Lead Developer, Stardock Entertainment
Spoilers contained
Published on September 8, 2004 By CariElf In Dating
Today's title comes from the song "Friends and Lovers." This is the sequel to my previous entry,


I can probably tell the rest of the story now. I don't think that any of my friends read my blog, so I don't think that anyone will see this before they find out about the subject. And if they do, well they will probably find out sooner or later anyway.

I met my friend Ryan through mutual friends who went to U of M with him. He is the first addition to our litle group that started in high school who wasn't added by dating one of the original members. I've known him for over four years now, and the more that I've gotten to know him, the more I have liked him. So I've secretly been interested in dating him for quite awhile, but I've been hurt badly in the past and I figured that it would be easier to approach him if we were friends. I didn't tell anyone at first, but I eventually confided in two of my friends (a married couple, Jeff and D'Arcy ) because I wanted advice and encouragment.

Jeff has been making a lot of jokes about Ryan and I being a couple lately. Since we're 2/3 of the last remaining singles in our group, his jokes wouldn't have seemed unusual to our other friends, and Jeff is also extremely funny. And Ryan seemed to be at least willing to go along with the jokes. Well, we were all together on Sunday after the Renaissance festival, and even our friends who don't know how I feel about Ryan were making jokes about the two of us. They may have guessed by now, but I've never discussed it with them because I figured that the less people who know if things end up badly between Ryan and I, the less awkward it will be. And the jokes went a little farther than they usually do.

Ryan happened to take me home because my twin sister had taken my car home earlier. So it's just Ryan and me alone in the car, and I'm thinking, "Ok, I have to say SOMETHING. It's too good an opportunity to miss." So I waited until he turned down my street. There was about a mile to go, and it's a side street, with lots of cars and stop signs along the way, so I still had plenty of time, but I wouldn't have to worry as much about shocking Ryan into driving off the road.

As soon as he turned down my street, I managed to force words off my tongue. I asked him if he minded everyone throwing us together like they had been recently, intended to use this to lead to where I really wanted the conversation to go. He asked, "Mind it how? That they're doing it, or...?"

"That they're doing it", I quickly replied.

He paused for a moment to choose his words and replied, "I guess that I find it a little annoying since my friends know how I feel about being setup, and my policy about dating friends. I don't like being setup, and I don't date friends. But I don't think that I've ever had that conversation with Jeff." And then he blamed the recent jokes on the drunkenness that usually occurs at our parties. (Note: generally no one has more than a few drinks, and it's very rare that anyone drinks to the point of having a hangover the next morning.)

Well, that hadn't gone as I wanted, but it hadn't gone as badly as it could have gone. I don't remember saying anything else after that; my mind was too busy turning over what he had said. I considered telling him then and there how I felt about him, and asking if he could feel the same way, if he would make an exception to his rule against dating friends...but I decided to wait, at least for the moment, because I was not in a coherent state. I am, perhaps, a little too obsessed with self control. Also, it occurred to me that if he had guessed how I felt, that it was a good way to let me down easy. On the other hand, he could be hiding behind his policy to avoid being hurt, and since I didn't even say how I felt about all the jokes, he had nothing to go on, and my voice had shut down.

I tried to e-mail Ryan when I got inside, but I just couldn't find the right words. I didn't know if I should just apologize for not discouraging Jeff's jokes, if I should tell him how I felt, or what. So I didn't manage to write that e-mail, but I did write my blog. The next day, Labor Day, I had promised to go and fix a fellow parishioner's computer, so that kept me occupied for most of the day. Then I went over to Jeff and D'Arcy's house and told them about my conversation with Ryan. By this time, I wasn't sure if I should say anything. I thought that it might be best just to give up hope. I had avoided an awkward conversation, Ryan didn't seem to be upset with me, and things could go on normally minus all the matchmaking.

After talking with Jeff and D'Arcy, I decided that I was going to have to tell Ryan how I felt. If he rejected me, I could move on. If not, our relationship could only get better. But I knew that as long as there was uncertainty. I wouldn't be able to just give up. And part of what has been driving me crazy has been my fear of telling him. And Ryan appreciates honesty.

I'm incoherent enough on the phone when I'm not stressed out, and every time I've decided to tell Ryan about my feelings in person, I've panicked. IM was out of the question because Ryan only signs on at work, and neither of us are unprofessional enough to have long chat conversations at work. So I started another e-mail, having only slightly better luck. It was 3 paragraphs long (short paragraphs), and I think that every line took me a couple of hours. I finally finished at 1:30 AM early this morning, and after letting my mouse cursor hover over the send button for several minutes, I sent it. Luckily, I was tired enough to fall asleep almost immediately.

