It's a strange thing, the "let's just be friends" conversation, as it can go several different ways. To be honest, the conversation is usually less of a "let's just be friends" and more of a "I'm blaming my divorce on not wanting a relationship with you because I still can't find those big girl panties and tell you I'm just not that into you" one. Until I met BR, this conversation resulted in either an understanding conversation resulting in never hearing from the person again or a caustic bitching out about how I'm a terrible human being. BR did something entirely different--he called me out on it and then proceeded to analyze what went wrong.
After weeks of awesome emails and a great first two dates, BR and I got along well, but I was starting to wonder whether we had the chemistry I was looking for. I figured the 3rd date would be the deciding factor as to whether things would progress further (i.e. get freaky by the end of the night). However, after dinner and drinks, I realized that this wasn't going to be the third date that he likely had great expectations of...if he had expectations of getting freak nastier than an awkward make out session on his couch listening to Joss Stone...yeah. Note to men: If a woman tells you that country music makes her panties drop, it's usually a good idea to put on said panty dropping music to put her in the mood.
After an awkward 3rd date, I did what any woman recently back on the dating scene who wishes to avoid an uncomfortable conversation does. I told BR that I wasn't ready for a relationship and got off the phone quickly. As expected, he sent me a follow up email, but instead of wishing me luck or telling me that I was a raging bitch for leading him on, he called me out and analyzed our dates. He cited the awkwardness of our 10th grade make out session that he also felt that something was "off" between us. Great, nice to know you think I'm a bad kisser too.
Then BR sent me a few more emails examining our 3rd date that made me question *just* how many therapy sessions he had been to over the years. While a bit of a behavior breakdown could be helpful in working though what went wrong, he took it to a "Dear Diary" level. Fortunately I was too busy trying not to freak out over the Bar Exam to respond, ignored the onslaught of text and planned to let things naturally fade out.
Unfortunately, my good plan was foiled when, on the second day of the Bar Exam I got caught in the most horrendous traffic on my way to the test. After traveling 8 miles in 45 minutes, the possibility that I would be late and miss the exam became a harsh reality and I had no option but to ditch the highway for surface roads...through none other than BR's town. Not knowing the town well, I unsuccessfully consulted Google Maps (jerks) and started to panic.
I sat in traffic in an unfamiliar town with less than 20 minutes until the exam started and my panic turned into a full on freak out fit of hysterics. In a moment of desperation, I picked up the phone and called the only person who could help me navigate through the back roads of whereever-the-hell-I-was. I called BR. Why he picked up the phone after I had ignored him for two days, I will never know. Truth be told, neither does he, as he later wrote in a long email entitled "Panicky Blonde" detailing his thought process and internal negotiations as to whether he should pick up the phone (except he said this in about 3 times as many sentences as my quick summary)
There's nothing as humbling in the dating world as ignoring someone and later having to rely on them for something. I gave a quick, "Ok, I-know-I-owe-you-an-explanation-but-I'm-late-to-the-Bar-Exam-and-got-stuck-in-traffic-and-now-I'm-lost-in-your-town-and-freaking-the-fluck-out-so-can-you-please-please-please-help-me-out?!" intro. Thankfully, BR took pity upon me and guided me through his town, down a surprisingly not so ghetto MLK Blvd and to my Bar Exam. I got off the phone realizing that if he had wanted to date me before my call, the chorus of "fluck, fluck, fluckity fluck!" that I shouted in between hysterical sobs would have solved that issue.
BR was nice about my call and we spoke at length over the weekend about our new friendship. While he's still not convinced that there can't be something there, we are proceeding as friends. I figured anyone who was nice enough to help me in a Bar Exam crisis after ignoring him for days is someone who could be a good friend...or at least a novella writing penpal.