|Love is complicated. Seriously.|
A year ago, I wrote that making your best friend your boyfriend was acceptable. I said that when you love someone, nothing should stop you. Take the risk, it’s worth it. But then I fell in love with my best friend and I realized: I’d spoken too soon.
What they say is true; you really can’t help who you fall in love with. I didn’t want to feel the way I did about him because I knew it wasn’t mutual. But I couldn’t deny what my heart was telling me. So I took my own advice and I took a risk. It backfired.
I thought we were on the same page. In fact, he came on to me first so I figured it was only appropriate to follow suit. But feelings change and eventually, I was the one fighting for him, not the other way around. This is where the messiness started.
If we’d just stayed friends, if we hadn’t crossed that line, there wouldn’t have been feelings to be hurt. We’d still be the way we were without any hostility, resentment, or awkwardness.
And while some feelings change, others stay the same. Like mine, for example. Although he was over it, I wasn’t. I kept holding on, convinced he’d change his mind. That held me back from opportunities I know I should have taken. I didn’t want to go out and flirt with other guys because I only had eyes for him. I wanted to impress him so I did things for him, not myself. I changed who I was for him. But you’re not supposed to change for your friends – they’re supposed to accept you for who you are.
He was always supposed to be there for me but he couldn’t be when we were fighting. We fought about him hurting me, fought about my giving it everything I had and him giving nothing, fought about his lies. We fought about everything couples should fight about – but we weren’t dating. We’d go a week without talking because I was trying to make a statement but if he’d just been my friend, I’d be over it in a day and move on. And that took a toll on our friendship.
I started trying too hard to make him like me instead of just being myself – who was probably the person he fell for in the first place. But then we got into a routine. A routine of me spilling my emotions and him soaking it up because it made him feel like someone cared. So when we finally decided to nix my emotions for the sake of our friendship, it actually fell apart. Things were drastically different. I wasn’t being myself because who I was wasn’t who I could be.
I started forfeiting my emotions and my well-being for the sake of our friendship and I knew it wasn’t good for me. But above everything else, he was my best friend and I couldn’t let that go. So I dealt with it, regardless of the unhealthy pain.
This isn’t how it always goes, though. Sometimes is does work out. While I wish we never would’ve taken it further, I’ve never regretted taking a risk or anything that’s happened between him and I. If you never try, you’ll never know.
You can’t live your life wondering what would happen if you tried or what could happen if you don’t. Go for the dive and wait to see if you make a clean plunge. My friendship is surviving at my expense but that doesn’t have to be how it ends for you. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that happy endings are possible. Your happy ending may be that it works out. Mine just so happens to be that despite the messiness, I’m able to keep a best friend who tolerates my craziness and sticks around even when he knows that I’m madly, deeply and so devotedly in love with him.
♥AUTHOR: CHELSEA TIRRELL