I’m sorry, Miss Jackson. I am for real

Dear Beautiful,

I am writing you this letter because I need to voice my thoughts. I need to get them out of my head. I wish I was saying this to you rather than writing it, and who knows if you’ll be receptive to reading it, but I hope this helps me find balance.

First and foremost, I miss my friend. I truly enjoyed your company and I hope you enjoyed mine.

Irony seems to be the theme of my thoughts. I confess I hate texting as the primary mechanism to get to know you, although this letter is going to run into the exact same problem. I hate this because my personality is neither truncated nor black and white, and I’m sure yours isn’t either. But you interpret my tone with your personality, and I interpret yours with mine, and neither of us really learns who the other is. Miscommunication sucks.

I told everyone that I asked you out on a whim, which isn’t entirely true. I’ve had a baby crush on you since we met, and I’d thought about asking you out for a while. I never thought I’d actually do it though, and that was the whim. I basically dared myself to ask you out. You already know you’re the first woman in nine years to say yes, but you’re also the first woman in five years that I’ve actually truly chased. I can count on one hand the number of women who have captured my attention. After you said yes, my priority this summer became getting to know you and building up our friendship.

I admit that I’m a bit rusty when it comes to flirting with a woman and trying to capture her attention. Not only did I rarely chase any women, I really didn’t even try. I was completely oblivious to women’s attempts to flirt with me, and I didn’t attempt to improve my interactions with them.  My actions have portrayed me as a needy, clingy dude and that’s not who I am. I realize the irony of insisting we meet today and then writing this letter to explain that’s not who I am, but I’m really not. I’ve had one girlfriend my whole life, and she lived in Portland while I was here. We dated for four months, which translates to roughly two weeks of actual relationship. That was when I was 21, and I naively thought relationships would continue to materialize as I got older. I just never really learned how to talk to women. Which is kind of embarrassing at my age, but it is what it is.

When you’ve been single without prospects as long as I have, you learn how to be independent, how to be happy and content alone. When you’ve avoided pursuing relationships like I have, you lose touch with how to play the game. But thanks to friends in relationships, friends who constantly sleep around, well-meaning friends who continually ask why you’re not involved… in the back of your mind there’s always the thought that to be in a relationship, you have to change. I got a little enthusiastic, to say the least.

I began to feel things that I hadn’t felt in a long time. I’d been good all by myself for so long that I didn’t know how to express what I felt, or even understand. You got me flustered, and I don’t do that.

I think we could become really good friends. I’ve got this romanticized idea of dating my best friend that I’ve always dreamed would come true. I want to be the friend you turn to when you need to brag about your son, or your day, or anything you’re proud of. I want to be the guy you turn to when things are in the dumps, when nothing’s going right, when you just need a shoulder to lean on. There’s an old ‘90s R&B song in which the singer croons, “I’d like to know what makes you cry, so I can be the one who always makes you smile.” I want to be the one to make you smile your gorgeous smile, the one that is the definition of ear-to-ear. Your eyes light up so bright and it makes me just want to melt, and I’d do anything to see it aimed at me again.

I just get really excited when I find something I like. You remember the movie Tommy Boy? You should google the clip, “I killed my sale.” That effectively sums up me and a girl I’m interested in.

It’s frustrating to me because I know better, but yet I somehow insist on doing things that I know don’t help. I don’t understand why I do them. For instance, I know how independent you are, yet I continually texted you constantly. I don’t text anyone, let alone everyday. I almost never use those emoticons, because I’m old enough to know better. Yet, here I was, I guess, trying to inject color and emotions into an isolated arena. I hate texts because they’re short, concise, black-and-white. There’s no emotion, and I hate that. Especially when trying to get to know someone’s personality. I have two laughs, a full-on chuckle and a polite chuckle that I use when I think something’s stupid. They sound exactly the same and differ only in length. But in a text message, I convey both by merely writing “haha”. You’d never know which one I meant.

