War and I were vanilla lovers for about a year, with flirting and the occational hookup both before and after that period. I cared about him, and still do, and I'm sure that us having to end things was partially my fault. But I'm unsure of what I could have done differently at the time.
When we first became lovers, I was in a very vulnerable place. I was clinically depressed, on sick leave from work, and I just wasn't myself. He gave me attention, company and physical closeness/intimacy. I was very clear that I didn't want any strings attatched, and I didn't want any expectations of anything more. We were lovers, it was a casual, fun thing, and nothing more. We spoke about this repeatedly, and I was very, very frank.
Of course, my actions might have come accross as something else. Because I was so depressed, and because he gave me exactly what I needed at the time, I spent a lot of time with him. I didn't have the energy to do much else or meet other people. It might have come accross as more than a casual fling, at least for a while.
Then I started getting better. I got more energy, I felt like seeing people, socializing and started getting my life back on track. I got a new job, and generally got more busy. I didn't have as much time for War. I still wanted to see him, but I couldn't spend all my time with him anymore. That's when things started going wrong. Because all of a sudden, he got clingy. Needy. All of a sudden, what I expected to be a "no strings"-kind of thing, had all kinds of unexpected strings after all.
And so I kept backing away. I didn't really communicate this clearly to War, because I wasn't entirely aware of it myself (I've analyzed my behavior several months later). The more I backed away and asked for space, the less space he gave me. I tried going to see him a couple of times, stating clarely that sex wasn't going to happen. And yet he kept pushing, making inuendoes and jokes, and obviously not accepting that sex wasn't on the table. On my last visit to his place, I stated clearly four times that his behavior was bothering me, and that it made me feel uncomfortable. He appologized, and then did it again. And again.
I haven't been alone with him since. We still see eachother in social situations, but it's kind of awkward. He gets this look on his face, and we can't speak with eachother like regular friends anymore. Last weekend, we met while he was a bit tipsy and things were better. I really hoped that we could go back to the friendly tone we used to have before. But yesterday and today, he's sent me these weird messages about how he'd wanted to hug me, but didn't do it, and is now regretting not having done it. I don't really know what to say or how to answer, while still remaining truthfull. It's all just very awkward. I miss my friend, and really, really wish he'd just get over me.
Jump and I kind of ended almost before it began. Jump is a good friend of War, that's actually how we met. We had a couple of fun, flirty months. We fooled around a bit, kissed and fondled. Then he was at a New Years party where both War and I were present, and he just couldn't handle me spending time with War. Whenever I spent time with War, sitting next to him or talking with him, Jump would sit starting at us. He'd have this abandoned puppy-look in his eyes, and he wouldn't socialize with anyone else at the party. This bothered War as well, and I know at least a few other guests noticed it too.
I tried to confront Jump with his behavior the following week, and told him how and why it wasn't acceptable. Not only did he not agree with me or understand what I ment, he flat out refused that such a thing could have happened. He claimed he hadn't done anything like that. Hearing him talking about the party, I realised that not only were we not communicating properly. We didn't have the same grip on reality. So I ended it there and then.
Jump and I weren't very close before we started fooling around, but we still meet occationally in social settings. When we do, he completely ignores me. And to be honest, that's fine by me. I don't know what I every saw in the guy. It's certainly still awkward.
With Jump, I know I shouldn't have started fooling around with him in the first place. We didn't know eachother well enough and we were completely unable to communicate. Lesson learned.
With War, I still don't know how I could have acted differently. I wasn't well when we became lovers, but I can't blame the depression. And I certainly can't avoid future relationships because I have or might have a mental illness. I really, truly thought that I'd been clear: I didn't want any strings, I didn't want any expectations. He developped expectations of an "us" anyway.
I can't take responsiblity for what other people think or feel. I can only try to be as clear as I can. And to learn my lessons well, and be even clearer the next time.