Or “man,” or “bro,” or “sir,” or any variation thereof. 

That’s called being friend-zoned, sweetheart. Fair and square. You tried, and it was worth a shot. It’s not a mistake to put your best self out there and see if it works or not. Thats what stepping out of your comfort zone promises – you learn more about yourself and maybe more about the other person, something to make you value them as you should. In this case, it didn’t work out like you wished it would, especially those afternoons and evenings when you really wanted someone to take a walk or play a game or watch a movie or just talk for hours on end, and you really wanted it to be him.

But the positive part of that is that he trusts you as a friend now, and he sees you as a worthwhile friend to have. You have a sense of humor that vies with his, and you can make him smile like a good friend does. That’s good. That’s great.

After all, he owes you nothing, not even his friendship. He doesn’t owe you a relationship or requited feelings. You don’t owe him either, either. 

You’ve reached a point at which you bring him happiness by existing. Maybe you make him laugh once in a while. Maybe he acts like an idiot around you and makes you laugh, too. 

It doesn’t seem like that will be enough. You still have a hole you thought he could fill. You still see an empty square-shaped space where his puzzle piece was supposed to fit yours. But time and maturity, forgiveness and acceptance, dull all pain and everybody is bound to have some scars, purposefully-inflicted or no.

God has blessed you with the gift of a good friend, a friend you can count on and laugh at like you would at your brother. Why ask for more? Good friends are hard to find, and harder to keep when all you want to do is push the friendship to another level, a romantic level. Be content. Be satisfied with the blessing of someone you can smile with.

Dr. Seuss once said, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

Someday, you can continue hoping that the right one will come along. If God means for it to be, then there will come a moment when your paths cross and your lives intertwine, and you’ll know well enough by then that the pattern goes like this:

1 God loves me

2 I love Him in return

3 And myself, in respect to Him for judging me worth loving by virtue of His only begotten Son dying for me

4 And others as myself

Only once you’ve come to put Him as the center of your life and your real purpose – only then, if ever, will someone else come into your life who makes you a better person, and who you inspire and encourage to be a better individual in return. 

I’m closing one chapter of my life with this post, Reader. But he’ll be in other chapters, playing a different part than that of unrequited crush, almost-something-more, missing puzzle piece, etc. He’ll be playing someone else – as he said himself only a few hours ago, he is and will be “just him.” 

You don’t think I’d tell you his name? Why? It shouldn’t matter to you. You’re  probably reading this because it seems relatable, and in order to read yourself into the story, with your own characters and your own convoluted plotline. Then do so, with my blessing, but not with my character names. 

The important thing for me, I think, is that it – whatever I thought it was – mattered and matters to me, and I’ll definitely remember reading back on that chapter and the moment that God penned him into my life. I look back now, not with regret, but with wonder and gratitude about how much I grew in that time. How much I learned about myself, about interacting and communicating with others, about honesty and quality and priorities. About thinking to the future while living in the present. About being a godly, Christian individual, and about the influence that identity exerts on people. About my pet peeves, and deal-breakers, and my own flaws and faults to improve on.

I’ve grown up a lot in and through all of it. I have more growing up to do, of course. Maybe the next time I see this, it’ll be when my husband or a relative or a good friend shares it on my Facebook wall in twenty years – or on whatever social media we’ll be using by then. He or she will laugh at me, and I’ll laugh at me, and I’ll thank God again for doing whatever it was He did to keep me walking on the path towards Him and towards that laughing future me. 

Sometimes, you walk with others – family, friends, mentors, guides. Even archenemies. And sometimes, you feel like you walk alone. 

I’ve felt that. I’ve called for help or emotional support, for a sign or a message of some kind to tell me to keep going in the dark. And I’ve lacked for a clear answer, or for what I thought was any answer at all. 

But even in the midst of all those trials and doubts, even in my own personal “valley of the shadow of death,” I’ve never walked alone. Not really, even when I thought I did.

Even after all this time?

“My precious child,” God answered, “when your life had pain, I knew./The single set of footprints were the times I carried you.