The Beauty Of The Friendzone

“I think I like you and I just wanted to know your thoughts or if you felt the same way.”

Adrenaline has now spiked through my body. The surroundings are fading to black and I honestly feel like passing out. My heart is pounding. You’re in too deep, there is no turning back now. Expressing your feelings for someone is a terrifying and nerve wracking experience. It is full of complete uncertainty, but the results are something worth discovering.

We met through mutual friends about a year ago. A few months later he and I realized we have class together three times a week. After class we would go to breakfast religiously. We talked about life goals and aspirations, the type of person we want to marry, and philosophical discussions. Pretty deep stuff for a mediocre omelet meal. Weeks go by and tests started approaching. We were studying on the off-days and hanging out on the weekends. Next thing you know we were together almost every single day.

All my friends kept asking if we liked each other. We would have hour long conversations with eyes locked; I always felt like we were the only two people sitting in a crowded room. The outside perspective could see the chemistry between us. “Would you two date already?” “It’s so obvious you both like each other!” You name it, I was hearing it and I’m not going to lie, it felt good.

I was 92% positive he liked me too, so I did what any business student would do.

I made a Cost/Benefit ratio. Normal people call it a Pro/Con list, but no matter how I spun the data, the benefits outweighed the costs. Most of the costs consisted of outrageous stuff that your mind convinces you could happen, but never actually would. The benefits were centered around our already established friendship. Regardless, telling him meant that I would no longer have to sit here making these lists, wondering if he liked me or not.

They played a crucial part in gathering my thoughts and building my confidence. My goal was set for February 2nd, one month away. Each week leading up to February 2nd, I was running the words through my head. I made a promise to myself that I would not script his response to avoid expectations. You truly never know how the other person is going to react.

A week before my set date and I was so nervous. We were eating lunch and got into a serious conversation that confirmed not only do I like him, but I want to date him. There was this awkward silence, not because I didn’t know what to say, but because the only thing I wanted to say was “I like you.” The words would not come out, but that’s okay because I still had 7 days left.

It was February 2nd and a pretty solid ankle injury landed him a new pair of crutches. We got lunch and studied for a couple hours together; I felt like I lost my voice every time I tried to speak! Since he was hobbling along, our walking pace was off and I could not catch the rhythm to tell him. Today was supposed to be the day. I walked away full of regret and defeated.

My goal was not to take the easy way out. I was not about to go through his best friend; easy does not mean better, this is not high school anymore. If you have feelings for someone, you should express them in person. I knew a conversation like this needed to happen face to face and not via text message.

It’s crazy to view the richest place on Earth as a cemetery. Full of unspoken words, unfulfilled dreams, undiscovered cures, and unwritten masterpieces. The rest of the day I kept telling myself, “ugh, I wish I would have just told him”. Regret is centered around living within your comfort zone and not venturing out. There is no reason to live in the “what could have been”. Fear was no longer going to dictate my decision. That was the real moment I discovered the benefits outweighed the costs.

It was February 9th when I told him I liked him.

I had no idea how he was going to react! I set an alarm on my phone for 2:30 P.M., I figured that gave us an hour to eat lunch and we would be walking by then. Didn’t exactly work like that, the alarm went off during lunch, but it was a nice way to get my heart pumping. The first time I chickened out because we were indoors (stupid reason but that is why). Pretty much the second we walked outside, the words exploded out.

Keep in mind, this man is on crutches still (great time to do it because he is unable to run away). So as he is mid-crutch I burst out with “I think I like you.” I got an immediate response of “wait, what did you say!?” And he makes me repeat myself three times due to disbelief.

Adrenaline has now spiked through my body. The surroundings are fading to black and I honestly feel like passing out. My heart is pounding.

“I had no idea you felt like this, I thought we were just friends.”

He states in the sincerest way possible.

I told him how I appreciated his friendship and everyone around me kept asking if I liked him so I started to ask myself that. He told me how proud he was for telling him and thanked me a million times because that takes “huge balls.” I told him I was embarrassed because I didn’t think anyone could see them through my pants. We laughed and he hugged me.

He apologized for unintentionally leading me on; he grew up with sisters and that accounted for my 8% chance of him not liking me back. The part I appreciated most was when he said, “You’ve become one of my best friends and I promise this is not going to make anything awkward between us. If you feel uncomfortable or want to talk about it more, call me tonight and we will talk about it.”

Those words are the reasons why I liked him in the first place.

We exchanged more hugs and gratitude and I walked away from our conversation feeling accomplished, not rejected. I was proud of myself for telling him how I felt because so often people don’t say anything.

The situation was fraught; I was full of anxiety and the feelings were not mutual, but it was a 100% worth-while. There are no more “what ifs” and misreading signs. Opening that door of communication was liberating! Who knows, maybe one day down the road feelings will change.

For now, being friends is a pretty cool place to be. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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