So I’m Now In the Friendzone

By Juan-Carlos | Posted Sep 26 2015 | 12 Comments  

Friendzone

In an environment where there are social limitations and slim pickings of men of quality when does one cross the line selfishly in their own pursuit of “happiness”? The intro may be a bit verbose but what an opener, right! People are led to do certain things by design. Whether if it’s motivated by either need or necessity. The law of attraction promotes coupling in some sort or fashion.  Causally dating, being a serial dater, or open to the possibilities of something more long term are all a la carte. Most radically, when are friends of a friend or even an ex of a friend off the menu altogether?

I’m much closed for I’m very guarded. I don’t allow many in my circle for I figure being selective is a certainly a smart thing to be generally. As a result, I have very few limited options in meeting people socially. I sometimes receive an extended invite to a house party or some other “exclusive” event. I feel madd awkward for I don’t wish to draw any added attention so I try to fade in the background. It never fails (believe you me I am humbled by the gesture) that I get approached. I’d consider myself to be cordial and welcoming for I know it takes some courage (liquid or otherwise) to step up to spark up some convo. Then it feels “uncomfortable” when there’s a more expressed interest beyond the small talk. I think of that line from Biggie’s Big Poppa.

Who they attractin with that line, “What’s your name what’s your sign?”
Soon as he buy that wine I just creep up from behind
And ask what your interests are, who you be with
Things to make you smile, what numbers to dial

I’m no nonsense to a fault. Maybe it’s the New Yorker in me or maybe it’s maturity in knowing what I want to deal with and what I don’t. So, I am quick to politely rebuff when it’s going in a different direction. It becomes more awkward when a friend of a friend steps up with an aim to exchange numbers.

I’m loyal almost to a fault. I will even admit there have been a few occasions when they were hot as fuck. I stood strong and didn’t take the bait. Temptation is a bitch, I tell you. It is easier to do the wrong which makes it so much harder to do the right thing.  We are men. By design we are visual and respond to external stimuli. Yo, if the breeze hit me in just the right spot…. #Eggplant Friday and I’ll post my pic. “Name something you do for likes on Instagram”…sounds more like a top eight answer on Family Feud. Post a dick print pic…(DING, third answer). SMH. Kidding aside, it’s about your make up….your character.

Drawn from one of my experiences, there was one special man that I was dating, Eugenio. We had so much in common, sexually compatible and one of the best super extreme likes I ever had. In time it could have developed into love. The trust was certainly there. One of the most memorable times for me was when I helped take care of him when he was sick with a really bad cold…runny nose and all. Those are the moments when your will is bent on doing the right thing. Whatever gesture it is from the corazón (the heart). Whether it’s giving money without asking for it back, a late night rescue due to car trouble, being present and supportive, simply listening without judgment or offering your unsolicited opinion; it appeared as though it was emotionally mutual for sure. Feelings were rapidly developing as it seems the next step was making a statement for a committed monogamous situation. This was something he didn’t want. He quickly wanted to move letters around like SCRABBLE to redefine us and our interaction. So, I became FWB (friends with benefits). Then the sex was too much to handle so I was demoted back into the Friend Zone.

Eugenio was really important to me and I cared for him a great deal. I had to make the adjustment and it wasn’t easy. I knew that he still maintained a relationship with his ex, Dre’. I had zero problems with that. In fact, I was later introduced to Dre’. He is a solid guy.  In fact, once, we doubled dated. It was Eugenio and I, Dre’ and a new guy that he was dating. We went out bowling and had a decent time. That asshole Dre’ dated was rude as fuck and was throwing shots at me by calling me Fat Joe because it was the only Latino male reference he knew. Dude, really?  Yo soy Dominicano, cabron. No soy Puertorriqueño…he was checked by Eugenio and Dre’ for being disrespectful. That shit wasn’t funny that we all agreed. Then things took amazing turn left when Eugenio later confessed that he had a problem with the new guy Dre’ was dating. Seeing them together really made him feel some kind of way.

After bowling, I was dropped off. Little did I know the evening would take a downward turn for Eugenio. The evening resulted in Eugenio getting madd drunk, fucking someone else that night on a pool table, disrespecting me and the coup de gras – getting into a physical fight with Dre’. The day after Eugenio felt awful. He felt like shit and the guilt mixed with other emotions made him feel empty and dark. I felt “something” so I wanted to check on him. I took public transportation (a 2 hour trek) to his place to see him. He wasn’t too happy to see me and didn’t want to discuss much about the night before. He offered to drive me home. I empathized with him and it broke my heart to see him in so much pain. I felt it. So, after I got out the car, I had a sense that whatever he needed to work through was going to take some time. Time created distance between us. I hadn’t heard from him in a month or so. I figured I was on time out. I didn’t want to make it about me so I complied.

