I met Mark when my friend, Kate, brought him along for a night out. He was so nice. Almost too nice. Maybe he’s like this with everyone, I thought. Then he asked when he could see me again.
“Whenever!” I replied. “Well, that’s encouraging,” he said. Oh wait, maybe he is hitting on me, I wondered. Turns out he was.
We went to a museum on our first date, which I loved. Mark even kissed me during the cab ride home. For months, we dated happily. We did everything together – and with our friends. Not only were Mark and I getting closer, but our social circles were intertwining. Our group of friends became an important part of our relationship. Almost like our squad was the “power couple.”
Suddenly, Mark grew distant. When I woke up one morning and didn’t receive my usual “Good morning, honey” text, I was alarmed. I immediately knew something was up. So I called him. No answer. A few minutes later he returned my call to say, “I need time apart.”
My heart sank. I didn’t understand, he seemed so into me. But I didn’t push it. I didn’t reach out to him at all.
A few weeks later and I had yet to hear from Mark. But, we were both invited to our mutual friend, Randy’s, birthday dinner. Face to face, we both just waved. There was awkward tension from opposite ends of the table. Thing is the party didn’t stop there. After a few hours (and drinks) we ended up at Randy’s house to continue the birthday celebration. And Mark and I hooked up. Blame it on the alcohol.
I was embarrassed after the fact. All of our friends knew we had sex that night, and I knew we would just go back to ignoring each other.
Two months went by, and as I expected things between Mark and I didn’t change. But, we were still invited to the same gatherings. So I began declining invites if I knew Mark would be there. I didn’t want to make my friends uncomfortable, but I didn’t want to feel awkward or have a shitty time. There was one event, however, that was a special occasion: a Friendsgiving potluck dinner. I had to go no matter what.
I walked in and there was Mark on the couch. I decided to be the bigger person, sat down beside him, and began small talk. Then it happened again. One too many drinks later and we had sex. And everyone found out. Again. And I was embarrassed. Again. Because we ignored each other AGAIN after seeing each other naked. AGAIN!
That’s when I realized I needed more. This is not the type of relationship I want. I needed to be an adult and control myself and my urges. Yes, I still liked him, but our situationship would just get worse. So I decided to attend events even if Mark was invited. I forced myself to interact with him as a friend. No more hooking up. Because all this drama was jeopardizing my relationship with my friends.
Eventually, Mark and I talked things through. We were on the same page and agreed to leave our past behind and focus on our friendship for the sake our group of friends. Things are still awkward, they may always be. But I’m sucking it up for the “power couple” squad.