I can’t be ‘just friends’ with you because I do not do casual friendships.
Because I don’t want to catch up every couple of months over burnt coffee and overrated pleasantries. Because I don’t want to mindlessly like your Facebook updates and congratulate you on your milestones from a distance, like each meaningless acquaintance you’ve collected over the years.
Because you’re someone too magnanimous for me to ever pay that little attention to.
Because you are not forgettable enough for an acquaintanceship, but friendship isn’t something that I’m braced for.
Because being friends with you means going out on dates and then discussing them with you the next day, as I internally compare every potential suitor with you, despite every conscious attempt not to do so.
It means knowing that no other man or woman will stand to measure up, so long as you’re still in my life.
You, with your mind like a lightening storm.
You, with the smile that destroys me.
Being ‘just friends’ with you means pushing down the parts of me that want to rush to your side every time you’re feeling lonely, to fix your problems before they have the chance to crop up.
Because friendship means committing to the boundaries that I’m not sure I can trust myself to adhere to. It means stepping away each time I want to step closer.
Being ‘just friends’ means watching you move on. It means watching you crush on and court and win over other women in the way you never fought to win over me. It means wondering what each of them have that I don’t, every time you introduce me to someone new. It’s a continuous blow to the ego, which I’m not sure I can handle right now.
Being ‘just friends’ means trying to keep making you happy and never knowing where to draw the line. How much affection I’m allowed to express. How often I’m supposed to text or see you. How much of my mind and heart and energy I’m meant to share with you, because I want to give you it all.
Because left unbridled, I would.
Because the thing about you is that you make me want to be a better version of myself.
One who can love more fully, give more selflessly, put aside my own needs and finally put someone else’s above their own.
You make me want to become the kind of person who is big enough to be a good friend to you.
But doing so means having to finally bury the part of me that hopes for something more.
And I’m not ready to do that. Not yet.
With you, I’m not sure I ever will be.