When Almost Relationships Disguise Themselves As ‘Just Friends’

Thought Catalog

“Just friends,” the words taste almost bitter coming off your tongue. Because you know it’s a lie.

Friends don’t look at each other the way you do. Friends don’t laugh with each other the way you do. Friends don’t talk to each other the way you do. Friends don’t touch one another like that. And friends don’t feel it from their head to their toes something as small as the other person grazing your hand.

You aren’t just friends. There are history and feelings and what-ifs and maybes that linger. With anyone else you can’t be with, it’s simple you say you’re just friends and that’s what the relationship is. It starts and ends there. But with almost relationships and just friends, there is some emotional or physical connection that’s there.

When you allow an almost relationship to label you ‘just friends’ what you’re really doing is tolerating less than you deserve.

What you’re really doing is saying it’s okay to have this physical relationship even though you’ve stated it’ll never be anything more.

What you’re really doing is allowing yourself to be emotionally invested in someone who cannot reciprocate those feelings.

What you are really doing is disrespecting yourself because you don’t think you deserve better or you know you deserve better but you refuse to set those standards.

What you’re really doing is allowing someone to write and rewrite grey lines in pencil that they can redraw however they feel like based on when they want you in their life.

What you’re really doing is saying this is okay. I would rather have some of your time and attention than be with someone who can give it to me fully.

I would rather the bits and pieces you have left than nothing at all.

You can never be just friends with someone who provokes such intense emotions that don’t seem to go away.

And just because they are putting you in this friends box doesn’t mean you have to be strong enough to tolerate it.

How dare they touch you through the night then wake up saying this will never be something more.

How dare they waste your time and attention and energy when there’s someone out there who will value it and value you more.

How dare they use you as some ego boost.

And how dare they think you’re always going to be a choice they get to make when you’ve made them a priority.

It hurts like hell looking at someone you’ve loved cared about and they did not respect you enough to reciprocate it but took advantage of how you felt.

You aren’t just friends when you’re having casual sex.

You aren’t just friends when you’re talking every day.

You aren’t just friends when you’re sending each other pictures you hope don’t see the light of day.

You aren’t just friends when the conversations you have is something you need to hide.

You aren’t just friends when it hurts that you can’t be with them.

So when they throw the word just friends in your face after everything you’ve been through, throw it right back at them because someone doesn’t deserve the benefits that come with being in a relationship if they aren’t going to actually be in a relationship with you.

And I know you think you love this person but what you love is this idea of what you could be. What you love is this story they’ve led you to believe could be true.

Don’t fall for the maybes and the what ifs and the one day. Because that won’t ever happen.

That isn’t the reality and the sooner you let them go even though you don’t want to, the sooner you’ll be with someone who can give you everything they weren’t able to.

They aren’t your friend. Because friends wouldn’t fuck with how you feel taking complete advantage of it. Friends wouldn’t lead you on like they have. And friends sure as hell don’t wake up in bed next to each other saying it meant nothing. TC mark

Kirsten Corley

Kirsten is the author of But Before You Leave, a book of poetry about the experiences we struggle to put into words.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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