I honestly have so much to update. It’s been a long long time since I’ve last posted anything. I was reading through old posts and realized how much I’d already forgotten about. I’m not even sure where to start.. but I wanted to update about Brian. I last wrote about Brian back in October of 2017, and I wrote about meeting him on June 24, 2017.
Shortly after my last post, I lost my patience with the lack of progress with Brian.. we’d slowly stopped holding hands.. he stopped wanting to kiss me. But he was still telling me exactly when I’d see him out again, what his plans were, where he was going.. never inviting me, but I always knew where he was. When he was out, he was with me the entire time or if he left my presence he would tell me why and where he was going, and the he’d be right back. And each night, he’d wait for me at the exit of the bar and walk me to my car where we’d talk for at least an hour sometimes two.
But he never asked me out. So I lost my patience. I made him “shit or get off the pot” so to speak. He told me he needed to think about it.
He thought about it, and decided to have the discussion one of the nights that I was roofied. So I don’t remember it. When I called him the next day to figure out if I’d come home alone (aka if he’d walked me to my car as normal), he told me we’d discussed it and decided to just be friends. He refused to elaborate. I don’t remember now which day it was but had to be back in Nov 2017-Feb 2018?
And things were just platonic, even though he kept doing the same behaviors. He didn’t cockblock me (that I caught on to anyway) and would give me space if he thought I was talking to someone I was interested in.
He told me all about the girls he was crushing on.
But he was still there with me at the bar the entire time, coming with me to talk to my friends and introduce me to his. He’d still wait outside the bar for me, walk me to my car, and talk for hours.
The only thing that changed was that I didn’t expect anything but friendship and I dated openly in front of him. Many times introducing him to people I was dating or having sex with. He never flinched or showed any signs of jealousy.. well until Spring 2019.. but we’ll get there.
I don’t remember exactly what date it happened.. but we were all hanging out (me, him, and his good friend Jim) and talking. He and Jim got up for something.. I can’t remember what, but he came back to the table nearly immediately after leaving it, and handed me his phone.. opened to a Wikipedia article about his fetish.
It was completely off topic from anything we’d talked about that night. Unfortunately, the bar was loud. And I can’t really read or process what I read while music is on. I need silence. Plus my brain was going 500 miles per hour trying to figure out why I needed to know about his fetish.
He came back and wanted to know what I thought about it. I barely read it, and I was just about overwhelmed to the point of a panic attack with the reading and sudden out of the blue question.. that I stumbled through a .. Umm.. ok. (It’s a really benign fetish btw, and relatively normal.. even though he doesn’t think so).
But that planted the seed of seeing him as a sexual being again. I really tried to fight it, and managed to push it down for a good 6 months or so.. but I get ahead of myself.
Feb 2019: I meet Devon. He’s an adorable man with just enough issues that I felt drawn to him. Moth to Flame. 🙂 As I do. He only wanted to be FWB. And we got pretty close as friends, until I started to get needy and he pulled away.
About two weeks after meeting Devon, I showed up at the bar and hung out with Brian and Jim for a few minutes before I exited to go back to Devon’s. I was breaking Brian & my traditional hangout to do so, but Devon was suicidal so I felt I had to. That was the first time I saw something bordering on jealousy on Brian’s face. I reminded myself that Brian just wanted to be friends.
A couple weeks later, Jim invited me to go camping with him and Brian at a Renfaire. Brian looked hesitant.. like he wasn’t sure he wanted me to come.. but Jim insisted. At this time, I had a little crush on Jim. Jim is hella cute and adorable in a non-neuro-typical kind of way. He’s constantly full of anxiety and very much likes rigidity, rules, plans, and keeping to them. So I agreed to go camping even though I knew I was going to hate it.. because empty tents, drinking, and cute men sounded pretty fun.. plus getting to spend more time with Jim? Yes please.
