You don’t have to date someone to kiss them. You don’t have date someone to have sex with them. And you don’t have to date someone to develop strong feelings for them.
You might have only been in an almost relationship, but most of the time, almost relationships are exactly the same as official relationships, minus the title. Minus the respect. Minus the effort put forth from both sides.
That’s why it’s so hard to get over an almost. For the most part, they treated you like they were already dating you. They texted you every morning. They hung out with you every weekend. They introduced you to their best friends and kissed you on the lips and invited you into their bed.
It’s no wonder why you developed feelings for them. They made you believe it was only a matter of time until you were going to enter a real, committed relationship. They acted like you were on the path to forever.
While it lasted, it felt more like a relationship than a friendship. So when it ended, you had every right to treat it like a relationship ending. To let your tears seep into your pillowcase. To have imaginary conversations with them in your head where you confronted them about how they were wrong. To text your friends about what an asshole they were and how you can’t believe you let them use you for so long.
You don’t actually have to date someone to get your heart broken by them, so stop feeling like you don’t have a right to complain about what happened. You have every right to be angry. You have every right to feel sad and confused and betrayed.
You shouldn’t feel like you’re being overdramatic or overemotional since you never technically dated. They never technically promised to stay loyal to you. They never technically asked you to be their one and only.
But even though they didn’t technically turn your relationship into an official one, they made you feel special. They made you feel like they were going to stick around for a long time. Like you didn’t have anything to worry about.
You can’t act like that person wasn’t a significant part of your life, just because you aren’t able to call them an ex. You might not have dated them, but you spent a large chunk of time together. You told each other secrets. You got close in ways that you usually only get close to boyfriends/girlfriends.
Maybe you were the one who cared more. Maybe they never wanted to date you, even though that’s all you wanted to do. Maybe you didn’t mean as much to them as you hoped — but you still meant something to them. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have spent so much time on you. They wouldn’t have let you into their world the way they did.
Don’t feel weird about missing them now that they are gone, because you don’t have to date someone to fall in love with them. And you definitely don’t have to date someone to have your heart broken by them.