“I Am Not In Love With You”

12 Oct

Have you ever had someone fall in love with you- but you’re not in love with them?

Precisely the situation I find myself in at present.

My friend Jamal is convinced that I am his soul mate.  My honest reaction?  No, I am not.  I just don’t have those feelings for him.  I do love him, but, not in a romantic fashion.  Those feelings are not there.  I’ve asked myself if I could fall in love with him- isn’t not happening.  He’s an attractive man, but I don’t ever want to kiss him, or hold him in that way, none of that.  Hey, it could change, but that’s where I’m at with it, where I’ve been with it, and where I think I’ll be with it for a while now.

So, how did Jamal and I wind up here?  Ugh…

I blame the job.

What I mean to say is that I am a really good communicator.  I know how to talk, but more important by a mile is I know how to listen, and I know how to listen to men really, really well.  When a man finds a woman who he can talk to about what he thinks and what he feels, and do so openly, it doesn’t matter who she is, he’s gonna love her.  Dentist, auntie, grocery store clerk, friend, office mate, whomever.  That’s what men are looking for, is someone who really, truly, fully gets them.  They’ll never say that, because they don’t say things like that, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

Jamal is not the first male friend of mine who, over time, had declared love and even talk marriage (that’s scary as hell, btw).  This usually happens after a marathon conversation where the man vents and I listen, validate and empower.  I don’t know how to not do that, for men or women.  So that’s what I did for Jamal, through some pretty frustrating circumstances in his life and at a time when he was feeling (right or wrong) the judgement of those around him.  I didn’t judge.  I had an opinion, but I didn’t judge.

The one thing that I have learned through these situations is that I must be honest with what my true feelings are- even if it’s not what the other person- in this case Jamal, wants to hear.  It has to be said and said often enough to keep it at the forefront, because that person is holding out hope and looking for signs that you feel the same way.

It’s been a few months since he’s said anything, but much to my dismay he brought it up again the other day, telling me I’m the only woman he wants to be with for the rest of his life.

That’s pretty serious talk.  Even if the advance isn’t desired on my part, I care about him- I don’t want to hurt him- but I have to take his words seriously.

Love is a very strong emotion which can lead us in all sorts of directions in life.  I believe, even though limmitted, we are responsible for the feelings of those in our lives.  Jamal has said enough to me over the past 6 months that I know he is serious when he tells me he loves me and wants to be with me.  The easiest thing would be to say nothing, or to play it off, or even to give the suggestion that I might feel the same.  All of those things would be easy because they’d be agreeable to him.

But they would be wrong, and worse, misleading and dishonest.

Instead, I tell Jamal that I am not in love with him.  It’s not easy to say, but it’s what he has to hear.

I am careful to not do anything or let him do anything that muddies the roles we have in each others lives; we’re friends, not lovers.  I have to stay in the friend zone at all times!

Anything short of that and he’s going to latch on to the idea that we could be together in the future.  It’s just wrong.

Sometimes he says passive agressive isht that pisses me off like “you gonna deny me happiness for the rest of my life Olivia?” and I want to slap him, because who wants to be the one thing standing in the way of another person’s true happiness?!  I respond with a blunt “don’t say that to me,” because it’s gotten to the point that it hurts my feelings that he will throw guilt at me for not having romantic feelings for him.  I refuse to pretend; there’s no benefit.

This could ruin our friendship, but I think it’s too early to tell.  The ball is in his court.  If he keeps pushing the issue and can’t accept and honor our friendship, things are going to deteriorate.

If he can accept that we will never be more than just friends, we’ll be just fine.


2 Responses to ““I Am Not In Love With You””

  1. undressingHER October 13, 2009 at 9:54 am #

    of course I have. It has not happened that often though, as the way I treat women, they usually put up a guard to try to prevent those feelings from happening.


  1. Jamal: The End « Courting Olivia - October 26, 2009

    […] The End 2009 October 26 by courtingolivia For background on the Jamal situation read this and […]

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