Friday, November 29, 2013

There is a girl...

...I met in Germany while studying abroad here in Frankfurt. She found me an apartment, helped me get settled in it and helped me with countless other things. We were the best of friends. I made her laugh, I made her smile, I cheered her up when she was sad and I spent every day with her for about two to three weeks.

I liked spending time with this girl so much that we could do nothing together and not care. We would exchange my American English for her German language tips as we spent each day together. And most incredibly, I was never the one who asked to hang out. She was.

We ate together, we walked her dog together, we wandered the streets together. I was never so confident, so comfortable with a female other than my mother in my life before. She told me I was attractive, funny and that she likes me. But I never said anything because I valued our friendship more than anything else. I preferred a long friendship over a short relationship. And did certainly not want to jeopardize that, nor her current relationship, in any way.

I was honest with her every step of the way. I told her I cannot lie. Which was also true. She appreciated that.

At no point did she not seem to not also enjoy spending time together. So I, too, happily complied when she asked to hang out. And each day, we ate, exchanged language lessons, walked and so on.

We shared two classes together and she was happy to help me with any confusion I had in either one. Easily one of the nicest people I have met here in Germany.

I spent time with her at the tail end of her seven-year-long relationship. She was as happy as can be all up until she broke up with him.

And then, one day, I was doing homework with her and she began to cry about her loss. I did my best to cheer her up. I put my arm around her saying, "You're still my favorite person in Germany" or "I've been worrying about you every day." They were meant to be more friendly than flirty. But perhaps they were lost in translation. Take note of those two remarks.

She seemed to be one of the most genuine people I have ever met (and I still believe that to be true) and we exchanged real emotions every day; emotions and stories I gladly listened to and shared myself.

Never did I hold her hand. Try to kiss her. Touch her inappropriately. Tell her I like her. Or even tell her I love her. If I were any other guy, the myriad of winky faces, smiley faces and any other variation thereof she sent to me via social media and text messages would have told any average, sex-crazed guy to go in for the kill. But I didn't because I thoroughly respected her then-current relationship and by all means, did not want to ruin it, interfere or influence its outcome.

I valued our friendship above everything else and was having plenty of fun doing nothing with her.

But after I made those two remarks, everything has been awkward between us. I have tried to reach out to her, talk to her in person and what have you. But she has been acting anything but herself for a while now. I don't know what it was I said (perhaps one of the two remarks I mentioned above?) or did. She has been regularly ignoring me in large group settings, giving me only one-word answers instead of her usual responses and not smiling or laughing with me. Suffice to say, we have not been hanging out at all lately.

I understand it could be that I have been suffocating her lately and that she wants nothing to do with me at the moment, so to compensate, I've not been talking to her less electronically. Every time I have seen her in person, though, I have greeted and hugged her as usual, but she never looks as happy to see me or talk with me.

I talked with a mutual friend of ours and told the mutual friend that she's been acting unusual, but the friend said she's no different. In addition, I heard the two talking in a different room (the mutual friend and I are roommates) and the girl was indeed herself with this friend; she was laughing, joking and having a good time. But around me, she is stale and boring.

Perhaps me not talking is aggravating the problem, but it really makes the guy look pathetic when he sends a text and doesn't receive anything.

I'm guessing any semblance of a relationship is the absolute last thing she needs right now, so I told her when she was sad that I'm not like most guys and just like spending time with her. (By that I meant to say I'm not looking for anything else other than friendship, but I suppose that could have also been misinterpreted).

I am open to being wrong because I admit I have never had a girlfriend and am not especially good with girls; all I can do is talk to them, anything past that is beyond me. That is why I tried my best to treat this relationship as delicately as possible. All I really am concerned about is losing a friend. I almost hope she finds another guy so she can return to her normal self.

This transition was so abrupt and disorientating that it's been forcing me to ask myself "what did I do that was so wrong?" My guess is that she is not used to guy friends, assumes I want more than I actually do and wants a break from guys at the moment. But does that justify acting the way she has?

How do I proceed and react to how she's acting?

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