Have you ever been in love with one of your best friends? People say, “friendship is a good place to start” but I’ve found the opposite to be true. I met Mr. X thorough mutual friends and was instantly was attracted to him. I kept my crush secret from everyone in the friend circle because I wanted to get to know him better; to see if this was someone I’d actually want to date. Something between us clicked and before you knew it, we ditched everyone else in the group and mostly hung out one on one.
While I didn’t out right express my feelings toward him, I certainly showed it through my actions. I invited him to a concert, I was paying and rented a car to get us to New Jersey. We sat very close, legs touching, paying more attention to each other than the concert; apologies Jennifer Lopez. I was in heaven, until he made a sexual comment about another guy he found attractive. My body language changed and I pulled away. I was deeply disappointed but didn’t say anything until he brought it up on the car ride home. He said, “I love spending time with you, but something is missing on a romantic level.” My heart sank to the floor; all I wanted to do was go home and cry. I told him “the friendship was important to me and I didn’t want to lose him.” Mr. X agreed; we were going to keep it platonic but from that point on our relationship only grew more complex.
We started playing the part of a happy couple; people would often ask if we were together. We didn’t bother to correct anyone and let people assume we were. We would text each other as soon as we woke up in the morning and all throughout the day. Often meeting up after work and even spent weekends taking road trips. He worked near my apartment in Brooklyn but lived outside the city, so he started to sleep over. We would cook or go out to dinner, watch TV and pretty much alienated ourselves from all other friends. He even said, “I could see things changing between us.” I thought things were progressing but we stayed in this state of limbo for months. I liked the companionship, so I tolerated the dysfunction. I grew deeper in love with him and kept my feelings to myself but eventually confessed. He didn’t respond too well, he was angry and felt I was being nice to him because I had an agenda. Which was true, my agenda was to take our exclusive “friends relationship” to the next level!
One day, I was in the kitchen washing dishes. Mr. X was sitting behind me, my back was turned to him. He made a snide remark which clearly was designed to hurt my feelings. It was in this space and time, where I had an Ah hah moment!! I said, to myself, “you don’t need this!” If I was going to devote so much of my time to someone, it better be with a guy who was on the same page. I loved him and it killed me to let him go but I knew it was what I needed to do. I felt used and vowed never to repeat this behavior again.
Sometimes, we compromise ourselves against better our judgment to feel loved. I diminished myself from what I truly wanted from a partner because I didn’t want to fail. I’ve seen many of my friends do this as well – stay with people who they know deep down are not good for them. This is not love and love should never feel that way. I can see that now in retrospect. I’ve learned a lot from this experience, if I were ever to find myself developing feelings for a friend, I would be honest from the get go. If the person does not feel the same, then I’d choose to step away and not torture myself with unrequired love. Everyone’s experience is different, perhaps you are reading this and are married to someone who started off as a friend? That is great, kudos to you! My message here is not to dissuade people from dating their friends but to encourage others not to remain in stagnant relationships not beneficial to their greater good. We should always value ourselves and realize we are worth someone’s whole heart.
After our “friendship” break-up, Mr. X tried contacted me several times trough social media; by liking photos and leaving comments. I saw this as yet another sign he was not ready to give me what I wanted. If he really wanted to make things work between us on any level, he would have picked up the phone and made a real effort. Although our friendship was dysfunctional, I value the time spent and lessons learned. I’ll always have a place him my heart for him but understand we cannot be together which is OK! Life goes on, as does my quest for true love. #NeverGiveUp
Photo via toovia.com