Thursday, June 19, 2014

Feelings, Truth, and Happy Endings

I've been having somewhat regular conversations with "Becky" recently, which you may know from this post from last month.  Yesterday the conversation turned to a time we had together back in college and how even then I had a big crush on her (read: I was in love with her).  The good part about all of it was she didn't delete me or awkwardly sign out of Facebook as many women would have in the past.  But she also didn't say she felt the same way, then or now.  I came away from it feeling kind of crummy to be honest.  Not mad, just sad.

It's not at all surprising.  I confessed my feelings to her in an email months ago and in no uncertain terms she replied that she did not feel the same way.  And I respect that.  I respect when people are honest and straight with me instead of stringing me along or giving me responses in hopes of sparing my feelings.  I guess I had hoped that in these past few months of corresponding via instant message she might have changed her mind, or maybe I grew on her or something.  I don't know, sometimes you hope against hope, even when your mind tells you you're insane.

When we first started corresponding again, I suppose I thought if I told her how I felt, maybe she had secretly felt the same way for a long time but never wanted to tell me.  Maybe after talking for some months we'd realize that we're really right for each other and we'd spend the rest of our lives together.  Or something.  That's the kind of happy ending I was hoping for.  Never mind how unrealistic it was.

In order to understand why she has this hold over me, you might need some background information.

I last saw her in the late summer of 2010, when we hung out over the course of a few days before she left the US to return to her native country.  At the time, she was (and still is) the only girl (excluding family) who had ever been in my car, the only girl I had ever been to a sit-down restaurant with, the only girl I had ever sat on a couch with, and the only girl I had ever consistently hung out with.  She is, for all intents and purposes my first everything with the exception of kissing and sex.  When she left I was sad, but it paled in comparison to the sadness I felt when I first stopped talking to her and hanging out with her a year earlier.

In May 2009, as my third year in college drew to a close I began to realize that "Becky" and I were not to be.  It wasn't culture, her family, nor shyness that was holding her back, it was her disinterest.  Even after her family moved away and she was living on her own, nothing was going to change.  So I decided to move on.

The problem is that the damage had already been done.  It wasn't so much that she rejected me (unofficially of course since I never really made a big "move") but that I was so sure that she liked me and yet she didn't.  At 20 years old I had thought I had things figured out: if a girl laughs at all your jokes, touches you when she's talking to you, crosses her legs in your direction, finds excuses to hang out with you, suggests things you should do together, etc., it's safe to say she likes you.  I got all of that from "Becky" and yet she only saw me as a friend.  It became painfully obvious to me that I had no idea how to tell if a girl likes me or not.  Platonic interest vs romantic interest is something I couldn't differentiate.

On top of this, I'm forced to reconcile the fact that while I think she's special and unique, how do I know I don't feel that way simply because she's the first and only girl to seemingly take an interest in me?  I have absolutely nothing to compare her to aside from superficial interactions with women.  Not, by the way, for lack of trying.

What does this all mean?  I'm not sure.  Here is this girl that is perfect for me in every way aside from the fact that she doesn't like me romantically, a girl I would in a heartbeat marry if she agreed to it but it's destined not to be.

People who know about the situation in real life have told me not to put all my eggs in one basket.  This is only one girl in a sea of girls, shouldn't I be trying elsewhere?  And my answer is that I am looking elsewhere.  I have active profiles on three dating websites and I message women fairly regularly.  Yet in all this time not a single woman has been interested.  Which goes back to my hypothetical above: am I feeling this way about "Becky" because there's no one else in my life?

Things like this make me feel cursed.  I feel cursed that the only woman who has ever wanted to spend any significant amount of time with, whom I don't feel nervous around and with whom I can talk about anything, doesn't return my feelings.  I feel cursed that I can't move on from her because no one else even lets me close enough to develop feelings.  Cursed that I happen to so often be attracted to the only demographic of women that rarely dates outside its culture or religion.

For now I guess I'll continue to talk to her.  I'll continue to hope for a happy ending of some kind.  But for some reason I doubt it will even come to pass.

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