Speak now or forever remain ‘just a friend’

During the course of my freshman year I broke up with my boyfriend of four years, got my first job at McDonald’s, discovered that college was filled with complicated people and found out that living on your own is not easy.

All of these experiences compelled me to open my eyes to the realities of the world, not the reality I was accustomed to.

After I clearly understood the lessons of my freshman year, I thought I knew it all — everything except the intricacies about dating, that is.

Ever since I was allowed to have a boyfriend, I was with the same guy.

And for that reason, I knew that entering the adult-dating scene at the age of 19 this would be difficult.

As my sophomore year came around, I told myself that I just would not do it.

That was until I met him.

I was introduced to him through a friend of mine early during the fall semester.

At first glance I could tell that he was different, but since I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, I quickly brushed him off as just another person to add to my platonic relationships list as just a friend.

Yes, he was cute.

He was the traditional tall (though not the dark and handsome) 19-year-old southern male.

But guys were not on my to-do list so I did not give him a second thought.

After a while we started to hangout because of mutual activities and started talking on the phone more and more.

During this time period I actually took an interest in getting to know him.

I realized that he was not only cute but was smart, very laid-back and an all around “guy-guy.” He was not the typical metrosexual I saw on a daily basis at school — you know, those who think they are God’s gift to women.

Finally admitting to myself, “girl you really like this guy,” I accepted his invitation to go to the movies.

Though the date did not go as planned, the alternative activity was very nice too.

The “chillin’,” a commonly used college term for spending a lot of exclusive/nonexclusive time with someone you are interested in, lasted for a couple of months.

By the end of the fall semester, I was ready to find out what we were doing, but didn’t want to pressure him.

But since he seemed content with the status of “chillin’,” I just let it go.

Although I wanted to jump outside of my character and ask him, “what’s up?”

I couldn’t put my ego down long enough to talk about “feelings.”

Long story short, we are just friends now.

I blame us not becoming a couple on me.

It was me who pushed him away.

It was me who, when I realized I liked him, tried so much harder to not show it.

It was me who treated him more like a friend than someone I was interested in.

Now, though I wouldn’t mind turning our friendship into something else, after thinking about it I decided I would just “charge this one to the game” and keep on moving.

So, now, I tell you that when you find yourself wondering what you are doing in a relationship ask that person.

Go on.

As so eloquently written in “In the Meantime: Finding yourself and the Love You Want” by Iyanla Vanzant, “if you fail to be clear and articulate exactly what you wanted, needed or expected from yourself and from other then you will be moving forward in a relationship being fully aware it is not even closely related to what you had in mind.”

Contact Katrelle Simmons at famuanlifestyles@hotmail.com