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Thrown off by one word and my own insecurities. Help!


JimmyS
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Hi. My name is James and I’m a first-time poster. I need help because I’m in a situation that is totally new to me. I have been completely thrown off by one word in a text and I need to know if I am insane or not. A female friend I’ve secretly had a thing for (for 12 years) just walked back into my life after 10 years of complete disconnect.

 

The story: We’ve probably known of each other for 15 years because we travel in the same circle of friends. In 2007 at a fraternity semi-formal event, I was waiting in line to buy a drink. This girl came up to me, gave me a hip-check and told me she’d allow me to buy her a drink. That was the way she introduced herself to me. I loved it. We hit it off and became friends. At the time, I was very sick. I was recently diagnosed with end stage renal disease then and being sick was almost a full time job. On top of that, I knew my job was going to let me go for being sick. I was in bad shape and not in a position to date anyone, but she and I stayed friends. Over the next six months, my health got worse. When this girl found out I was sick, she offered to give me a kidney. She went to get tested. She was a match. She was ready to go. However, the doctors chose my cousin as the donor because my cousin was a closer match. She and my cousin were the two suitable donors. I have had this kidney almost 11 years and it’s working perfect. Great news.

 

The recovery was difficult. I was also out of work long-term and wrapped up in my own stuff. I was in no position to date anyone. This girl and I just fell out of contact. She was always dating someone anyway. I never forgot about her though.

 

About six or seven weeks ago, she contacted me on Facebook. She and I have had zero contact over the last 10 years. Zero. She suggested that we meet up for a drink. I took her up on the offer. We set a time and I met her at a bar near her house. I understood this to be an “old platonic friends catching up” sort of thing. I walked in there fully expecting her to tell me about some boyfriend she’s in love with, how she’s about to get engaged, or some other BS that I don’t want to hear.

 

That isn’t what happened at all, however. We were face to face for the first time in 10 years. She asked me where I lived and I told her. She then told me, in response, that she bought a townhouse nearby about a year ago. She has a young puppy, an elderly cat, and she broke up with her boyfriend. Just like that. It took her 3 minutes to mention that to someone she hasn’t seen in 10 years.

 

(She did NOT say how long she was with him or how long ago she dumped him. She did say a couple times how done with him she was and that she still needs his crap out of her house. I later found out she was with him 6 years and she broke up with him about 2 weeks before she contacted me.)

 

I couldn’t believe she just said that to me, so quickly. I think I responded with "Oohhhhhh.. that's too bad" (I was cheering inside). From there, the vibe changed and it was not my imagination. I am 100% sure of that. The conversation flowed for 3 hours. She laughed at everything I said, including my story about being in the ICU for a week. She twirled her hair. She maintained more eye contact than I could handle. She recalled things about my family that I don’t even remember discussing with her. Tons of questions, like a job interview. She asked me what countries I’d been to. What’s your favorite city? This felt more like a first date than any real first date I’ve ever been on.

 

When we left the bar, I told her that it was great to see her, I had a lot of fun, and that we should do this again sometime soon. This is my way of saying “I am interested in you.” She said “Yes. Maybe next time I can come down your way.” We live 10 miles apart.

 

I knew I had to ask this girl on a date. I called her two days before Thanksgiving and asked her if she’d like to go to dinner with me then help me start my next indoor crop of Tijuana Honeysuckle we’ll call it (It’s legal here and I’m a great grower). She said Yes, but couldn’t go on the day I suggested. Her brother was in town from out of state and had plans with him. We couldn’t quite nail down a date on the phone so she said she’d let me know after the holiday. I assumed she meant Thanksgiving. OK with me.

 

About a week goes by and I don’t hear anything. I send her a text suggesting a location, time, and a couple of days to choose from. Her response is why I am here looking for help.

 

She said I’m really sorry but I just can’t make plans right now. I am still dealing with this breakup, the holidays are here, and I am just not feeling like my usual social self. It was great to see you and to catch up with an old friend after all of those years, so maybe in a few weeks, after the holiday, I’ll be back to normal and we can make some plans.

