I thought long and hard about what to say, practised with Mum, etc. Basically I was first going to ask if he felt he'd been getting mixed signals, ask how that made him feel, then explain and apologise.
To cut a long story short, when I asked if he felt he'd been getting mixed signals, he quickly said "No." That threw me! I had this perfect spiel prepared, now what was I supposed to say? Well, I double checked, and said that I felt like I'd been sending mixed signals and needed to apologise. "No, you're fine." Ok... So I just said "Well, whatever I do is just in friendship, Ok?" "OK."
So that was very different to what I was expecting! I'm 99% sure his "no" was completely untrue, that he was just taken by surprise and wasn't ready to talk about it. It was kinda frustrating - I really felt I needed to say sorry, but he wasn't going to admit I'd done anything wrong, so there wasn't much I could do! But I guess the end result is the same - he knows I don't want a relationship or anything right now.
I'm very thankful things didn't stay awkward for long afterwards - we've had several good chat conversations since then, and I'm still comfortable driving him to church etc. Our friendship is growing, which is awesome. It's kind of annoying though - I still have to be especially careful since for all I know he still likes me.
I guess now comes the lessons I've learnt. Well, here's a list:
- NEVER FLIRT unless you legitimately want a relationship. Ugh I thought I'd learnt this already - apparently not. :/ Hopefully I've learnt it now!
- If you feel something's up with your behaviour, actually take time out to evaluate what and why and how to fix it! If I'd done that this would have been sooooo much easier.
- If you have something this complicated with a relationship of any kind, it's best to talk about it. Honestly, I'm glad I tried even though it didn't go exactly to plan. I feel we can still move on now, instead of wallowing in this what's-up-with-us-what-do-we-do-now tension.
- Always let your parents know everything that's happening and ask them for help! Oh gosh, I can't imagine trying to navigate this on my own. I'm soooooo thankful for my parents and how they helped me sort things out.
- Don't let backing up or an awkward situation stifle a friendship. Yes, I flirted, and had to tone down my behaviour. I've had to be way more careful with what I do or say. But that doesn't mean I have to stop being a friend, or being there for him like I would with anyone else. I don't have to stop talking to him or listening to him. Just because I had to cool my actions doesn't mean I have to be totally cold. I think that's a big mistake that can be made - letting repentance swing us too far the other way. Also - yes, we've just had a rather awkward time. But that doesn't need to be wallowed in. We kinda forced ourselves to get over it I think, which was good.
- As always, God is faithful. He's gotten me through this crash-course in different guy-girl relationships. ;)
And now my story is all told. :)