A Moment in My Life – Friday, August 21, 2020
Yesterday, I received an unexpected Facebook friend request from a guy I casually know from one of my walks of life whom I would never in a gazillion years expect anything. Although a month or so after Mark’s demise, he invited me to lunch, as did many of my friends. I assumed, his invitation was out of compassion and kindness like everybody else. I gently declined the invitation as it didn’t feel right to me at that time. I ran into him a few times during the year, and as soon as he brought up our lunch date again, I quickly shut it down. With SiP, I hoped that we would move on and conveniently forget about it. I did until the Facebook friend request showed up.
It’s interesting how relationships happen. Some click right away. Some take their time. Some take a lot of work. Some bring out the worst in you while others bring out the best. Some, you end up not able to live without them. Others, you wish you never met. The bottom line, all relationships are unique. Most happen unexpectedly. The beauty of it is the journey that enriches your life for the better or the worst.
Some people come into your life to broaden your horizon—to provide a new experience that adds a touch of street smart to your portfolio. Some things you can’t learn from books.
I had this buddy in high school who shared many of my interests, and we clicked immediately. I introduced him to my girlfriends, and he quickly became part of the gang as an honorary girlfriend. One day, my girlfriends took me aside and alerted me that my buddy told everybody that I was his girlfriend. I didn’t believe what they said. Why would he do that? We were buddies! They didn’t believe the rumors either, at first. Until they noticed how he was around me and that it was apparent, I was more than a friend. I so did not see the obvious.
I was devastated when I confronted him, and he confirmed the rumors. Why did that have to happen? We had a good friendship going. Knowing the truth made being around him awkward. This relationship that once was a fun one became a labor-intensive one where I had to tread lightly and not further mislead him. Now that my horizon has broadened, I realized that sometimes you couldn’t change the facts. People are the way that they are. We have to accept them or let them go instead of trying to change them or ourselves to make it work. Usually, people revert to their true selves regardless of how hard they try to please.
My buddy agreed that we would be “just friends.” He cared enough for me to do that. I was okay with the setup if we could pull it off. As a show of good faith, he introduced me to a friend of his. We hit off well and began dating.
I thought being “just friends” might work when, out of nowhere, he said, “If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.” Interesting that he would quote that, but I chalked it off to him being a dreamer, and I let it slide.
Something in my gut said, “Caution!” I tried to dismiss the red flag. Your gut feelings don’t lie. You might need a bit more to understand what it’s telling you. In this case, my gut was right. It turned out; my buddy was playing a game with his friend and me. Only he knew the rules. I guess he didn’t expect my boyfriend and me to talk. Once we did, we figured out the game he was playing. The giveaway—when he told my boyfriend, “May the best man win!” Then, my eyes opened, and I understood what my gut was telling me about his quote.
Sadly, that friendship was not salvageable because of my buddy’s agenda. I learned that regardless of how far we’ve come, we still need to be careful in friendships with the opposite sex. You never know when our emotions might betray us and jeopardize a good friendship.
My buddy made me a bit more street smart that day. Since then, I trust my gut feelings more, and when it doesn’t like something, I’ve learned to steer clear of it. In the case of my Facebook friend request, it might be wise if I do not accept it.
If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were. — Richard Bach