Ugh. You know that saying, how the past catches up with you? This is one of those times.
I might have written about this person back in 2007 (ugh, I can't bring myself to read the entry but here it is for your reference). You have to remember that at the time, I was around 23, and not very bright, and rather desperate for romantic attention. As my best friend Zebra likes pointing out to me, I have a self-image complex, and let's just not get into that bottle of bananas right now.
At any rate, C (let's still call him that, for the sake of continuity) found me on LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago, added me up, and because I believe that you should always try to be nice to people, got my phone number. Sure, reconnecting sounds nice, and I'm not the kind of person who dismisses contacts just because it's been years. And while my friends' reactions ran the gamut of either "keep away from him at all costs" (La Gordita) to "maybe it's a nice ego boost after all" (Zebra), I tried to keep in the middle by simply asking him what he wanted.
So all the time I was in Baguio (and man, I should write about that soon), he was texting at least once a day. Which is nice, but ultimately, I had better things to do - earn badges on Plants vs. Zombies and play with my nephew Rafa, among other things - and to be quite honest, some of his messages just left a sour taste in my mouth. Finally, we ended up having a rather lengthy GTalk conversation that went a little something like this:
C: by the by, didn't you have a boyfriend in Singapore?
me: Not anymore. Lol. Broke up before I came back. Long story. Will tell you when we meet.
C: awww ok
me: Lol it's all right. One of the best decisions i've ever made. And yourself?
C: should i say then: "good for you"? LOL i am technically "in a relationship" since Aug of last year but as of now...
me: Lol what does that mean?
C: you know when you wake up one day and you realize you don't have the same feelings anymore
me: So basically you're saying that you're dating someone right now but you haven't broken it off with her. Am I right?
C: well yes and it's a long distance relationship by the way
me: So why haven't you broken it off yet?
C: easier said than done
So basically, he has a girlfriend. Good, I thought, this means that there's no pressure in making sure that none of my words will be reconstructed to mean something more. After all, I used to have a massive (misplaced) crush on him, way before I met my last (now ex-) boyfriend. Looking back, I knew that it was partly because of my aforementioned self-image complex, where I would think that nobody in their right mind would EVER fall in love wit me, and partly because I misconstrued EVERY relationship, platonic or otherwise, that I had with guys as an opening to elevate it from platonic to romantic. In hindsight, it was rather desperate of me, and possibly not very cool.
At any rate, back then, C was very clear that he liked me as a friend, and nothing more. And so, despite him knowing that I had a thing for him, he decided that it was a very good idea to crush on Zebra, and at the same time, attempt to court my close friend Sugarcages. This was, to put it mildly, a massive turn-off. And that was one of the many reasons that I decided to not even be friends with him soon thereafter.
Anyway, going back to the present.
To paraphrase the rest of the conversation, he goads me into re-admitting that I had a crush on him, and I was all, "Why do I need to admit it? Yes, yes I did. It's not shameful to crush on other people." And then I tell him that obviously, 2007-me and 2012-me are two entirely different people, at least when it comes to boys and romantic relationships (like, 2007-me liked boys, and 2012-me likes men) and that nope, I do not have even a smidgen of the same feelings I had for him a very, very, VERY long time ago. He does the whole "aw shucks" routine and I tell him, well too bad, you had your chance and you didn't take it. (In fairness to the universe, I am glad he did not take the chance.)
At the back of my head, I'm also thinking: why is C even thinking like this? Am I a back-up because his current relationship is an utter failure? In that case, ew ew ew, with a side dish of gross. I mean, why would a guy who you haven't seen in almost half a decade suddenly ask you if you still have romantic feelings for him when he has a girlfriend? I mean, I'd never dare ask that unless there are clear indications - usually indications that you'll notice when you are interacting face-to-face, and not online.
Later on in the conversation, he asks me if holding hands with a girl means that there are romantic feelings developing between the two of you. I tell him that it really depends, and he says that another girl (someone else who isn't his girlfriend) held his hand the entire time they were watching a movie. And I'm like, "Dude, you have a girlfriend." Because holding hands with someone else who isn't your girlfriend and actually WONDERING if the other party has feelings for you is decidedly not the Right Thing To Do.
(Plus I've had experience with this - my last [now-ex] boyfriend cheated on me as well.)
At this point in time, I'm actually mildly disturbed as to why I'm even thinking about rekindling the friendship. Because I'm just getting the heebie-jeebies just thinking about C, and internally I'm banging my head on the desk because how on earth did I ever think that I liked this guy? To me, the answer is simple: if you're unhappy with your current relationship and you don't have any practical or financial responsibilities towards her, then end it already so that both of you can be open to other romantic opportunities. Cheating, or even thinking about cheating, just because you're scared of being truthful to yourself and to the other person is an act of cowardice. I don't care how frightened you are of hurting someone else's feelings - you're hurting them more by being dishonest.
Ugh. Damn this internal demand for closure and this need to wrap narratives up neatly. If I'm being honest, I'm actually curious to hear what he has to say, but I'm just wondering how long it will take before I lose my temper or my tongue.