Devon started pulling away about a week after that. We still got together a few times, but Brian’s stability had spoiled me and I noticed how much Devon would just disappear any time I showed signs of needing any kind of comfort or need to chat. I was there for him.. but I noticed he was never there for me. That helped me walk away.. but it wasn’t easy. (I have issues. Shutup)
I had come to the realization that Devon wasn’t ever going to be there for me. I don’t know if he just didn’t want to, or if he just couldn’t emotionally be there and support anyone else.. but I was going through some stuff with healing from my abusive ex and stuff that happened as a kid.. that the platonic cuddle time with Devon was really helping to heal.
Anyway, I’d come to the realization that I really needed cuddle time to ease my anxiety as well as realize that I wasn’t going to be able to rely on Devon for it. .. the weekend BEFORE the Renfaire camping weekend.
So I was a mess before I even got to the Renfaire. Plus it was somewhere new. I didn’t know where I was going. I got there in a bundle of anxiety and nerves.. which thankfully Brian understands and manages me well.
I didn’t know it, but Jim wasn’t going to be around that night. He would be there the next night, but the first night camping was just me and Brian.
At the Renfaire:
Brian helped me set up my tent, and we made supper together. We function well together in a comfortable “old married couple” way. I know that sounds super unsexy.. but I love the way we are together. The whole time I thought to myself.. “I really wish he was into me, because this would be perfect.”
His way of being considerate and helpful.. it’s everything I was missing with my ex. He doesn’t whine or complain or act inconvenienced (and if he feels it, he will state so in such a way that isn’t manipulative or offensive, but setting boundaries).
After supper, he insisted that he show me around the camp and try to find a party. He stuffed his pockets full of beer, and I filled a thermos full of vodka… and we walked. And walked. And walked.
I finished one thermos and made him walk me back to camp for a refill.
I should not be allowed to drink outside of a bar. Every time I do something like this I get SUPER ASSED DRUNK. Which I did.
And with the anxiety of the new place, some unresolved issues with camping that I was previously unaware of (seriously I need to see a therapist for it), and the lack of cuddling from Devon.. and needing to get Devon off my mind..
I have very fuzzy memories of having had a drunken breakdown and begging Brian to share my tent and cuddle me. Which he somehow agreed to do.
We’d not done anything more than the brief friend hug in years.. all his choice btw…
But he laid next to me, and held me. I remember holding him close all night, and holding hands.. I remember I didn’t even need to seek out his hand.. just briefly brush mine near his, and he’d open his hand to grab mine.. fingers intertwined.
I really wanted to do more.. but I didn’t want to ruin our friendship. Brian isn’t the casual sex kind of guy. He’s really only had a couple partners, and since my understanding was that he wasn’t really interested.. I did my best to keep my emotions in check. It’s probably one of the most cherished memories I have.
But I wigged out when I sobered up the next morning. I was terrified that I’d screwed up our friendship.. and I freaked out on him.. apologizing for manipulating him into my bed..
I know I hurt him with my freakout.. but I couldn’t stop myself. I was also mortified because I had a crush on Jim and Brian being in my bed was surely going to fuck that one up for good.
Brian, Jim, and I had a really great day despite how it started.. and they both made me feel like one of the group and important. It’d been a long assed time since I’d had that.. I’m not sure I really ever had that before. They both were SOOOO considerate.
After Faire, we went back to camp. Changed into real clothes and went looking for parties like we did the night before. Only this time, Brian was less attentive to me and seemed on the prowl. Jim was tired and went back to camp early to sleep. I never really got a chance to just hang with him that night like I’d wanted. And watching Brian try to pick up girls.. was not something I could really “join in” on.
So I went back to camp to sleep. Turns out.. me alone in a tent is some kind of trigger for me. FOMO is super real as well as being terrified irrationally. I almost had another break down like the night before.
Brian that night.. got drunk.. and had a one night stand. I’d never really seen him with another woman nor had he ever had sex with anyone the entire time I knew him. The shock nearly devastated me, but reinforced that he wasn’t interested in me.
Jim was the one that told me about it. Unfortunately, my poker face isn’t what it should be.. and Jim saw the flash of hurt on my face. He waited around for me to get ready, even though I know it wasn’t easy for him.. he likes to be at the Faire at an exact time and I was going to make him late. But he waited.
