The fact of the matter is, next time, ask for clarification. Being honest with oneself closes the mystery book forever. The effects of "Healing Heather" continue.
Heather Strang through her wisdom and her book "The Quest" challenges me to see beyond the knee jerk reaction of fear. Objectivity is the lens to a clear perception of the neutral "what's so" in any event.
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In the majority of cases, dating coach Merry Wise advises, when a man wants to be friends it usually means they want to keep you on the backburner or are just not ready. I think it’s just the backburner. Who wants to be second choice?
However, what I’ve learned is, it’s still best to not assume when answering the friendship without benefits proposition. In retrospect, if I were to answer again, it would be a different reply.
I would have asked for clarification before I answered. Instead of a hell no it would have been, “When I hear friends I interpret it as either a diplomatic way to tell me to get lost. Either that or you want to keep me on reserve as your back-up plan. So, which is it?” Even if I didn’t get the truth at least I spoke mine had I asked the question. Eliminate the “what if” and say "au revoir" to “Je regrette”.
If he said no to part one of the question I would have said OK. Then I would have employed a “wait and see” approach. Basically, his actions would have revealed the truth because I would have stopped communicating anyway to test him.
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Had he said no to part two of the question, I would have done the same tactic. The risk would have been there either way if I had kept the door open. My nature is to be quick and decisive. I cut my losses fast. If I had said OK the risk to being hurt would have increased exponentially. Love is a thin blue line to me. I’m your lover or just a friend. No middle ground. Clean brakes all the way.
Perhaps the other approach would have been a pattern breaker for me. Or it could have resurrected an old one I had broken long ago. Sex and the City inspired my philosophy of living in my 20’s. Before that, my life was no Carrie Diaries. From ages 13 to 16 my childhood puppy love had my heart singing “You Keep Me Hanging On.” You see, I wasn’t this wild thing who made his heart sing. He didn’t have a heart for me but he was my closest friend.