All my girlfriends told me not to try – why bother remaining friends with a boy who doesn’t want to date me? I needed to respect myself, and cut off all contact. I didn’t need that kind of bullshit in my life: a guy saying “let’s just be friends” is unworthy of my attention.
Several of my guy friends scoffed at the idea of successfully being friends with a guy I’d previously been involved with and almost had feelings for. They just didn’t believe it was possible, and really, what kind of upside was I hoping for to make the downside worthwhile?
I couldn’t explain it without sounding like a crazy hippie. An intuition, almost a conviction, that my interactions with Beaut hadn’t reached their natural conclusion. The dating chapter might be over and done with, but other chapters needed exploring. I’m a firmly believer in the karmic mantra that every person comes into one’s life for a reason, some short, others long; to mess with Fate’s intentions regarding each person is to cut oneself off of lessons, opportunities and life. I did not feel I maxed out Beaut‘s impact on my life.
Here’s a short list of the role Beaut has played thus far:
- As the first and only guy to stay in the picture for more than 3 weeks since I broke up with my ex 6 years ago, he has shown me I really am ready to date again. Vulnerability is excruciating, but I am willing to risk it. I’ve enjoyed battling through my insecurities to try be in the moment and get to know him. Every time I’ve pushed through a barrier imposed by my mind, I’ve found freedom on the other side. Freedom to be myself.
- He has also shown me that I can be my very quirky, bizarre self, and still be enjoyed by the male species. My quirks are not things to be ashamed of, but weaknesses I am working on, and part of what makes me unique and endearing. He has seen me almost paralyzed by insecurity, waiting for me to put into words wtv it was that was scaring me, and once spoken aloud, he patiently addressed it. Then we’d both move on. Who would have thought that kind, clear communication could make all the difference?
- In a short period of time, as I’ve gotten to know him, I’ve gotten to know his own insecurities and baggage. It was a relief knowing I am not the only 30 year old sorting through stupid shit in my brain.
- I learned that I could handle the sting of rejection. Even just a few months ago, that would have been unthinkable, something to be avoided at all costs. I am stronger than I think. Also, I learned that the fear of rejection is much worse than the rejection itself, or at least it was in Beaut’s case.
Ok, so that is all nice and dandy, but none of that justifies a continued interaction with him. Except:
- He makes me laugh;
- His world view causes me to question my own, and puts into perspective my privileged white life, and views on parenthood, religion, marriage, racism and a plethora of other topics. Talking to him expands my horizons;
- He inspires me with his thirst to find meaning and purpose in his life;
- He listens to my ramblings about my insecurities or struggles in life. I have yet to ever feel judged, and more often than not, I feel understood – slightly surprising considering our dramatically different upbringings and lives thus far. He shares his own musings about the obstacles in his path to happiness, which in turn, causes me to consider my own from different angles;
- He challenges me to be a better writer – he has read my disastrous first attempt at a short story, and is rather naggy in his conviction that I need to try my hand at a novel. He regularly proposes ideas to me, and is a little sad when I don’t light up in excitement at them;
- He likes trying new things, and he likes trying them with me.
Beaut drove me to the airport yesterday morning, at 4am, to catch my earlybird flight to San Diego for work. I didn’t ask him. He didn’t offer – if he had, I would have refused, because I wouldn’t be comfortable with him waking up at 3:00-3:15am just to pick me up and give me a lift to the airport. Instead, he told me this was what he would do, and could I please stop coming up with complicated nonsensical reasons why he shouldn’t spend his time the way he liked? He wanted to do this. Nothing more needed to be said.
So there you go. That is the next Beaut chapter: true friends. Worth sticking around for.