Near the end of January last year, I met a person whom I was to become very close to for the next couple of months. We grew to like each other and thought that it would be a wonderful idea to attend summer classes together. Things ended badly but him being my first love, I cannot deny that he’ll always hold a special place in my heart. Afterward, I grew pessimistic about my chances of meeting someone else. Little did I know about the surprises this summer had for me.
Having felt love, I can truly and honestly say that I don’t love this person in that manner (yet?), although I do know that I love him as a friend. We haven’t known each other that long, but seeing and/or talking to one another everyday helped speed up our getting-to-know phase. During our class’ field trip, we started talking to each other (to be honest, I didn’t really pay much attention to him except that he was my group-mate in previous activities) and our classmates started teasing us, calling us the names of a love-team from a famous local movie that was shown during the bus ride. We didn’t mind them and took the teasing in stride for we knew that there wasn’t really anything to be ‘guilty’ of; we just enjoyed each other’s company and enjoyed talking to one another. This was further cemented by the conversation I had with him while he was drunk.
Post-field trip, I found out that he was part of the sports organization whose PE course I was taking (also this summer). This only served to widen our common ground, and I tried to convince him to play with the club’s other members against my PE class. Eventually, we got to texting and chatting on Facebook. We’d chat until the wee hours of the morning, and jokingly blame each other for sleeping too late. Eventually, he asked me out on a date–a legit one, although he apparently planned it to be a friendly one originally. In class, we let our classmates have their fun at teasing us; in private, we just got to know each other better and rarely became cheesy. Over the past couple of days, I admittedly became frustrated of how his ‘online self’ oftentimes does not coincide with his ‘real self’. It’s as if he becomes a different person when there are people around: he keeps his distance and acts as if we were just acquaintances. I’ve thought that I may be reading too much into his ‘detachment’–after all, expectations breed disappointment–and tried consulting a couple of close friends whom I also just made in the same class. Then and there I decided to be Taoist when it came to him and embody wu wei. But then I got drunk.
It was the day of our charity event to a home for the aged (the first of which I’d heard of in the Philippines). Since we finished early, someone proposed that we hang out and drink some; I honestly went along because I wanted to hang out with them and thought there would be karaoke. I wasn’t really into senseless drinking: that is, drinking for the sake of getting drunk. It happened accidentally, of course (’twas my first time. I’m not proud of it but it happened. At least I am more knowledgeable of my limits now.), but I didn’t know I’d be very..uninhibited and..clingy. I don’t know how our classmates called me ‘cute’; maybe because I insisted on sleeping and he insisted on putting my head on his shoulder, saying that he doesn’t want me to trade him for a table. To sum it all up, we were very couple-y. He even took me home, out of a mixture of concern for my well-being and because he likes me (his words, not mine). It still amazes me to this day how I felt so protected as he took me home, and even as he prevented me from going home before I’d sobered up a little. Brought up as a rather independent woman, acting like that and being like that has ever entered my mind. Truly, I think we kind-of ‘floored the gas’ with that experience.
It felt rather awkward for me to approach him after that. I felt that I’d overstepped a boundary too soon, and there were times that I’d overthink about my actions. To maintain some semblance of normality, I’d tease him to other people (I had reason to) and shut up about my apprehensions. It worked a little, even for me. A recently-became-close friend and I talked about it and she said that we’d have to DTR soon. In return, I asked, “is there even a relationship to define?” It was a valid question in my opinion. Everything was going so fast and it felt like we were getting carried away by the waves of support that our classmates were giving. I understood that liking someone is nothing serious in his mind; I also knew it need not be. It wasn’t always easy to believe though, given how he can be really sweet sometimes, not to mention the adorable quirks I’ve come to know he has. I just threw a prayer to God and hoped that if it was going to be our last, we might as well have fun at our date.
It was my first time to casual date, so I was nervous as to how I should behave. Fortunately (or not), we’ve become somehow physically comfortable with each other. Holding hands, having his arm around my shoulders, hugging–it all felt natural. I also felt nervous about running out of topics to talk about, but fortunately, we didn’t. We shared jokes and funny stories, even embarrassing ones from his side. After watching The Great Gatsby, we decided that we had some things to talk about. At this point, saying that I was nervous would be an understatement. All that was going through my mind was, “I know where this is going. It’s his final year, and he’s bound to be more focused on his studies…but I really enjoy his company; I don’t want ‘us’ to end like this.”
Thankfully, he was thinking along the same lines. He acknowledged his priorities and said that he wasn’t looking for a relationship, but may be open to one once he’s graduated. He admitted to not wanting our friendship to end because he also enjoyed having me around. I was going through what I termed ‘guy-withdrawal’ (that is, missing the feeling of being held in someone’s arms and generally being taken care of by a special someone) and agreed to set some boundaries whenever we hung out. He coined a term for our present situation: “MU-friends”. (Later on when I shared this to a guy friend, he told me that it’s similar to what can be known as the ideal MU situation.) We set other rules which I won’t bother to share here; just know that those are rules with which we planned to keep (and prolong, maybe even develop) our current ‘relationship’.
I am no exception when I say that a lot of people fear the unknown. This new ‘relationship’ is uncharted waters for me; and although there is the possibility of discovering hidden treasures, one cannot help but ask if the trip is worth it. But as I said when asked about my philosophy in life,
“Don’t live your life being afraid of doing the wrong things. As Mae West said, ‘To err is human, but it feels divine.'”
Over and out,