Involved Naivety

“Have you thought about ________?” or “Oh! I think you would like my friend _______.” are common phrases I hear whenever I meet anyone new or with casual friends. The friends you worked at David’s Bridal with 4 years ago in your undergraduate career or the friend of the friend you recently met at church. Somehow, in your new (or renewed) connection, your singleness gets brought up. Most people seem to have a way to fix that, so insert the phrases above. I don’t mind too terribly much as it’s a nice idea to entertain the notion of meeting someone organically and not having to tell my parents that I met my future husband on Tinder. Or OKCupid. Or Coffee Meets Bagel.

Several months ago, an acquaintance that knew me when I was 18 and the girlfriend of The First One and again when he worked for me on the university’s campus and again when he is good friends with one of my coworkers, suggested on our work’s version of GChat that I should meet his friend JT. He basically set us up to chat, JT quickly asked me to lunch, it went well, but he never asked me out again. He would chat with me consistently on Gchat, sending me hipster music and talking about Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. He was funny and weird and helped the days to pass by faster. Eventually, our acquaintance played telephone with me and “his friend” because “his friend” wanted to ask out one of my friends, R, from church. R is a beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed, lovely person. She has a bubbly sassy personality; she also talks about God consistently. Which is great until it begins to ostracize people around her and start to feel condemning. “His friend” turned out to be JT. JT then decided to own up to liking her then asked me things like her favorite color and flower and were there any red flags. “Take her on a date and see!” was my answer though I knew that she would not like how uncool he is. Smart, funny, handsome-in-an-awkward-way, but not suave, relaxed, and cool which is much more of R’s type.

If I’m being honest, I was a little confused at why JT would talk so consistently with me, but never ask me out. Him asking R out made it official that he was not interested. “Cool! I can stop being confused!” I said to myself. Things ended with them being “friends”. All of a sudden he is back on GChat asking what I’m looking for in a man–“you know…if I were to set you up since you helped me out”. Sure, JT, sure. Then he begins to ask me approximately 800 questions about me. Who I am and what I want from life and what is my MBTI (INFJ holla!) and then he compares our personality types to let me know that we are often dubbed “the golden pair” being INTP and INFJ. Eventually this happens:

JT- “Do you like friends who are pretty straightforward with you? Maybe even to the point of bluntness? Or friends who hold back when it might cause tension”

Me- “Are you trying to ask if you can be blunt with me…? Or is this purely hypothetical?”

JT- “the former”

Me- “You can be blunt with me if you need to”

JT- “I probably don’t “need” to be”

Me- “Did I do something to offend you? Now you have me worried”

JT- “hahahaha no. you’re great”

Me- “Then feel free, really.”

JT- “okay

[11:44 AM]So, it’s hard for me to not be interested in you. Like I’m totally cool with slacking like this. But two things happened when you said you had another date. 1. I was really happy for you. Dating is weird and can seem foreign at times, so successful dates are fantastic. 2. “Damn.” Just a normal, jealous (probably sinful) reaction. I know this may be awkward, but I think being completely up front is the best solution for friendships/relationships/whatever

[11:45 AM]now, it’s not like I’m in love and “can’t help myself”. People can always help themselves when it comes to emotions like this. But I don’t want to sneak my emotions around and pretend like I’m not interested in you

[11:47 AM]now, it’d be fine with me if we just stayed friends. I would get over my hissy fit and learn to see you as a friend only. But I want you to know where I stand without any ambiguity”
Me- “I really appreciate you telling me that. I admit, i’ve been quite confused for awhile now. Especially after you asked about R(she’s beautiful and intelligent, so you’d be crazy not to), and then suggested Our Friend (and since y’all are close, i got confused. girls talk about these things and would only suggest the other friend if they knew that friend liked to other one…so i didn’t want to offend. and again, was confused). So, I appreciate you just telling me. And feel less crazy now.”
JT- “I also admit that I kinda felt like an asshole when I asked you about R. Because during that time I was kind of interested in you. So I really do apologize for that.”
Me- “Like I said, I truly don’t know about this guy. And I would really appreciate your friendship right now still. But I don’t believe in the friend zone. Or that relationships are stationary. So…can I let you know if that changes? Not to keep you hanging on or anything! Just saying”
JT- “That’ll work for me. And bless you for not believing in the friendzone. That’s purgatory for guys”
Purgatory, eh? What do you think talking to one girl for months but asking out her friend is?

Boys suck, and then they flatter you with apologies and perfect words. You realize that they are just human. Or you realize that you are just naive and consistently set yourself up to be hurt. Which one is it with JT?