I am 39 years young. In those 39 years I have always been a rule follower. Growing up I always did the sensible thing, I was always where I told my parents I would be, and I never missed curfew. Well except for the one time when my best friend and I drove my mom’s convertible camaro downtown for some fraternity convention and picked up a couple of guys that “made us late for our curfew”. I remember dropping my friend off at her house very early in the morning and peeling out of the driveway because I didn’t want to confront her mom who was waiting on the steps for her…ummm, us. I felt bad letting my friend take the heat for that, but I soon forgot about the heat she was taking when I got home to both of my parents angrily awaiting my arrival.
Nowadays (does that word make me sound old, or what?) my life doesn’t really include a lot of adventure. I am a single mom raising two boys struggling to find the guy I want to spend the rest of my life with, I don’t have time for anything else.
In the five years since I’ve been divorced I’ve noticed a pattern among the men I have found myself attracted to: emotionally unavailable!
They are either in love with someone who isn’t in love with them, newly divorced and just want to sow their wild oats, or “not in a good place in their lives.” Quite frankly, I’m sick to death of this pattern. I often ask myself, why these men are the men that I am attracted to? Why can’t I find the guy that actually wants to be married and find someone to share his life with? Does that man even exist? Or maybe, just maybe, I am attracted to these men who can’t commit because it will make me feel better in the long run when a relationship doesn’t work out. Or maybe I am attracted to commitment phobes because I myself am a possible commitment phobe and just don’t know it yet? Hmmmm….
My problem is, more often than not, I get stuck in the friendship zone while waiting for these guys to grow up and figure out what they want in life. I eventually become the fist popping girl that they can count on at the last minute to fill the void in their evenings. I’m the one they call to go see a movie with when they don’t want to go alone, or the girl that likes to have a few drinks, listen to live music and not expect anything at the end of the evening. In the back of my mind I am “waiting out” their life phases, in the back of their minds, we are creating great friendships. But if I were being honest with you, without sounding like a complete b*&%$, I would tell you that I really don’t have time for phone buddies, text relationships, and pen pals. I barely have enough time in my life to nurture my true friendships and raise my kids.
But what is a girl to do?
I may not know what I am supposed to do, but I can tell you what I am going to do…
I’m going to take a stand! And by “take a stand” I mean take action…so last night I gave myself a little pep talk and decided to try and accomplish #71 on my “101 things to do in 1001 days”(yeah for me, $10 more into the “bucket jar”).
Goal #71: Ask a cute boy on a date
I bought concert tickets to one of my favorite bands this summer and I casually said to a friend of mine, “you should go with me.” And he flat out rejected me by saying he couldn’t commit to it right now because the next three months of his life were very busy. He doesn’t have a lot of free time, and what free time he has is usually unexpected and last minute. I was floored! I can’t believe someone can’t find 2 hours in their schedule three months down the road…In fact, I often think in situations like this, if he really wanted to go with me, he would find a way to make it happen.” If the roles were reversed and I really wanted to go to this concert with him, I would make it happen. And it’s these thoughts that I usually fester on and let chip away at the self esteem I have so desperately tried to work on.
Bottom line…you live and learn. What have I learned, you might ask?
1. I have learned that I will never ever ask a cute boy out on a date again.
2. I have learned that great friendships are two sided, both parties must give and take equally.
3. I have learned that if a friendship becomes lopsided, it may not be a true friendship and usually only ends up fulfilling the needs of one of the parties involved.
4. I have learned that true friendships involve more than just text conversations, emails, and phone calls.
5. I have learned that it is virtually impossible to create good “friendships” with people of the opposite sex.
And there you have it! That’s how Julie C’s it!