I Know You’re In Love With My Boyfriend
I know you are in love with my boyfriend because I have been you. Maybe I still am you. I have done all the things with my guy friends that you have done with him. We are the same, with the same terrifying future of being, dying, alone. I will reach out to you until I notice the phone calls, and the emails, and the long lunches. Then I will give the ultimatum, you or me. And he will pick me.
Because I am new. I have never done or said anything to push him away. I want our love to work, more than you ever cared about your friendship. He will appreciate in me all the things that you pointed out at the very beginning of our relationship. You will start to resent me. After all, I’m taking away the man who was always there — lulls and sexual frustration.
And I know your pain. I have straddled the naked thighs of my “just friends” and felt his beard against my chest. I’ve been the wing-woman, giving him relationship advice and drinking beer when it falls through. I’ve been there when his dad left, when his dog died, when his sister was married. I’ve stayed over at his house and kissed him in the morning and worn his shirts to work.
And that is why I hate you.
He will tell me it’s nothing, that neither of you have ever made a move, but I tell him the same thing about my guy friends. He can tell me that you’re not as pretty as I am, but sometimes when we’re having phone sex, I know he’s thinking about you. I know because I don’t have long brown hair, and you do, and he just talked about it. And when I relent and forgive you for loving him (you will never know that I knew) you will be grateful that the door to your “friendship” has reopened. But don’t ask to be his beer pong partner, and don’t ask to ride with him. Don’t pretend you’re so drunk you need a ride home, don’t crash at his place. I have been you. I have been you.
For six years you stood by his side. Six years of frustration, and a fluid relationship of maybe friends, maybe more. You stood there and he kissed you once, and there was a party where you pretended he was your boyfriend, and there was a drunken hook-up that he will never, never tell me about. I know you are in love with my boyfriend, because he is just a little bit in love with you.
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Even as I write this now I am debating whether or not to erase it all together.
When I say I’m in love with you, I mean I love the story I can tell to my next lover, about my ex-lover, about how beautiful things were, how intense, how storybook, what a couple we were, and how you gradually, inexplicably, painfully, bit by bit, disappeared.
“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”
I was 24 and, while not gay, ever since college I had been getting more attention from gay men than from heterosexual women.