Grey area guy is back. Not in a big way— I haven’t seen him in a long time, and our text-banter is 90 percent football-related and 8 percent, like, cooking. But he’s starting to push. Last night, he said something about “you have to admit you miss me.” And then something about “you have to admit you think I’m cute.” And then something about knowing that I’m missing what we had.
A part of me that I’m learning not to trust says “of course I miss all that! Have you been paying attention? Remember when I said I was open to feeling all that but I had conditions that are about my self respect? Here were the conditions. Are you wanting to meet the conditions?”
I actually wrote a text-version of that, but I felt so exhausted by going over this well-worn ground that I stopped. I erased it, sent back a joke. I basically just stopped. I started focusing on things I needed to do before I could go to bed.
This is him pushing my boundaries without intention, right? If something was different for him, he’d lead with that, not try to tease me into territory I told him was off-limits, right? Given that I’ve been clear and straightforward? He’s teasing because he doesn’t want me to call him on being over the line, not because he wants to renegotiate the boundaries like an adult, right? He’s grey area guy, and he wants out of the black and white we’ve lived in this year, right?
So it’s not necessary for me to say “you seem confused about what’s on the friends menu. Here’s what’s on that menu. I didn’t put you in the friend-zone, you put yourself there. And that’s the only menu you get to order off of, in the friend-zone.”
Is there any reason to see this differently, or am I right not to trust that impulse that says “maybe it’s different this time,” even though it has never been different any of the times before?