 

I told her I understood, I’d been there before, and that I hoped the clouds cleared from her sky soon. Have a great Christmas and I’ll catch you later. She replied with Thank you, J. I really appreciate it and I’ll reach out soon to make plans. I hope you have a great Christmas.

 

I made the decision to respect her boundaries and if she calls me back, she calls me back. She needs her space to heal and pushing it will be guaranteed to torpedo the whole situation. I will not initiate contact again. I said what I needed to say.

 

My whole life I have been crippled with insecurity, self-doubt, and a lack of confidence. The girlfriends that I have had over the years never believed me when I told them this because they never saw it. Coincidentally, I never really cared for any of them. Shocker.

 

This insecurity, self-doubt, and a lack of confidence is what’s thrown me off about my latest situation. When trying to nail down a date for dinner, her reply specifically used the word “friend”. That word just stuck in my head and is driving me crazy. I felt great until I saw that word. Maybe it doesn’t matter what a night out is established as, because it’s what happens when you’re together that matters.

 

Am I being insane for being so hung up on that one word? Am I misinterpreting this situation? Have I been Friendzoned? I just need outside advice to set my mind at ease one way or another. I feel stupid asking strangers for advice but I have no choice because I am so bad at this “trying to get a relationship started” stuff. I suck at it.

 

Thank you for reading my novella and for providing any feedback or insight you may have based on what I’ve told you. It is much appreciated.

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She hadn’t seen or heard from you in 10 years, what else would she refer to you as?? I think you’re inferring far more than she implied.

 

I would say the fact that she wants more time to process her breakup before seeing you again suggests that she may be taking this a bit more serious than just rekindling an old friendship.

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After such a long relationship, she won't be ready to date for at least a full year. And when she is ready, sorry, but it's doubtful it will be you she seeks out. I'm guessing she's always known you had a crush on her, and she just used you to boost her ego and spirits--a band-aid at a low point after the breakup.

 

You're not ready to date, yourself, with your lack of confidence and other issues. You will need to work on that so that you will attract, and be attracted to, mentally healthy people who are free to enter relationships without barriers up and anxieties sabotaging what could be a good thing.

 

If reading books/articles on boosting your self esteem doesn't work for you over time, seek therapy, so that you can be the best partner possible to a potential mate, and confidence is the biggest attractor of all to people, so doing the work on yourself now will reap great benefits later.

 

I'd suggest taking dance lessons in a type of dance you can enjoy such as tango, swing, or salsa. It's great to learn a new skill and to have fun connecting with others in a fun environment.

 

Leave this woman alone to do her healing on her own. You can't be friends with someone you have a crush on in this instance. A shiny new year lies ahead, so set some goals for yourself to get what you want. She's a ferris wheel, going nowhere, round and round. There's a whole big park to explore, so find a new passion/hobby/interest which will meet your social needs, build your confidence, and expand on your pool of potential love interests.

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She hadn’t seen or heard from you in 10 years, what else would she refer to you as?? I think you’re inferring far more than she implied.

 

I would say the fact that she wants more time to process her breakup before seeing you again suggests that she may be taking this a bit more serious than just rekindling an old friendship.

 

^This. It sounds like you both have always felt that vibe, but life got in the way. Now, you are single, she is single, but she is still dealing with her break up and 6 years is a long time to be with a person and she does need to process that before she can move forward on a clean slate with you. That's very much what healthy people do when they don't want to use a person as a rebound toy. So give her time and be patient.

 

As for getting so wrapped up in a word....while you are giving her time, you do need to work hard on your insecurities. Otherwise, it will prevent you from fully connecting with people....thus the "I never really liked my ex's anyway" mentality. You didn't allow yourself to - chew on that for awhile. Keeping distance may seem safe, but it's never satisfying. This isn't even about her, it's for your own sake and future happiness.

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We couldn’t quite nail down a date on the phone so she said she’d let me know after the holiday

 

She said I’m really sorry but I just can’t make plans right now. I am still dealing with this breakup, the holidays are here, and I am just not feeling like my usual social self. It was great to see you and to catch up with an old friend after all of those years, so maybe in a few weeks, after the holiday, I’ll be back to normal and we can make some plans.

 

She's probably on the rebound.

