Thursday, June 23, 2011

On Falling in Love with your Best Friend


I'm going to go ahead and blame Julia Roberts for making it popular to enter into marriage pacts with your best friend if you aren't married by a certain age.

It didn't work out too splendidly for her, so I should have known it would crash and burn for me.

Essentially, in the past couple of months, I realized that I'm in love with my best friend.

It only took me 12 years.

I met J my sophomore year in high school, but we didn't really become close until our college years. When I was 20, single and slightly bitter, I told him that I was going to wind up as one of those single, crazy old ladies with a bunch of cats. It was then he suggested that we get married at 30 if neither of us had taken the plunge yet.

The thing is, J has always made his feelings for me known to everyone. In front of our friends, he referred to me as the love of his life, woman of his dreams and future wife. I always knew I deeply cared for him, but I pushed it aside as deep love for a friend and considered him along the lines of a brother.

It never occurred to me that I would ever see him differently. That is, until I realized that the feeling I get in my gut when I'm around him is unlike any I've felt around anyone else.

So, I pretty much pounced on him a couple months back when I found out he was back on the market. We kissed, among other things, for the first time that night, and it just felt...right. No awkwardness, no feeling like we shouldn't be engaged in what we're doing. I just kept wondering why it hadn't happened sooner.

That was two months ago. We've been on a couple dates, sent some cute texts back and forth, and had a couple other rendezvous. But I know things aren't where they should be.

So finally, I broke down and asked him where we're at. And I got some roundabout answer, interlaced with a lot of bullshit. He said he's always liked the idea of us, but the timing is off.

When he started throwing out the standard excuses I knew all he really needed to say but didn't have the balls to tell me was: "I like you, just not enough to date you."

And it sucks. I feel like I've been suckered punched. Or at least I did when I finally accepted the reality of the situation.

Because I can handle it when a random guy screws me over. I expect it. It doesn't phase me anymore.

But when it's someone who I've been friends with for years, who has taken care of me when I'm sick, picked me up when I'm drunk and emotional, was by my side at my grandfather's funeral...

...let's just say that I thought that I meant a bit more to him.

So I've done what I've done best - injected myself with a heavy dose of emotional novacaine.

Because it's easier. Easier than facing the sting of rejection. Easier than reliving the fact that his feelings don't match mine. Easier than realizing that I may lose one of my oldest friends.

But I guess that's the risk you take when you try to take a friendship to the next level. Things will never be the same between us.

And God damnit it sucks.

Though this reality - harsh as it may be - is infinitely better than the alternative: staying in limbo and waiting and hoping for that one day when he decides that he's ready to be with me. We've known each other 12 years. If he doesn't know by now, I don't think he ever will.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Words of Wisdom

"Don't be afraid to be single. It makes you stronger, and your relationships of the future will be stronger, too." - My therapeutic-as-a-glass-of-wine friend who has helped me keep my shit together the past 12 years.

He said this to me via Facebook im while he was in Austrailia for graduate school and I was airing my worries to him that I would never find anyone. I wrote it down and have kept it on my desk at work ever since. When I'm having a "Woe is me...I'm going to be alone the rest of my life" day, it gives me a kick in the ass to stop throwing myself a pity party.

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