Later, I was feeling a bit lonesome and needed to reconnect with someone. There was this chat line that was popular at the time. I used the free time for signing up new just to listen to some messages.  During the screening process there was a lone standout- a naturally masculine guy who seemed direct like me. That was all nice though I will admit there was a sense of sincerity that drew me in. So, I left him a voice message. He must have been online still for shortly after I received a message back. It was him and he left a phone number. I called him that evening. The conversation lasted for 2 hours.  We discussed background, interests, family, and work.  It felt so good to engage and he made it so easy. I was comfortable to be honest. When we discussed past relationships is when a flag was raised. Wouldn’t you know this new guy I am sharing and conversing is Dre’?  WTF and what are the odds? There was some embarrassment for I had no idea. He later admitted that he thought it may have been me because of my NY accent. We had a hearty laugh for the conversation didn’t get inappropriate. I didn’t realize how cool he was. When I was first introduced to “the ex” it was more important for me to not make the evening at all feel awkward. I felt affirmed that Eugenio and I was in a great place for me to be introduced to Dre’. I understood how important Dre’ was for there was history there. I thought there was progress for us to be out on a double date of all things. Dre’ and I kept it friendly and talked maybe once a week.

Two months later, it happened, I got a call from Eugenio. I was so glad to hear from him for I did miss him, his company, and the convo. He sounds better and seemed to be in an improved headspace. We picked up right from where we left off. The contact resumed and strengthened. We began to email each other at work over the business mail server exchange throughout the day. One day, while at work, I mentioned that Dre’ and I ended up meeting in a most unconventional way. We maintained contact and never discussed dating. (Insert record scratch)  Oh, shit and ring the alarm! In his response, I got a seasoned email full of expletives of “Fuck You and Him! You niggas are not compatible! You both tops!  Are you that desperate to date my ex?!?” Ouch. I was at a loss for I wasn’t expecting that response. Even though his response was a bit over reactive and very disturbing, I understood his anger and the fear. The fear of knowing possibly two special men in his life potentially getting together could piss anyone the fuck off for that was outside of his control. Again, my mentioning the occurrence was my being casually honest. I tried to explain that Dre’ and I linking up wasn’t the case or happening but he wasn’t hearing it.  

Dre’ and I mutually thought it would be best if we don’t communicate at all. I deleted his number and there was no social media contact out of respect and love of this man that we both cared about. The situation was complicated and honestly there are no regrets. Love is sacrifice. In the grand scheme of things, I do believe that was the right thing to do. I have never reached out or thought about reaching out to Dre’ even after all of these years. 

Many guys aren’t respectful in that they don’t honor those types of relationships and boundaries. It’s all about gratification and seeking out what I want and what I can get. Aside from that, it’s even common for best friends now to once have “messed around” with each other early on. Actually, this testimonial is inspired from a conversation I had with one of my boys about the merits of true friendship. I recognize that friendship and special bonds are important to me. I recognize the special ones that are called friend are few and far between with me in this life.

About the Author
Juan-Carlos

Juan Carlos hails from the Bronx, NYC. Even though he has been in Atlanta for over ten years, he is still a New Yorker at heart. Juan is an avid reader, hip hop head and Marvel Comics enthusiast. His rich family roots are a Tri-Latin American Mix of Dominican, Puerto Rican & Brazilian. Always looking forward, Juan continues to be an ardent life learner.

   
Categorized as :
Dating & SexSlider

12 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. over-it
    over it | September 26th, 2015
    0

    Sooooo, this article was pretty good. I can relate to the slight awkwardness of getting to know, befriending, liking, or dating a friend/Ex of a friend/Ex. I have actually tried to hookup my bff with a dude I used to talk to. They still talk and occasionally date. Being 34, I'm kind of in a different place in life as it pertains to my emotions. I just don't give a f**k about certain things anymore. Men are animalistic by nature, and you can NOT control who people like or fall for. I'm all about seeing everyone happy, even if that means I stay single. Why fight for something/someone that isn't worthy of honor. Live and let live! To the max!

  2. T Money | September 26th, 2015
    0

    I don't know man. I might have to disagree. I feel like you should have explored the Dre situation. It's seems like Eugenio had some issues and needed to grow up. Who know's what kind of bond you and the Dre guy could have had. The universe might have just used Eugenio to bring you guys together. Eugenio clearly didn't have the same respect for you, f**kin guys on pool tables and doing what he wanted. By simple nature of being a small minority gay population, you will have some people crossing the same paths, I wouldnt limit yourself for anyone other than close friends.