 

Just because an old crush contacts you and you go on one date does not mean she loves you. You have to date for a couple of months. Obviously, you two did not make it past the first date.

 

If you can't nail down a date, she's not interested in you, and probably never will be.

 

Just because she's dating around and checking guys out does not mean she's ready. You have to date others and find a woman who is ready.

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Thanks everyone. I am leaving her alone and will not contact her again. I know she needs a ton of time, more than a few weeks. If she gets back to me, she gets back to me. I am continuing to do my own thing. As far as being hung up on a word, that's what INTJs do unfortunately when it comes to matters like these. It sucks.

 

The first step in fixing a problem is acknowledging it exists so it's a start.

 

I appreciate everyone's time. All of this input is honestly extremely helpful to me.

 

EDIT: All of this input is exactly what I needed to hear.

Edited by JimmyS
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I think if she's rebounding she'd have gotten jiggy with it (with you) in a heartbeat. She's not doing that and I think you're right, OP, that you may be interpreted as a great male friend and nothing more. You're sticking your key in the ignition of a car hoping it'll run but it's broken down and not running in the first place.

 

Try and meet other local women if you're in the dating scene. I suspect she knows what she wants and a relationship is just not right for her right now. I passed up good people when I wasn't in the right head space for a relationship. I probably looked right through them and it wasn't because I found those people uninteresting or because I consciously thought "Gee, that person's a great friend but not a partner." I simply just wasn't quite with it enough to comprehend anything more than good company and good company was what I needed in the fall out of a long term relationship more than anything.

 

This shouldn't be a reflection on you as a person or your dating skills or your magnetism when it comes to women or the opposite sex. Just take it easy and look at the whole picture. She's not ok to meet someone romantically right now but she does appreciate good company. If you feel you're getting a bit ahead of yourself and need to cool off, I'd suggest doing that. Cool off and distance yourself from the idea of dating her or seeing her again. She needs to clean up her ex's stuff from her place. This is a massive red flag that the relationship is not completely over and loose ends aren't tied.

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I think if she's rebounding she'd have gotten jiggy with it (with you) in a heartbeat. She's not doing that and I think you're right, OP, that you may be interpreted as a great male friend and nothing more. You're sticking your key in the ignition of a car hoping it'll run but it's broken down and not running in the first place.

 

Try and meet other local women if you're in the dating scene. I suspect she knows what she wants and a relationship is just not right for her right now. I passed up good people when I wasn't in the right head space for a relationship. I probably looked right through them and it wasn't because I found those people uninteresting or because I consciously thought "Gee, that person's a great friend but not a partner." I simply just wasn't quite with it enough to comprehend anything more than good company and good company was what I needed in the fall out of a long term relationship more than anything.

 

This shouldn't be a reflection on you as a person or your dating skills or your magnetism when it comes to women or the opposite sex. Just take it easy and look at the whole picture. She's not ok to meet someone romantically right now but she does appreciate good company. If you feel you're getting a bit ahead of yourself and need to cool off, I'd suggest doing that. Cool off and distance yourself from the idea of dating her or seeing her again. She needs to clean up her ex's stuff from her place. This is a massive red flag that the relationship is not completely over and loose ends aren't tied.

 

Thank you. When I heard about the length of the relationship and how his stuff is still at her place, it was a red flag.

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Glad you are doing well health wise. Give her space. She may be reconciling with the bf. If she contacts you great if not, no harm no foul, just two people catching up.

she broke up with him about 2 weeks before she contacted me.

She said I’m really sorry but I just can’t make plans right now. I am still dealing with this breakup, the holidays are here, and I am just not feeling like my usual social self. her reply specifically used the word “friend”.

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Thank you. When I heard about the length of the relationship and how his stuff is still at her place, it was a red flag.

 

Very welcome. It does sound like you both have a good friendship going. I also think you bonded with her when you weren't doing too well health-wise. She offered you a kidney when you needed one. This doesn't strike me as a person who's stingy or disingenuous. She has her own place and her pets. Despite her choice in men and the rollercoasters in her love life, she does seem stable, kind and compassionate. She's got a good heart and I think you're attracted to that. Try finding those types of qualities in others that you meet or be open in seeing others with qualities like that. Other women may not have her face or her looks but you might see those qualities in others if you're open to the idea. There are good people out there. Don't lose faith.

