So, there’s a girl I’ve had a thing for, for many more years than I care to admit. Mad-ass crush sort of thing. Which was fine, because having a crush proves your alive and all that nonsense, perfectly healthy, blah blah. I knew it was never to be, chief among reasons - she was my best friend’s ex.
Recently, (under the influence of drink) she told me she’s always had a thing for me (now that she’s all married and whatnot). Told me that she always wondered what could be, and that I was the focus of some “alone time” activities, etc.
And I’m torn. Of course, huge ego boost that the girl I always wanted, wanted me, too. I find myself all a-flutter. But what the hell am I supposed to do with that information - it does me no good. So great - you felt the same way - how does that help me?
I think it’s a flattering bit of information that is a nice thing to know. Someone’s admiration of you doesn’t have to be “actionable” to be worthwhile and meaningful. In your shoes, I’d take it as a nice compliment and would probably smile about it every now and then.
That sucks. I found out about the one guy who had a crush on me in high school (one whom I would have most certainly dated and had a lot of fun with)…after I had moved many hundreds of miles away and started dating someone else. (Whom I’m now married to, actually.) It’s almost cruel, isn’t it? I’m so happy with the way things are, so I can’t and don’t want to benefit from the information.
Except…every now and then, I have that ol’ crazy thought, going all the way back to high school, that someone saw something in me that I didn’t even see in myself. And I respected him a great deal. So in some sense, it gives me faith that no matter what I’m going through, no matter how bad things get, I never know the whole story, and I’m probably underestimating myself.
Yes, I’m really glad I know.
Oh, I should stop drinking wine and making late-night posts to the Dope.
As a Gayboy whore in his youth, let me tell ya’…everybody looks good in retrospect. You remember the youth, the choices made and not made, and rue the decisions. I have no regrets whatsoever, but still recall events and people and sometimes I wonder - “…if I had it to do over again…”
My own feeling is that there was a reason it didn’t happen.
I am happily partnered for over 27 years now and feel no need to look back and wonder, “what if?”. Now that I have proven to be a “catch” in the long run, I have often heard comments similar to what she told you.
Sorry, but too little too late.
You have become the “safe” bet that was not taken. My guess is that she went for someone else, and only now realizes she didn’t pick wisely. Don’t let yourself become the “when all else fails” choice of regret.
There was a man in my past who told me something very similar. I have always kept it close to my heart, as I never thought a man like him would really be into me. He’s moved away now, and that possibility is lost.
Take it as a compliment, have a smile (or a wank if you’re like that filthy bugger Rick ;)), deposit it in the bank of self-esteem where it can start earning some interest and then draw a line under it and move on.
There’s no point acting on it, as its a moment lost and there’s no point regretting it, as life isn’t about making no mistakes, its about spotting the ones we do make and learning from them.
So basically just take what you can learn from it and leave it at that - maybe there were signs there that you might have missed, or maybe you were simply wrong to think that as your mate’s “ex” she was automatically off limits.
I once spent ages agonising over a similar situation. Eventually I asked said mate, nervously, whether he minded me asking out his ex-girlfriend. His reply was:
“What do you want? A fucking release form to fill in?! Go for it.”*
So to summarise - take it as a lesson, take it as a compliment and move swiftly on.
Oh, and for future reference, that moment where she did this:
Was the setup for a Perfect Bogart.
A “Bogart” became the slang amongst some friends of mine (and me, obviously) for any moment in a male-female conversation where you manage to do and/or say something that results in one of those moments that leaves the woman feeling slightly squiggly (technical term) inside and you feeling like, well, like Humphrey Bogart.
Now Bogarts are rare things and should be cherished (and saluted in drink by your friends at the next available opportunity). They’re rare because not only do they require the following circumstance:
A conversation that is solely between one man and one woman
A decently romantic atmosphere (or enough alcohol to simulate one)
A hint of sexual tension (or, again, enough alcohol to… etc. etc.)
A “hook” line or action from the woman
But also because they also require the bloke to actually say or do something cool. Which anyone who has ever tried to do something “cool” on demand can tell you almost inevitably ends in tears:
Plus (moving swiftly on) not only could you have Bogarted it, but it would have been a Perfect Bogart - a Perfect Bogart not only requires everything mentioned above, but also that a missed chance for happiness and could-have-been-requited love be involved, and those are fucking rare!
Just think man… when she said “I wonder what it would have been like” all you needed to do was throw her a rueful smile with just a hint of “fuck it, that’s life” at the corner and say, with a voice that carried a hint of all-knowing confidence and a soupcon of sadness:
“It would have been wonderful.”