This morning I didn't want to get out of bed. It rained last night, and my bedroom was cold, and I was very comfortable under my blakents in that nice, thoughtless, warm half alseep state where I hit the snoose alarm without really waking up. I hit the snooze alarm three times, but after the third, my pocket pc chimed to remind me that I had an allergy shot appointment this morning. I have to be in the doctor's office by 9:30 or there's a good chance I won't be able to get into work by 11. The nurses have been known to freak out when my arms swell up around where I got the shots, as they sometimes do. Me, I'd be happy if they just put an antihistamine on it and sent me on my way. Anyway, I dragged myself out of bed and took a shower.

As usual, I had a book for while I was in the waiting room at the doctor's office, and they got me out by 9:50, which meant that I could make it into the office by 10. I was walking out to my car when the enormity of what I had done by sending that e-mail to Ryan sank in. I started having trouble breathing normally. Not enough to make me turn around and go back into the doctor's office, but enough to make me worry that I'd set off an allergic reaction to my shots because of my increased heart rate. I decided that I was just going to have to get ahold of myself. I tried breathing slowly, deliberately, as I drove to work, pondering my sudden fear of checking my home e-mail account. I managed to pull myself together once I got to work, because I could focus on debugging and answer support questions. But I jumped whenever my cell phone went off (and not just because the vibrator was turned on), and I wrecked my user profile in Trillian try to hack it so that it wouldn't automatically sign me in to AIM, which is the IM client that Ryan uses. I had to copy my files form my laptop over to my work computer.

Jeff also uses AIM at work, so he IMed me as soon as I finally signed on, wanting to know if I had any news. I started to have less fear of my home e-mail account, so I opened outlook on my laptop and let it sit there. Jeff told me that Ryan had been up late the night before, and wasn't chatty. (Jeff usually IMs Ryan once a day, and he wasn't going to talk about me.) So I decided that Ryan must not have had a chance to check his e-mail yet and I calmed down considerably.

I managed to actually relax and enjoy myself for choir practice tonight, and the last of my jumpiness is gone. Hopefully it won't return tomorrow. Maybe I won't even have to deal with anything until the weekend.

I went through a lot of of the posts on the Poltical Machine forums today, finished the code for Political Machine that will go through and enumerate compatible device types so that the proper settings are chosen (although I've only ran it on two machines so it'll probably need more testings), and found the code that I believe is responsible for the Windows 98 endorsements crash. So the day hasn't been all bad, but I really don't know how Jake can do support ALL DAY.

Ryan still hasn't contacted me. At the moment, it's more of a blessing. Margaritas are half off at On the Border tomorrow night, and it's my mom's birthday on Friday, so I told her that we should go out. (She was making plans to go out with friends Friday night the last time I talked to her.) I'm not planning on getting sloshed--I only have one drink when I go out--but the sugar in an OTB margarita is enough to make me giddy, let alone the alcohol. So with any luck, if Ryan does call me tomorrow, it will be after I've had the margarita.

I can live with just being Ryan's friend, but I'm going to be very upset if he doesn't think that he can be my friend anymore after this. I've been on both sides of this situation before, and I'm still friends with both of the guys in question, although the time when I rejected a guy was much harder for me to deal with.

on Sep 09, 2004
This was a good blog...

I am a bit dissapointed you chickened out from telling him in person - email is the soft option! but at least he has time to think about it!!!

I wish you good luck!!!

on Sep 09, 2004

I really don't know how Jake can do support ALL DAY

I did support for 2 years.....the resulting psychiatrist bill is enormous.....  poor Jake.

on Sep 09, 2004
Good blog, good story...
I can't wait to hear how it turns out. Good luck! and try not to worry about it. All of these little life experiences are valuable, regardless of whether or not they turn out as we hope. The more guys you ask out, the more likely you are to find someone right.

I probably wouldn't be with my boyfriend of 2+ years if I hadn't fessed up and told him "I have a crush on you." It took a few weeks for me build of up the courage (and make sure he was available), and I've never regretted it since!
on Sep 09, 2004
I think a good line for you to use after he says "I don't date friends" would be "Well, if that's the way you feel about it, I don't want to be your friend anymore. ... So, what are you doing Friday night?"
on Sep 09, 2004
Muggaz: I would have liked to have had the courage to do it, but at least this way it's less confrontational and I had time to think about what I wanted to say.

citahellion: You're not the first person who has suggested that.