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Well this is refreshing ....I think she actually IS what she says on the tin ....honest

 

First huge respect that she offered to give you her kidney , if you never get together op then you have that gesture to treasure for the rest of your life . I am glad it all worked out and you are well and healthy ...

 

She is aware she needs to heal , she knows she doesn't want to move forward with anyone just now , she knows she needs to get his stuff out her house and finalise all that ..I don't even think she was reaching out to have her ego stroked ....I believe she was genuinly seeking out an old friend and that is what you must treat it as . It is still wonderful though ....

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Well this is refreshing ....I think she actually IS what she says on the tin ....honest

 

First huge respect that she offered to give you her kidney , if you never get together op then you have that gesture to treasure for the rest of your life . I am glad it all worked out and you are well and healthy ...

 

She is aware she needs to heal , she knows she doesn't want to move forward with anyone just now , she knows she needs to get his stuff out her house and finalise all that ..I don't even think she was reaching out to have her ego stroked ....I believe she was genuinly seeking out an old friend and that is what you must treat it as . It is still wonderful though ....

Awesome view of it, Pip!

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I agree with pippy.

 

At the end of the day... she considers you a friend. This is a great place to start for any relationship... building a friendship. It may not turn into anything more and if not, you would still have a person in your corner that cared enough about your well-being to literally give a piece of themselves to you... friends like that are hard to come by.

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you would still have a person in your corner that cared enough about your well-being to literally give a piece of themselves to you.

 

This is where my attraction to her as it stands today really lies. She was cute and cool and everything before when we first met and I liked that of course. However, when she offered to give me a kidney, something clicked in my head and my feelings towards her changed drastically.

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This is where my attraction to her as it stands today really lies. She was cute and cool and everything before when we first met and I liked that of course. However, when she offered to give me a kidney, something clicked in my head and my feelings towards her changed drastically.

 

Of course, I mean it's a wonderful and selfless gesture! At the end of the day though, try and remember that you haven't seen her in well over a decade, so you don't actually know her anymore.... don't hang on to the idea of a fantasy, don't wait for her, just keep going with your life and if it's meant to happen it will happen smoothly and effortlessly.

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Of course, I mean it's a wonderful and selfless gesture! At the end of the day though, try and remember that you haven't seen her in well over a decade, so you don't actually know her anymore.... don't hang on to the idea of a fantasy, don't wait for her, just keep going with your life and if it's meant to happen it will happen smoothly and effortlessly.

 

I think you are right. I have decided to do my thing just like I was before she contacted me. I was just really shocked to hear from her again, and I was shocked how well we still got along like that 10 year hiatus never happened. She knows how to get to me. I will not chase her, bother her, contact her, etc. If/when the time comes, she knows what to do. Like you said, "if it's meant to happen it will happen smoothly and effortlessly." I believe that 100%.

 

Years ago one of my friends dated her briefly, like 9 years ago. It was a disaster. I never asked what went wrong. I do remember him saying to me after the fact "She digs you, dude." I actually forgot about this detail.

 

Thank you for your time and advice!

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I think she respects you and knows she is in no place to see another guy on any intimate level yet, so she was honest that this isn't the best time to reconnect further.

 

Perhaps she wanted to be ready, but upon further reflection she realized she just isn't. She is still in the midst of untangling her last relationship. Heck, maybe she's been talking to the ex more and reconsidering the split.

 

Either way, I would leave the ball in her court and go about your life in the meantime.

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Yeah sounds like she just wanted to escape the drudgery of her breakup and tested the waters with you to see if you were still waiting and wishing and yup, you were.

 

 

Sorry to hear of your medical issues and glad things are better but what leapt out at me was you are still holding a candle for her after 10 Years!?!?

 

Have you met no other women in this time? I think you need to develop yourself and fill your life more.

 

The meet up was not about you, it was for herself and her ego. She knows you want her, believe me. She just needed that reconfirmed 10 years later.

 

If you are going to see her again it will always be on her terms and always as a friend.