Jim and I spent the morning together. Talked. Joked around. Laughed. And I could tell he was doing his best to make certain I had fun. I loved him for that. Plus I still had that crush on him.
Brian joined us just after we’d finished lunch. He looked like he’d been run over with a truck, and he wanted to talk to me about his encounter the night before.. but I couldn’t let him talk.. I didn’t want to hear about his sexy night with a woman that wasn’t me. I started to imagine that that’s why he didn’t want me to come.. because he liked having flings at Faires and didn’t want me to find out.
(He doesn’t do casual ever, I found out later. This was a one-off. And the reason he wanted to talk to me was that it wasn’t entirely consensual – her forcing him not the other way around – and since he’s had such little one night stand experience.. he wasn’t sure how to process it. Jim is not someone you can talk to about these things.. so he wanted to talk to me, but I was so wrapped up in my own hurt about it that I couldn’t listen… I mean.. I’d been fully willing to be FWB with him for about 2 years, and he didn’t want to fuck me.. but some stranger? Sure. I just couldn’t listen. I listened about a week later once I’d calmed down, and then I felt like shit for being a shitty friend.)
After that, I started messaging Jim more. Invited him out a couple times, in which he insisted Brian join us (I found out later).
Then there was Jim’s birthday party, which Jim insisted I come. I arrive. He’s saved a seat right next to him for me. I attempt to flirt. I have no idea if any of it lands. Jim introduces me to all his friends.. they’re all women. I know from previous conversations that some of them are gay, but a few I know aren’t. Jim sits next to me the entire time, except once gets up (excuses himself saying he needs to talk to a couple of the girls that came.. telling me who they are to him and that he’ll be right back).
He returns.. I attempt to flirt again. I’m cautious because I don’t know what the situation is with Brian and Jim, so I’m just trying to feel Jim out if he’s interested before I ask Brian if it’s ok.
Brian shows up.. sits next to me. We talk a bit. But then it’s time to go.
Jim is pretty drunk, and I have to walk by Jim to get out from the table.. and Jim being chivalrous is waiting for me to walk by before he goes. As I squeeze by Jim.. I feel his hand reach for mine. Stunned I stop for a second. We hold hands. And then Brian calls for me to get going. So we start to walk out.
As we’re leaving, Jim is unsteady after he hugs me.. so I try to steady him.. and he wraps one arm around me and holds me tight. Tighter than he actually needs to in order to stay upright. Tight like he doesn’t want to let me go. He’s drunk so I’m not sure if I’m misreading it or not.
He seems happy to message me the next day. So I think there was something there? But then he goes radio silent.
I still don’t know exactly what happened there.. but Jim has all but stopped talking to me unless it’s through Brian. And I’m not going to deal with that kind of bs.. so crush is over.
It’s now end of May.. and I start to wonder if Brian maybe told Jim I was off limits. The overshare of his fetish. Our night of cuddling.. it all starts wearing on me.
Then Brian starts acting differently.. or maybe I’m acting differently so he’s acting differently? I don’t know.
Brian sat with me a couple times after the bar, when we’d talk for our typical hour.. and would mumble something about “not wanting to ruin our friendship” but I never heard anything more than that.. except once when he said he really liked our friendship. That’s the most emotional he’s ever been about me.
Brian warned me that he was going to be out of town most of July, and I was out of town the last week of June. We’d never spent that much time apart in 2 years.
Brian during this time started acting more aloof. I assumed maybe he’d found someone and wasn’t sure how to tell me. I couldn’t figure out why else he’d be acting distant.
Nights when he was supposed to be “free” to come out, he’d forget to text me until way late at night and tell me he wasn’t feeling well and didn’t come out.
I saw him about 3 nights in July. I usually see him at least 8.
When we did catch up and talk.. normally he’d ask me about men that I’d mention… I even started dating someone (because I realized how reliant I was on Brian, and since Brian just wanted to be friends.. I wanted to find someone else) but when I told Brian about it.. he didn’t even ask who it was, or why we broke up.
Jim however had all the questions.. but Brian didn’t seem to want to know.