Then either walk off into the sunset, or change the topic completely and pretend the conversation never happened.
Perfect. Fucking. Bogart.
A well executed Bogart is worth a million missed chances, mon frere. Don’t miss it the next time you accidentally break some girls heart or i’ll come over there and kick your arse.
Did you pick up any signals that she’s not happily married or still has feelings for you? Like you said, this admission does neither of you any good except to frustrate you.
It really depends on circumstances. If it was someone I had ongoing mutual feelings for, I wouldn’t want to know. Especially if I had to see them on a regular basis. But if it was an old friend from the past, I’d be flattered.
And garius, I love the Bogart moments. I wish I had more of them.
Sure I’d like to know. I actually asked mine–I met a girl in first year university that I had a crush on, but never had the guts to ask her out, being straight out of high school and thus not having had time to come out of my shell yet. A couple years later I asked if she would’ve gone out with me if I had asked–the answer was ‘yes’. Doesn’t change anything, sure, but it’s better to know if there was a chance than to have no idea if the person even liked you in my book. Especially now that I’m married and know that there would be no regrets over what could have been–I’m glad things turned out the way they did.
In my early twenties, I had a regular gig playing piano in a blues band, upstairs in a local pub. It was a damned good band, and we packed the room every week.
Nice women used to come to watch the band. Being single, I noticed and wanted. Being insecure and shy with women, I did nothing more than that. One in particular was attractive and we’d sometimes chat briefly during intervals. She said she loved my piano playing. She was a hot blonde with a nice rack, etc, etc.
Of course, she couldn’t have been interested in me that way, could she? No, she was out of my league. She just liked blues music, and was somehow interested in the piano, even though she didn’t play.
Fast forward a year or so, different band, different gig. I’m introduced to a woman who (long story short) became my wife for 20 years. She wasn’t as hot as the hot blonde, but we hit it off in the best way possible - emotionally and psychologically, and we fell deeply in love.
While we were dating, she told me that she was often in the crowd at the other gig. I hadn’t recognised her. And she knew the hot blonde pretty well - they were in the same group that came to the gigs.
After we were married, she told me that the hot blonde had really been interested in me. If I’d asked her for a date, it would have been accepted eagerly.
That was nice to know. It was useless knowledge otherwise - I was now with the woman I desperately wanted to spend the rest of my life with, and the hot blonde was just a memory. But it was nice to know, all the same.
There is no use for regret. Regret is a very pointless and negative emotion, especially since we don’t know what would have happened if we’d made different decisions.
PS: Oh, and several years later, the ex-hot-blonde temporarily came back into our lives after having lived out of town for a while. I got to know her and her new husband. They suited each other. He was a high-earner yuppie, and that’s what she was after. I wouldn’t have wanted to be like that.
That’s a good story, Barrington. The regret I mentioned earlier got married (to a man I mistook for myself at the front door one day!–very weird incident), and they had a beautiful daughter, and have been any amount of inspiration on how to raise a family.
I’ve been going to the same hair salon for over fifteen years. My ex-wife has been going there for just as long. We first started going there when we were still dating. About a year after I started going there, Cindy started working there and became my hair cutter then stopped cutting hair a few years later to concentrate on hair dye and now is co-owner of the salon.
Cindy and I always got along well and would chat whenever I went in. She’s also smart and pretty and fun. My ex and I had a friendly divorce and both still go to the same salon. She’s also been in a relationship for several years. After the split was final, Cindy confided in my ex that she always had a crush on me.
It was nice to know even though nothing will ever come of it or, for that matter, could have ever come of it. I don’t think Cindy knows that I know but either way it’s fun to flirt a little harder when I am there.
Something similar happened to me, long ago. There was a girl I knew all through high school. We hung out in the same group of people. I always had a huge crush on her, but she was usually dating someone. The few times she was in between boyfriends, I was dating her best friend. I always wished we could get together, but we graduated and went off to separate colleges.
Five years later, I’m back in town and run into her at our HS reunion. None of the rest of our group is there. We go out, then back to her (parent’s) place and hang out. She tells me what a crush she had on me all through high school and how she regretted we never got together. I tell her the same. We kiss; we make out for a little bit; then the next day I go back home (1,000 miles away). It was pretty perfect.
Another five or six years go by and I see that’s she’s gotten married, and my heart breaks just a little bit. But we’ll always have that one evening.
A lot of things that never made sense can become clear once you get a final bit of key info. It’s kind of like finding out who’s gay years after you’ve gotten out of highschool. It doesn’t necessarily change your opinion of anyone or anything but it’s still usually an “Ah-ha…” moment.