We Can’t Be Friends When I Know You’re Looking For More

Unsplash, Aricka Lewis
Unsplash, Aricka Lewis

We can’t be friends, because I’m afraid that you’ll fall in love with me.

I can see it in your eyes, and the way you get tongue-tied and awkward when we sit close on the subway. It’s the way you act like my boyfriend, the way you do sweet, helpful things. It’s the way you ask me about my day and listen to all my stories. It’s the way you play my therapist, and pretend that doing all these things will magically convince me that you’re the one.

I start to push you away, because I suspect you’re catching feelings, but it’s the way you refuse to protect your own heart. It’s the way you pretend like friendship is all you need, like you’re not secretly hoping I’ll change my mind and see how wonderful you really are.

You’re starting to make me doubt whether men and women can really be friends. Then one day, you can’t hold it back anymore and it all comes out, like a gushing river of repressed emotion.

I don’t want you to hang between the blurred lines of love and friendship, wondering where you really stand. I respect our friendship, and don’t wish the pain of heartbreak upon anyone else, least of all you.

So I tell you that I don’t feel the same, and then you leave forever. I realize that I just lost a friend I never had, and this is why we can’t be friends.

We can’t be friends, because I’m afraid that I will fall in love with you.

I’m an old soul, romantic love kind of girl. I can’t deal with the callousness of hook-up culture. I’m not a Facebook friend or an Instagram like. I’m a real person with emotions, thoughts, hopes and dreams. I’m not going to pretend like I don’t care, and that being vulnerable is something I should be ashamed of.

I’m not your ex, your ego boost, or your almost relationship, but I am in touch with my feelings. I know that these foolish games may make you stay, but they won’t make you stay for long. I don’t want to hold onto ghosts on digital screens, instead of being present for a real relationship with someone else good for me. I don’t owe you my loyalty, and this is why we can’t be friends.

We can’t be friends, because I believe in friendship, and I’m not sure you even understand what it is.

I say what I mean, and mean what I say. When I’m a friend to someone, I really am.

Friends truly care for and support each other. Friends protect your best interests and encourage you. Friends don’t leave when they don’t get what they want. Friends want to grow old with you, and want to see you happy. Friends show up and stick around for your best and worst.

Friendship requires equal effort from both people. Friendship is about mutual affection. Friendship is about being there for someone no matter what.

Friendship is about sharing a precious life-long connection with another person that crosses the boundaries of distance and stands the test of time.

We can’t be friends, because we were never friends, and never will be.

We can’t be friends because I want real, authentic, heart-warming, soul-touching friendship, just like I want true love. TC mark

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