Brian then called me out of the blue to ask me out to dinner.. spontaneously.. unfortunately it was bad timing and I couldn’t go. He called me to talk a couple other times as well. He also initiated a few text conversations during July.. all things he’s never done before.
One of the three nights that I saw Brian in July, he had a conference call on one of the nights we usually meet up at the bar, and he wasn’t going to be able to make it. So I offered to drop by instead with his favorite beer. He hesitated and then acquiesced when I said it wasn’t a hardship.
We sat together that night.. in his loveseat.. watching TV and he started to dose off.. I offered to leave, but he’d wake up and insist we continue to talk. He did not want me to go. We napped a little, and there was a moment.. where I thought he might kiss me.. my heart leaped in my chest and shocked me a little. But he didn’t. We just sat/laid there together.
Brian gets drunk: August 2019
Out of the blue.. with no warning.. Brian ubers to the bar and doesn’t tell me until I get there (he normally drives and drinks really responsibly). He’s decided to get drunk. I’d actually been teasing him about how I needed to see him drunk one of these days.. I just didn’t expect it to happen.
Brian drunk is a slightly more lively less reserved version of actual Brian. Slightly. But he’s much more talkative and less filter.
I was not prepared for the less filter.
Everything was fine until we got to my car. He wanted to sit there and talk before I drove him home.. so I was essentially prisoner for what came next.
He told me that he had a hard time controlling himself. That with my short shorts, and my legs slightly parted (I’m sitting in the drivers seat of my car), that he was having a hard time resisting finding out what’s between my legs. I honestly had no idea he had any kind of physical desire for me.. so I kinda sat there dazed for a bit.
Then he told me about all the women he also has troubling thoughts like that about.
Then told me all the reasons why he doesn’t want to date me. All of which are stupid and sound like excuses.
I really didn’t hear much after that. I was torn between the “I’m attracted to you” and the “I don’t want to date you”.. and trying to process it.
Plus the downpour of reasons why we weren’t dating.. hit me like my abusive ex would do whenever he’d unload..
I drove him to his place and he invited me in to use the toilet.. I had to go bad so I went in.
We sat on his bed for about a half hour with his huge Great Dane between us, focusing on the dog. Once again, he didn’t seem to want me to leave.
He went to the restroom again, and then came back out and laid on the bed sideways, facing the end where I was resting with the dog..
I was starting to doze off.. and woke a little as I felt like eyes were on me.. I looked up at him.. and his expression..
He was just there watching me. The look on his face took my breath away. It was that look of adoration mixed with attraction.. and.. I remembered the promise I’d made years ago now.. that no matter what happened.. that I would consider it friends unless he told me otherwise.. and he’d just given me a TED talk about how I was undateable..
And I felt a knife in my heart. I knew at that moment.. that I was in love with him. Head over heels. Done for. In love with him. And that casual sex with him.. where I’d have to pretend it was just friends after.. would kill me.
So I gathered what dignity I had.. and left.
I really tried to get my heart back to being just friends.. I tail-spinned. Between being triggered with his download of all my negative traits at once.. and my realization that I was madly in love with him… My newest girl friend told me that she didn’t think he was good for me.. and since I have a shit-all history with men.. I tried to pull away from him.. to try to end our friendship..
But the thought of not having him in my life at all.. lets just say I’ve not had that much of a suicidal desire since I struggled with God in college. Nor had I gone on such a sexual bender in at least a year. You know.. best way to get over someone is to get under someone else. It didn’t work btw.
Like it or not, Brian will be a part of my life.. like air.. until I either find someone to date or he does.. and we’ll probably be friends even then for a while.. until gravity parts us.
I don’t know that I’ve ever loved anyone like this.
About 2 weeks later, Brian and I actually go out and have dinner. I’d picked up some breakfast bars he liked at Costco, and we had dinner in order to meet and get them to him. (Seriously, have I mentioned the old married couple that we are?)
I tell him that I’d been struggling since the night he got drunk.. I manage to squeeze out that he’d triggered me like my ex.. but I can’t say more because things are still to raw and I just about burst into tears saying that much.