  3. Juan-Carlos
    Juan Carlos | September 26th, 2015
    0

    over-itSooooo, this article was pretty good. I can relate to the slight awkwardness of getting to know, befriending, liking, or dating a friend/Ex of a friend/Ex. I have actually tried to hookup my bff with a dude I used to talk to. They still talk and occasionally date. Being 34, I'm kind of in a different place in life as it pertains to my emotions. I just don't give a f**k about certain things anymore. Men are animalistic by nature, and you can NOT control who people like or fall for. I'm all about seeing everyone happy, even if that means I stay single. Why fight for something/someone that isn't worthy of honor. Live and let live! To the max!

    Thanks for the feedback. I do also appreciate your candor for some guys can be very territorial in regards to space and people.

  4. Juan-Carlos
    Juan Carlos | September 26th, 2015
    0

    Comment Posted on Main SIteI don't know man. I might have to disagree. I feel like you should have explored the Dre situation. It's seems like Eugenio had some issues and needed to grow up. Who know's what kind of bond you and the Dre guy could have had. The universe might have just used Eugenio to bring you guys together. Eugenio clearly didn't have the same respect for you, f**kin guys on pool tables and doing what he wanted. By simple nature of being a small minority gay population, you will have some people crossing the same paths, I wouldnt limit yourself for anyone other than close friends.

    I do see your point. Maybe there were other unresolved issues and when real feelings are involved you're tethered even if you arent together. I forgave Eugenio's actions. Hurt people hurt people. There was a tremendous amount of remorse after. So, he did have a conscious and allowed himself permission to feel. He was vulnerable as much as I .It was certainly a learning experience and the take away was about forgiveness. My interactions are more controlled and there's a part of me being open to random serendipity. Fully being present in the moment for sure.

  5. African King | September 26th, 2015
    +1

    very nice read.

  6. jpo
    jpo | September 27th, 2015
    0
    Juan-Carlos

    it’s even common for best friends now to once have “messed around” with each other early on.

    When I moved to DC, I met a guy – we cruised each other on Metro – and we hooked up for a weekend. I'd only been in town two days. After a while we decided that we had more fun as friends and for ten years he was my BFF, until he passed. Along the way we were often tempted to get busy but it just made more sense to keep it cool. I still miss him, think of him often.

  7. Nick Delmacy
    Nick Delmacy | October 1st, 2015
    0

    So I'm just now reading this, very interesting. I think many guys go through this at some point. Especially since there are limited ways to meet men given the minuscule number of gay men available compared to heterosexuals.

    Most of my gay buddies have outright told me that their Exes and even their side friends are off limits. I thought that this was being selfish. When I asked why even their non-ex-boyfriend friends were off limits, they gave me long answers about it being awkward and all that, but I knew what they meant.
    They wanted to keep these guys in THEIR OWN back pockets for possibly dating in the future. :kermit:

    But I'm not mad at that. I've even done this myself.

    Plus, to be honest, who wants to have a group of friends who've all messed around with each other at some point? :scust:

    In these situations I guess you have to ask yourself if the friendship is worth losing for the SLIM possibility that his ex/friend might be a long term match. Most times the answer ends up being No. But if the friend is expendable, I say go for it.

  8. SB3
    SB3 | October 1st, 2015
    +1

    I respect the fact that u respected this Eugenio character enough to not go there w Dre, but it really sucks that he was too busy being on the defensive and lashing out at u to realize where he stood w u.

    Gay mofos love to create issues where there are none… #baglady

  9. jpo
    jpo | October 1st, 2015
    0
    Nick Delmacy

    But if the friend is expendable, I say go for it.

    I get your general ppint and its pretty clear when guys give off signs that certain folks are off limits, but I wonder whether a friend who you say is expendable is really a friend in the first place and if they are not and you think that they the field should be wide open. I mean you made the point that all too often the pool is small, so why restrict it further by throwing more folks into the deep end?

  10. Nick Delmacy
    Nick Delmacy | October 1st, 2015
    0

    jpoI get your general ppint and its pretty clear when guys give off signs that certain folks are off limits, but I wonder whether a friend who you say is expendable is really a friend in the first place and if they are not and you think that they the field should be wide open. I mean you made the point that all too often the pool is small, so why restrict it further by throwing more folks into the deep end?

    I think we may just differ on the terminology, some people hold way too much weight on the label "Friend." I have co-workers who I consider friends, childhood friends, friends from college, social media friends, etc… Many of these people I rarely ever see or interact with, but we still call each other "friend." Some of those relationships are TOTALLY expendable. Others, I wouldn't trade for anything…There's levels to this…

    Like @over-it said, I'm pretty open about letting friends date each other if they are more compatible than I am with them or if they are both in my friend zone. I think its selfish to think otherwise…but I get why many men feel that way…

  11. grownman
    grownman | February 21st, 2016
    0

    Damn, yes I remember this Juan-you did the damn thang!

  12. African King
    African King | February 21st, 2016
    0

    A very good read.




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