 

If you are happy being in her friendzone then please continue to be ready and available for her as her male best friend. However as you still have feelings for her after a decade I'd suggest this not wise and you block and delete her until you are over her.

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(She did NOT say how long she was with him or how long ago she dumped him. She did say a couple times how done with him she was and that she still needs his crap out of her house. I later found out she was with him 6 years and she broke up with him about 2 weeks before she contacted me.)

I couldn’t believe she just said that to me, so quickly. I think I responded with "Oohhhhhh.. that's too bad" \

 

In the future . . .when someone mentions their messy breakup `so quickly and reiterates how `done' they are with them. . .they are fresh out of break up and still not over it.

 

After 6 years, she's adjusting to being alone and thought to fill the void with a nice guy she knew from the past. But that's it. Nothing more.

 

You said you went into it as “old platonic friends catching up” sort of thing. And walked away not reading the signals correctly.

 

No harm. You took a chance. That's a brave thing to do. But you have your answer. The meetup was exactly as it was intended. Two old friends.

 

It says alot about her and where she's at right now, 2 weeks out of a relationship of long duration. Honestly, she might not be ready until a year from now.

Besides, you don't want to date someone who is still in damage control mode, post breakup.

 

Don't take it personally. Write it off to bad timing. Head high

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In the future . . .when someone mentions their messy breakup `so quickly and reiterates how `done' they are with them. . .they are fresh out of break up and still not over it.

 

After 6 years, she's adjusting to being alone and thought to fill the void with a nice guy she knew from the past. But that's it. Nothing more.

 

You said you went into it as “old platonic friends catching up” sort of thing. And walked away not reading the signals correctly.

 

No harm. You took a chance. That's a brave thing to do. But you have your answer. The meetup was exactly as it was intended. Two old friends.

 

It says alot about her and where she's at right now, 2 weeks out of a relationship of long duration. Honestly, she might not be ready until a year from now.

Besides, you don't want to date someone who is still in damage control mode, post breakup.

 

Don't take it personally. Write it off to bad timing. Head high

 

Yes, this was another big red flag. It's like an alcoholic trying to convince you that they don't have a drinking problem. Who are you trying to convince, me or yourself? I wish I though to ask her that question because I was curious who she was trying to convince.

 

Thank you for your input.

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Yes, this was another big red flag. It's like an alcoholic trying to convince you that they don't have a drinking problem. Who are you trying to convince, me or yourself? I wish I though to ask her that question because I was curious who she was trying to convince.

 

It's not really a question you have to ask, in those circumstances, but just a thing to observe. Let's say that this was a Bumble date, rather than an old friend who will always be linked to a very vulnerable moment in your past. The moment you heard the Bumble date talking about her last relationship—how done she was, but how he still had stuff at her place—is the moment you know your Bumble date is not dating material.

 

She sounds like a very cool woman, from what you've outlined. She also sounds like a woman who is not remotely ready for romance, as she herself has made clear. Can you accept both those truths and continue to reconnect?

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It's not really a question you have to ask, in those circumstances, but just a thing to observe. Let's say that this was a Bumble date, rather than an old friend who will always be linked to a very vulnerable moment in your past. The moment you heard the Bumble date talking about her last relationship—how done she was, but how he still had stuff at her place—is the moment you know your Bumble date is not dating material.

 

She sounds like a very cool woman, from what you've outlined. She also sounds like a woman who is not remotely ready for romance, as she herself has made clear. Can you accept both those truths and continue to reconnect?

 

Yes. I am going to allow her to reconnect at her own pace, whatever that may be. I won't chase, call, contact, etc. I'm going to continue to see other women. I dated one of her friends last year (the most repulsive personality I have ever witnessed in my life but was worth a shot) and am currently involved in a casual situation with another woman.

 

You are right; if this we're Bumble and I heard that, I'd have shut down immediately. Check, please.

Edited by JimmyS
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Sorry, excuse my curiosity but why would you want to date a nightmare woman?

 

I'm talking about two different women. The nightmare friend with a repulsive personality was last year. I didn't know she was a nightmare until I dated her. I'd rather go home and watch TV than sleep with her. That' show terrible she was, so I ended it fast.

 

The "another woman" is someone else.

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