He asks if he needs to worry about our friendship. I assure him that our friendship is fine.. there’s just some “rules/boundaries” I need to talk to him about.. but that I’m not ready yet. He relaxes and gives me space.
Over the next few weeks, we start to get back to where we were. Platonic friends. The ease of talking comes back. We relax again with each other.
My newest girl friend has her BFF show up at the bar, and Brian is all into her. I am jealous but trying not to show it. He agrees to go out to the after-party after (He doesn’t usually), he brings snacks that he thinks I’ll like.. seriously gets disappointed that one of them I can’t eat, because he intentionally bought it thinking I’d like it.. super sweet.. then stayed at the party after I bowed out ( he’s never done that before) and I am seething with jealousy.
So I decide it’s time to grow some balls and have the talk with him that I needed to do.
I get drunk, Oct 2019:
I’ve decided to talk to Brian. I also decide it’s best to get drunk in order to do so. I achieve my drunk goal, and my newest girl friend wants to check out his truck, so we all pile in his truck.
She leaves shortly after, and Brian and I sit and I try to find the words to talk to him.
Somehow we end up holding hands. I thought maybe I did it.. but he seemed upset whenever I’d move my hand to reposition myself or motion.. so sometimes I’d hold his hand with my left hand.. and sometimes with my right. So we were constantly holding hands.
I told him that our friendship was the most important to me and I didn’t want to fuck it up. But I needed to take back my promise that I’d always interpret things as just friends.
His first response was: “Can we still go out to dinner together sometimes?”
I honestly don’t know what he thought I was trying to say, but I assured him we could do all the platonic things.. but I needed to be able to ask him if I felt things were heading somewhere else, and that I couldn’t sleep with him without us being in a relationship/dating.
It was a very emotional conversation. He didn’t say anything about not wanting to date me or wanting to date me for that matter.
He also didn’t remember giving a TED talk when he was drunk about me not being dateable.. he thought he talked about how he felt he was undateable.
I gave him guidelines.. that if he didn’t want to date me.. to make sure to tell me all about every girl he was attracted to. That I needed him to do it if he wasn’t interested in me. If he was interested in me.. he didn’t need to divulge that if he didn’t want to.
We ended our talk. Holding hands.. my head on his shoulder. His head pressed down on my mine as if to hug/snuggle. And my other arm caressing his neck, gently holding him there.
The Aftermath of my Drunken Talk:
He was distant for the next couple weeks after. He actually didn’t respond to me for two days after our talk in his truck, until I finally just point blank asked him if he was still alive and ok. He simply responded “Yes”. I’m not going to lie I cried for a couple hours before I finally just texted him asking if we were still friends. He replied saying that we were fine and he was going through some stuff unrelated to our conversation.. I’m not sure how much of that I believe, but I gave him time.
The next night he was out, some girls were dressed up in sexy costumes, and he made a point to point them out to me. I did my best to not show the pain of his signal that he didn’t want to date me.
The next night, I talk him into going out to eat with me after the bar. He never wants to join me in this so it’s a rarity. The waitress asks if it’s one check or two.. He hesitates and asks me to decide. (I have no idea wtf). So I say two. I should have asked him about it, but I didn’t.
During these couple of weeks, he’s distant. I text him my normal fun memes that are just silly ways to say “Hope you’re having a great day” or “I’m thinking of you”. But he wouldn’t respond.
We start to get back into our normal platonic friends groove.. but there’s little things that seem different.
Like I was talking to some friends I’d not seen in ages, and he offered to go refill my drink for me while I talked. He’s not done that in almost 6 months at this point. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, but maybe he’s just trying to be friends.
He tries to be friends with my newest girl friend, and I know neither he or she are into each other.. but I am jealous. I cannot tell you how insanely jealous I was that he was even speaking to her. I wasn’t worried they’d end up together.. I just didn’t like not being the center of his attention. Can you say insecurity??
It’s not a good look on me really. Really not a good look.. and I did my best to hide it. I’m not entirely sure I was successful.
It’s been a couple weeks since then.. we’ve gotten back into our normal groove.. platonic groove..
