When I was nineteen I had a friend named Adam. We worked together at the same mine and we spent every break and evening together. He had a crush on me, and I knew it but it was one of those situations where neither of us brought it up. I would go to him with guy problems (not being most sensitive person around) and we would smoke cigarettes (his) and discuss love and life and how much we thought we knew about the world but obviously didn't. He was older, 24 and was one of the sweetest guys I'd ever met. He was smart and non judgemental and worldly. Of course I was interested in the tattooed biker who was playing every girl within 50 metres. Not much has changed sadly as I'm still chasing those boys.
At the end of the summer he took me aside and with a shaking voice told me he had fallen in love with me. I was surprised. I had known he had feelings for me but not to that extent. I'd never even had a guy profess feelings towards me before that point. It was weird. He told me he didn't expect me to feel the same way but just had to say it anyways. I stared with my mouth hanging open on the end of his camp bed. It was his last night and I wouldn't see him in the morning. He kissed me, and we parted way.
Two years later after I had travelled and grown slightly ( but was still full of the arrogance and ignorance of my early twenties) I ended up moving to his home town. I didn't expect to run into him but it wasn't a large city so I was not surprised when I did. He looked the same and I hugged him as if nothing had changed. It felt really nice to see him again as he was someone who was comfortable. We went to the movies together and chatted and caught up and it was just like old times; then he dropped the bomb. He had a girlfriend. It was serious. It was two seconds after he said that when it kicked in- I'm an idiot and I lost my chance to be with him. We tried to maintain a friendship after that but the awkwardness had set in. He was happy and I had to deal with that. I learned a valuable lesson...or not.
Years later I find myself in similar predicaments. Not once or twice but a few times. I had a friend who has been interested for months. I dabbled with the idea but have been too preoccupied with kissing and dating a plethora of men to consider settling down with one. Why have spagetti every day when you can have a buffet. We flirt and everything but I keep it carefree enough that I cannot find myself in any trouble for my behavior as "we're just friends". But then the attention started dwindling. Less phone calls and text messages. They're still there and flirty and fun, but without the same gusto. The spark he had for me was gone and moved elsewhere and I felt sad. I have to admit a part of it was due to the attention and admiration of someone. Selfish as it is, it feels good to have that ego boost in your life. Not enough to feed fuel to the fire of ther attraction, but enough that it makes you feel wanted or at the least attractive. But part of it was more.
Now I know that this is a mind game and I am guilty as charged. It goes hand in hand with the saying how you can't find someone when you're single but when you're taken people flock to you. I'm the person that doesn't realize I want the person until the person is no longer into me. I don't neccesarily think it's "cause I'm a woman" as I've seen many men do this as well. In fact many cheesy 90's teen flicks were based on it. The grass is always greener on the other side is I guess is the point I am making and often we don't realize it until it's too late. I've scolded friends for leading someone on when "all you have to do is say you're not interested and it's that simple". But my own medicine tastes pretty bitter and I'm getting pretty damn tired of taking it. Is there a way to outgrow this behavior or is it just a fact of not always getting what you want.