Dating someone who was your friend first is a pretty great thing. Chances are, you've already seen each other at best and at worst. When you're friends first, you get to skip over the awkward “getting to know you” phase and jump right into the good stuff.
Unfortunately, when you start out as friends, you know some things that other people might not ever know about their significant other. If you've ever dated someone who was in your friend group, you probably know what I'm about to say.
You know about the people who came before you.
My boyfriend never dated in the group until he met me, so I know all about who came before me.
Our friends will make jokes about it, I'll make jokes about it and eventually it'll go away. It helps that we're distant from the girls before me -- I don't see them and they don't see me. I'll be honest, they probably hate me and think I was into him the whole time we said we were "just friends."
The truth is, I really wasn't into him and we were just friends, I was into someone else. His best friend.
Yup, that's right. It's not the people that came before me that make our relationship complicated, it's the person who came before him.
For the sake of the story, let's call his roommate Chris. Chris and I had been an on-again-off-again thing for most of the spring semester of my senior year of college. In all the months that we spent staying up all night and sharing secret intimate moments that he never wanted to admit happened, I never knew how he actually felt.
I was always to scared to tell him what I was thinking or how I was feeling because he was difficult. He was difficult to understand, he was difficult to talk to and he was difficult to fall for, but somehow I managed to do it. I really liked Chris.
One day, a friend of ours made a comment that she was “on my team,” basically if he brought any other girl around, she would still be rooting for me. To the best of my knowledge there was no one else when he and I were in our strange limbo.
But the minute our group started to push for us to actually get together, he did exactly what I was afraid he would do. He slept with someone else. And you know what? That's fine. We weren't dating, we weren't exclusive and he could do essentially do whatever he wanted to do.
But I always said, “If he sleeps with someone else, we're done.” And so we were.
I was a mess, but a collected mess. A calm and internal mess, hidden away from our mutual friends. The one person who saw through my calm and collected show was his best friend, who quickly became one of my best friends too. When I was a mess of confusion and hurt, he was the one who picked up all of the pieces.
I never thought of him as more than a friend, but then we were more than just friends. We were best friends, who, out of something that really sucked, fell in love with each other.
Dating my boyfriend is hands-down one of the best things that has ever happened to me, but being with his best friend before him is probably one of the worst to happen to us.
I still see Chris pretty often and I'm always scared that where there is nothing, my boyfriend will still see something. He was who I confided in about Chris, I told him pretty much every detail of our “romance" and he knew exactly how I felt.
Because of this, it took me a while to show my boyfriend that none of my feelings for Chris were left. But sometimes I'm scared he still doesn't believe me.
At first, Chris seemed annoyed at my new relationship. He acted like we were both desperate, and I ended up falling into this patched up relationship. But that couldn't be more wrong. Truthfully, the entire time I was pining over Chris I was basically dating his best friend. I mean, not literally, but I was doing all of the things I should have been doing with Chris, with my current boyfriend.
Me and my current boyfriend were the ones going out to dinner, watching movies and texting 24/7. We were always together and Chris and I just weren't. I fell in love with my boyfriend long before Chris ended what we had, I just didn't realize it at the time.
My boyfriend blames all of Chris' negativity of our relationship on what happened before we dated. Deep down, I think my boyfriend is scared that his best friend is realizing he pushed away something that could have been incredible. To be honest, it causes tension.
Knowing who my boyfriend was with me before me is so hard, I can't imagine what knowing he dated my best friend before me would be like. This situation has been something we've really had to work through as a couple because it plays on both of our insecurities.
At the end of the day though, Chris brought me to my current boyfriend and if that needed to happen for me to be with him and to feel the happiness I feel now, then I'm happy. I can truly say I'm dating my best friend and I'm lucky that I am.