I’m unsure if I should be telling him about my crushes again.. or … because he’s not mentioned another girl to me in weeks.
I do tell him all about the men that hit on me that I don’t like though. Because the stories are hilarious.
He finds out he’s hosting (his dog walker talks him into it) a NYE party again this year (it’s her birthday), and he awkwardly invites me. It was weird and cute, and I wanted to kiss him. But I didn’t because we’re just friends… I’m totally going though. Wild Horses and all.
So now we’re up to this last weekend…
He had another Saturday night conference call..
This time I don’t ask if he wants me to come over.
I’d stopped texting him memes about two weeks ago so as not to pressure him. He texted me once earlier this week about how work has been busy so he’s not had time to respond or text me. Then texts me two days later to tell me he has his conference call on Saturday night and it will probably go to 2am (normally he tells me about his conference calls on Friday nights when we meet up, so this was unusual and seemed to show that he was disappointed at not being able to go out.. and that he thought immediately on finding out about it to tell me.. in other words… I inferred that he was upset that he wouldn’t be able to see me on Saturday)
So Saturday night.. the call actually goes long.. sometimes they don’t.. but I texted him at 1am and he was still on the call.
So I replied.. “If you’re still on the call at 2am, I’ll come over and bring you some beer.” I didn’t ask if he wanted me to.. I just said “I’m coming over”.
He replied “Thanks” – which is the most invitation he’s ever given me to come over.
So I run home.. change into walking gear (in case he wants to walk the dog) and grab some beers from my fridge.. and head over.
And this is where things.. well where I start to wonder if he’s interested in more but scared to cross a line if I don’t want to. I notice he gives me options.
He cleans off his single recliner, as well as the entire loveseat (where he usually sits) giving me a clear option of either seat.
I sit in the loveseat. He sits next to me.
His loveseat is big enough that I don’t “need” to touch him if I don’t want to.. but I want to see if this is actually heading somewhere.. so I push the envelope a bit.. and his dog is on the other side of him.. so I reach over to pet the dog.. the dog is not making this easy.. and then let my hand rest on his thigh next to me.. as if my hand just naturally dropped there.
I get cold and he scours the house for a throw blanket for me.. comes back with one.. I snuggle up in it, with my arms outside of it. I don’t share it with him at this point because he’s not cold. I put my hand back on his thigh.. again.. as if it just naturally rests there. He doesn’t complain or indicate that he’s noticed.
After a bit, I offer to share the blanket.. he accepts.. and my hand is now under the blanket.. on his thigh.. and since there’s no real reason to keep it there now that it’s under the blanket.. I relax my muscles and just let my hand naturally start to slide off his thigh.
Suddenly his hand on top of the blanket catches my pinky and stops my hand from moving off his thigh. I swear my breath caught for a second. My heart leaped.. but I reminded myself.. we’re just friends.. he probably doesn’t even realize he’s holding my pinky.
He holds it like that for a bit.. and I try wiggling my pinky a little.. like I’m just adjusting my arm. He doesn’t let go.
Next thing I know, his arm is under the blanket, and his hand is holding my pinky. I realize this has to be intentional.
I wiggle my fingers, and he releases his grip a little.. then grabs the 3 smallest fingers.. increasing his hold on my hand. I really know it’s intentional now.
Not once during this do we actually look at at each other. My heart is beating out of my chest I swear.
So I move my hand.. palm up.. and place it under his.. our fingers entwine, and he squeezes my hand.
I relax and start to doze off.. he does too.
Pretty soon.. I feel him gently squeezing my hand.. I return the squeeze.. he squeezes it harder and tells me it’s late.
He asks me if the plan is to crash here or head home. I don’t know how to answer, so I say I’m fine with either. I’m half asleep.
He mumbles something about something.. I don’t know exactly what he said.. but I got the idea that I should go home.
We both go to the bathroom (he uses the master, and I the guest) and then meet up in the hallway to say goodnight. We hug as normal.. maybe a little longer than normal.. and he walks me to the door.
I’m really trying not to read more into this than there may be. I mean.. maybe it’s just a friendly holding of hands.. But I haven’t stopped smiling.