable of love and kindness but also of pain and heartbreak, be smart with your heart but also allow yourself to be open to the many opportunities that love can bring. If you open your eyes, you’ll see that you can find someone who can love you too… Who can give you just as much as you give them…. Because if you can have this much love for someone who doesn’t return the sentiment, then imagine just how beautiful the love can be if you found someone who wanted to love you right back?

Do something to make your parents proud today, your kids proud someday but most importantly, you proud everyday!

Peace and Love

Jessy x

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3 thoughts on “Unrequited Love

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that 😦 such a terrible situation to be in, I can only hope that those like us learn and grow from those experiences! Thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate it!

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