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.