Long time friend/friendzone
I’m in the position of unsure what to do next.
It’s a long story.
I’ve known this gal for nearly 15 years. I met her when she started dating a good friend of mine after he moved out of state (200 miles away). I was awestruck at her presense the first time I met her. She dated my friend for 6-7 years, and we got closer in that time, and I started having feelings for her after 4-5 years (which were left unspoken or shown). Right when they broke up, she contacted me to make sure we’d still be friends after they broke up, which of course I would. (SN- my friend increasingly treated me like shit, so my reason to visit increasingly became to visit her rather than him).
Not long after they broke up, I revealed my feelings to her; admittedly in a completely beta way. She pushed me to be open with her and I did in ways that I hadn’t been with anyone else before. We’d have regular visits with each other and we started getting intimate after about a year…. but she would play games and be contradictive. She’d turn down an invite to my bed, then invite me into hers the next week, tell me that she’d never date me, and then invite me into bed a couple days later.
Then one day out of the blue, she said that we needed to cut contact. I did so without question and we didn’t speak for 4 months. During that time, I dated someone, which ended just before she started contact.
When contact reestablished, I was very hesitant and fairly cynical for a month or so. I eventually started to get a bit more comfortable and planed a visit. That visit set the tone for how we acted towards each other for the past 3.5 years. She shut down any advances I made, even chastising me for making them. I ended up bottling up my feelings for her in an attempt to be just a friend; which severely muted all my other emotions around her. I wouldn’t even show excitement to see her. Simultaneously, she did the same to “avoid leading me on”. Around the same time, I started having health issues, causing me to lose my lucrative job and my house as well; sending me into a depressive state for a year or 2.
We didn’t visit each other for 2-3 years, but still talked fairly frequently. About a year ago, she needed some work done on her car, so I offered to do it for her. She visited me for a couple days and there seemed to be lots of tension. She needed some more work done a few months later, so I offered again. This time she showed up, and left shortly after I was done (NYearsEve 2015).
I wanted to visit sooner, but the new job and family issues prevented me until July 2016. A key purpose was to determine if I could just be friends or cut all contact. On that visit, she blurted out that she was dating someone for the past year (who also lives 150 miles from her), and hid it from me because she was scared I’d stop being friends.
I visited her again 2 weeks later. I worked on her car, revealed that my feelings for her still existed and then cut contact. She told me that I hold “a unique position that bullies the lines of friend and relationship”.
2 weeks after I cut contact, she contacts me crying and drunk while on vacation with her BF because I unfriended her on Facebook. I later block her after she tries contacting again. Less than 2 months after I cut contact, she sends me a gift (which she’s never bought me a gift before) based off something she saw by stalking me through someone else’s account. I broke radio silence, and that’s when she told me that her mom was just diagnosed with brain cancer.
After a couple weeks, I cut contact again because she already has an ample support network and I won’t play backup support while she has a BF. I had also set up a couple rounds of flowers for her mom since I’d always gotten along with her and hate to see such a bad thing happen to a good person (the least I could do).
Well, the last round of flowers showed up mid December, her mom calls me (should have been anonymous, but the stupid florist left my phone number on them), and the gal snatches the phone from her to confront me. We started contact since. There was an unexpected lull through the holidays where she would cut out mid conversation, and then start up a couple days later with a new one.
The last thing she sent was a text saying:
“Where we’ve left off in conversation (many times just recently) is not lost on me. But, can we agree to resume after the new year? This in-between week always seems off kilter.”
I think it’s BS. It was never an “off kilter” week between Xmas and NYEve in the past, but it’s probably because she was hiding the BF previously.
I’m torn because she has always been a close friend. The fact that she hid her seeing someone makes me feel betrayed, even though I know she partly did it to try avoiding hurting me (but also the selfish end of trying to keep me as a friend). She’s said that she loves me, but not in the same way I do her. I realize that the way I had approached her in the past didn’t help to advance a relationship. She’s been fighting extremely hard to maintain any form of contact, but I can’t be just a friend, regardless of what lines it blurs.
I feel my options are:
-Cut contact entirely, forever
-Cut contact for a while, as I continue to concentrate improving myself as I have been
-Maintain limited contact and “play the game”; flirting and teasing any time she contacts
I won’t lose any sleep if I never talk to her again. I already went through that phase. Honestly, it’s her loss, and I think she’s realized how much she’s losing in the 4-5 months I cut contact. Regardless of what I do with her, I’m moving on and finding other women that interest me. Even so, I’ve felt hopelessly drawn to her for nearly a decade.