5 Reasons You Shouldn't Feel Guilty About Falling In Love With Your Friend
So, I'm sitting God knows how many thousands of feet in the air on my way back to London, waking up to a beautiful sunrise, listening to some Ed Sheeran. An aching feeling in the middle of my chest suddenly makes an appearance as I'm watching the sun flare up the sky to my right.
You know that feeling of realization that just hits so close to home? You feel like you're about to start crying but 1) you don't cry (and by "you," I mean me), and 2) if you absolutely had to, it wouldn't be on a flight filled with strangers.
You're all familiar with this story: You meet someone, friendship develops, years go by and they become your person. However, we don't choose when, how and who we love. We don't control how it enters our lives or when it leaves. And to be honest, I don't think love conquers all. There are other elements that work with love in order to make something last. However, the chemistry in these connections is undeniable.
I'm a hopeless romantic at heart. I love love, but I feel like society has ruined it for me. I really don't care about the bouquets of flowers and dinners (although, all of that is great), I don't care for someone to claim me as their #WCE on Instagram. I'm a romantic in the sense that there is someone out there who's soul is the other half to yours. Someone who is compatible with you, even when you can't explain it. I believe in a bond that is very unique in the way it develops, how long it lasts and the impact that it has on our lives.
Call it your soulmate, your missing piece, your beau … I'm a Pisces, and I am a natural dreamer. So, to believe that this exists is not far-fetched in my mind. However, since we live in the age of Tinder and "Netflix and chill," I will not be holding my breath for handwritten love letters across continents anytime soon.
Let me tell you, when you have that "oh, sh*t" moment and realize you're in way too deep and have been lying to yourself all along, that's when you start seeing everything a lot clearer. It's like a "diamonds in the sky" type of revelation. Let's just say falling for a close friend will always go through a weird period of readjustment, especially when you've both confessed feelings for one another and don't know if you're going to move forward with it or not.
Emotions and vulnerability are messy, ladies and gentlemen. I love it, though. If you're self-aware and introspective by nature, being in tune with how you feel is just what you do, but the other party at hand may run for the hills when sh*t gets a bit too real for them. Finding your person can be scary.
After a year of being ghosted, my friend and I reconnected and it was as if nothing ever happened. Maybe we're good at sweeping things under the rug and moving on, or maybe it's because 10 years of friendship and a real bond doesn't just disappear overnight. But whatever the reason, I realized a few things about how we love people, how we react to getting hurt and how we let go:
1. We're all romantics at heart.
You may be the person in your squad who will never be caught tearing up when watching a heartfelt movie (me too bro, me too), but no matter what your exterior shows, we are creatures that yearn for affection. We want someone to notice those little things about us, to notice when we're not ourselves. We ultimately want someone who will be our life partner, through thick and thin. A lover and a best friend.
2. We forget humans are flawed.
You live and you learn, and one of the most important things I've learned is we all mess up. It's so easy to be wronged and to flip the switch and go off. To be honest, for any of us to expect the people we care about to never mess up is holding them to a standard we can't even fulfill. The way we approach situations can be different, and how we exchange words could be wiser. Basically, we just need to handle situations better, people.
3. People come and go.
The people in our lives are not ours. We do not control their movements in our lives. And ultimately, they should be there to add to your life. You are not any less of a person if someone decides to leave, and it doesn't have to be all bad after they do. I see it like this:
When I care about people, it's an all or nothing type of love. I think I have a good read on people and I choose carefully, so I don't get a bitter taste in my mouth when they do leave because 1) you have to let things be, and 2) the good memories will always outweigh the bad.
4. What flaws?
The friend I mentioned earlier always jokes that I put up with a lot of his shenanigans. But quite frankly, although I know what he's talking about, I still don't see it that way. The only way he can be this person I love is with everything that makes him, him. Flaws and all.
I have my vices and so do you, so how can we judge someone else for theirs and not look at our own first? However, if they're indulging in activities that are a detriment to their lives and we truly care about them, then we help them the best we can.
5. We all have that person.
The person who pops up in the back of our minds, the one we're so comfortable with that we can be vulnerable and not fear getting hurt or rejected. We have a person who may be the complete opposite from us, but may get to us better than most. These people are the ones who will never leave our hearts, and that can be both a tragedy or a fairytale. Either way, c'est la vie.
I guess what I'm trying to say is we have no control, and the sooner we realize that about ourselves, the easier it becomes to have some faith and let go. Don't overcomplicate something so special. We all experience love differently.
I may or may not be over someone I thought I had forgotten about, and he may or may not read this (let's not talk about this, if you do). Through my early 20s, I'm learning that adulting is a mind-f*ck, and love is indeed a mother f*cker.