Another ironic aspect is I’ve seen how it looks from your point of view. While I was irritated with myself for my constant attempts at contact, I’ve recently been the recipient of the same scenario. While I enjoy talking with that person, it does get to be a bit much. I’m sorry for losing my mind and being that person in your story.

The other thing that drove me nuts about texting is that while we texted often, we didn’t say anything. I still don’t know a lot of what I want to about you, and I didn’t get to share with you who I am. I’m really a quiet and reserved person, but when I talk, I talk a lot. I want to be able to tell you anything and everything, and I want you to feel completely and unabashedly relaxed around me.

I know you were busy, but I was busy too. Our timing is off. We didn’t have a lot of time together, and I wanted to make the most of it. Perhaps you did too, I don’t know. But it was frustrating to me because every time I suggested we get together, it was met with “later” or no response at all. I tested you, because I would suggest something and then wait hours before restarting the conversation. You’d respond to the new topic, and that would be disappointing to me.

I’m a good dog, beautiful. I’ll chase you if I think I have a chance to catch you. But if not, I’m more than content to sit here on the porch and watch you walk away.

I’ve played the dumb guy once, I’ve played the dumb guy twice, I’ve played the dumb guy more times than I care to admit. I’ve told myself what I wanted to hear too many times when it comes to women. The problem with reading between the lines is that you start seeing things that aren’t there, but I refuse to be devastated again. I’m not letting you in that close this quick, I’m not making that mistake again. I’m not dumb enough to believe that I am the only guy vying for your attention, but I thought we were off to a good start.

I felt like we got along really well, which is the most disappointing part. It would be different if we didn’t, but I had a great time when we did hang out. I never felt awkward or uncomfortable. I thought our conversation was delicious and I was looking forward to continuing our exchanges.

Our timing is off, I know this. Pursuing a long-distance relationship is hard.  I knew leaving for my last year of school was and is a hurdle. I know the uncertainty and mystery of my post-graduation future is an obstacle as well. I don’t know where I will end up in the next 9 months, and I understand the hesitation this leads to. I can’t promise you with anything with certainty, other than I would put your well-being and stability first.

This letter isn’t putting you on blast. I’m just trying to clear my head. I’m pretty big on being discrete. It’s a blessing and a curse, truth be told. But while people know I finally asked out a beautiful woman, I only told a handful of them your name. I was so excited and proud of you, but I only trusted a few friends to not meddle. Only one of selected few actually knows who you are. I trust her with everything.

I smile a lot when I talk about you, I smile a lot when I think about you. It’s been hard not contacting you lately, but I really needed to take this step back. My word wasn’t good, and that needed to be corrected. At the end of the day, I’m only as good as my word.  I promised you the best of me, and instead of that I’m not even sure what it was you ended up getting. You needed a break from me. I just want to make you smile, regardless of whether our friendship progresses to a relationship or remains a beautiful friendship.

I just have no idea where I stand in your mind. I hate playing games, I hate miscommunication. If we’re good, let me know. If we’re not, let me know. I just want us to be on the same page.

Even if everything goes wrong and we start to fall apart, I will understand where you are. I’ll be disappointed that this is the way our story unfolds, but I understand. You have to do what is best for you, regardless of what I or anyone else wants for you.

I want to be your best friend, and I want you to be mine. I think a lot of times people forget that the best relationships are built off the foundations of the best friendships. This is what I truly want to build. It’s kind of crazy, when you think about the circumstances that led us to even just meeting. All the different scenarios that had to play out just so in order for us to even begin interacting is absurd. I’m glad they played out this way, but I don’t want the past few weeks to be the last chapter in our friendship.

It’s taken me a couple weeks to write this down. I’ve added thoughts, re-worded phrases, took out a few things and I’ve just tried to communicate how I feel. But the bottom line is this:

I miss my friend.

I wonder if you’ll ever see this. I hope I didn’t scare you off.




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