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Subtlety is not something that I am familiar with. In every area of my life, bluntness is the name of the game. No one has time for the silly games of "well, maybe, kind of..." etc. Yet twice in the last few months, I have learned the hard way that there were two guys interested in me and had been very subtle about trying to tell me.
While away from NYC for my sister's wedding, I sent a message telling the man who I am currently interested in a message letting him know that I missed him. To be certain, there was a large amount of alcohol involved here because I was under the impression that he was straight. He returned the sentiments, and later, I found out that he was morose and sad while I was away. Then a friend of his sent me a message and the conversation was an eye-opener. When I ran the information by some of our mutual friends, they were all stunned that I hadn't realized he had a crush on me. In fact, they had figured we were already dating. Say what!
When I got back to my adopted city, he and I hung out. Here is where I decided that it was time for me to shine, and I blatantly told him how I felt. He smiled and acknowledged he felt the same way. Our relationship has still been a slow burn ever since, but we've found our own way of communicating with one another that mixes both of our communication styles, and it's probably the healthiest relationship I've ever had.
The other guy was a complete surprise to me. In October 2018, my friend died. The guy, Roofer, asked me to hangout one night with him. I had no reason to say no to him, we were friends after all. We had dinner and the conversation was a bit stilted, especially since he deemed it necessary to let me know that he is bisexual every other sentence. Since he had a girlfriend at the time, it didn't dawn on me that he was making a play for me. And he knew that I was interested in the other guy.
I told my guy and a friend about it, their reactions were, "You know he was hitting on you, right?" No, I seriously did not know that. When did saying "I'm bi" become a pickup line? Recently, I told another friend about this incident, his reaction was pretty much the same. Then he asked me a question that no one has asked me in many, many, many years, "You're straight, right?" When I answered, everyone on the call laughed because I sounded so offended.
Another time I went out with Roofer was to see a movie. Again, in my mind, this was two friends hanging out, at this point, everyone around me and my guy had picked up on the clues that something had developed between us. And since Roofer was going through a breakup, there was no way he was in the mindset to date. And once again everyone told me that I was missing the clues and not paying close enough attention. They were wrong, I swore it. How could they not see that they were wrong about this? They couldn't see it because they weren't wrong. As I found out, he was interested in something more with me but decided to not tell me. Or to be fair, tell me in a subtle way that I didn't pick up on.
It is not Roofer or My Guy's faults that I did not pick up on the hints that they were interested in me. Instead, I should have been looking for the signs and acknowledging that all was not what it seemed with them. But as I mentioned, things have turned out for the best. Just learn to speak your partner's language.