So It Begins
You find a person that you can really relate to and you think to yourself, “Hey, this kid is actually pretty cool!” You start to hang out more and text more often. They become your best friend on Snapchat, they always will like your Facebook or Instagram posts and favorite your tweets. You study together, you eat together, you just enjoy being in their presence. They laugh at your jokes, even when they’re not funny and you laugh at them when they’re not trying to be funny. You’re there for them, like any good friend through the good and the bad, because that’s what friends are for, right?
The space closes
Now that you’re such good friends, you can actually talk. And by talk, I don’t mean the “How was the party last night?” or “Hey, let’s go grab a bite to eat!” texts, but I mean really talk.
The talks that consist of tears and long daring eye contact, that hasn’t really happened before now. You’ll share things with them that you haven’t shared with anyone before, or things that only your closest friends know. Things about your sexuality, your past — the things that sometimes you really don’t even want to remember. These are the chats that keep you up until 5 in the morning, and you didn’t even realize could move that fast. But also, chats that make you feel closer together. You finally feel like your friend trusts you and is comfortable enough to be open with you, a feeling that — trust me when I say this — was a long time coming.
Is this flirting?
Now that you know, literally, everything about the other person, you’re no longer afraid to just be yourself. You know that after chats until 5 in the morning including lots of tears and shoulders to cry on that there will be no judgement passed for any action that is done. No exceptions. But what happens when things start to be said, in text messages initially, that could possibly be taken as more than friendly? Of course you don’t think anything of it the first couple of times, but wait. Here they are, more often than not in your text conversations, and you throw them right back, not thinking much of the situation. But after awhile, you start thinking about what’s being said and now all these different things are running through your head. “Oh, crap. What if he’s not just joking around?” or, even worse in some cases, “What if I’m not joking around?” We’re just friends. We’re just friends.
You walk around campus with him like it’s no problem, you go to class together because you inevitably share all the same classes. You go to lunch or grab a coffee or just sit outside and talk. Your common Facebook pictures and tweets to each other have everyone on the outside asking what the situation is between the two of you, and let me say that that’s a very hard question to answer when you really don’t know what the situation is. “It’s complicated,” you’ll say with a smirk, brushing it off like it’s nothing. Your friends will ask you what’s going on, and of course you’re honest with them. You mention that you don’t really know, but you might have feelings for him a little bit. They want to know all the “deets” and so you show screenshots of some of the messages he’s sent as they all read on with smiling faces and growing eyes. “He totally likes you!” They’ll all say grinning and with more excitement than you probably have about it yourself.
You still just don’t know.
Now that everyone is pretty much convinced you two are together, but nothing else has come of it between the two of you. Although, there is a continuation of flirty texts and now the flirtation is getting a little more physical. You know, the occasional hand grab–jokingly of course. Or the pushing the hair behind the ear. Everybody else has got you seriously questioning your feelings and this relationship. We’re just best friends, right? Well, he is an amazing guy, and that’s why we are best friends. Yes, we are just best friends.
But then again, there’s that thing about how he is pretty attractive, but you’re not shallow. So, yes. Best friends. But then, there’s also how he really gets you, and not just gets you, like little junior high girls say about their boyfriends, but he understands how you enjoy the little things, and how song lyrics mean something to you. He’ll send you a song to listen to, hinting at the fact that the lyrics are special to your relationship. He’ll bring you a coffee from Starbucks or a root beer when you’re stressed or having a bad day. He really gets you. And you love that.
Although you are just best friends, with his feelings still up in the air, you can’t help but get jealous when he’s around other girls. When he’s hanging out with the girl he had a crush on freshman year. And they’re going out and doing things that you and him used to do. Or they go to a party that everybody knows he should have taken you to, especially with the way he had hinted at it for weeks beforehand. You aren’t his girlfriend, so why are you jealous? He’s your best friend, just be happy for him. Just be happy for him.
One Saturday night around 3 AM after he had come back from a party that night and invited you to his room, you sit on the bed and look at each other, initiating a chat about anything. Because you’re with your best friend at 3 AM and why not, right? He grabs your hand and just looks at you. “We should talk.” Well, yes, I figured as much since we’re sitting on your bed at 3 AM. He continues to tell you how he really does like you and that all his flirtatious gestures were legitimate, but he just doesn’t know what to do. He wants to try, but he’s also afraid of what could happen if things didn’t work out. “What if things don’t get back to how they were?” Crap. That’s a good question. How do I answer that? He tells you that you get him. Sound familiar? He says that you’re the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen and that he can’t imagine his life without you. But where does that leave you? Hanging by a thread, I suppose. But you leave it at that.
The following days
In the following days, he continues to be flirtatious and more forward physically, and you start to think that you’ve really fallen. But suddenly, he begins to pull away.
The flirting stops, and the talking dies down quite a bit. You’re confused, and you don’t know what happened. You try talking to him, but he just doesn’t want to talk. Finally, you sit him down and make him speak. He tells you that he’s just so confused, and doesn’t know what he wants to do. The idea of you two being together is magical, but there are so many other things that are blocking his vision. The connection between his head and his heart aren’t matching up. “What do we do?” He asks. Well, you know what you would do, but he’s the one who is questioning it. You tell him that you should do whatever makes him happy. As always, putting him in front of yourself. Later that night, you receive a text saying that it’s time you decide that you’re just best friends. And that your friendship is the most important thing to either of you.
He tells you he loves you very much, something that he had never initiated before, so you know that he’s serious. And that you mean everything to him. A break up, without a relationship.
Now that you know, it’s time that you start trying to stop thinking about what could have been and move on with life. You have better things to worry about: school, your friends, your family, etc. But what if. What if. What if. What if. The worst question you can ever ask yourself. You know he was thinking about the both of you, and especially you, but still. How are you supposed to face him now? Knowing everything that had happened.
You don’t want to have to sit in class next to him with the last thing that had been said was “I love you so much, and I’m so sorry. Best friends? :D” With the grinning emoji, of course, cause that’s his thing. You have to move on with life and just smile for the mere fact that he still is in your life and you have such a fantastic relationship. But now it’s hard to see him with other girls, he still tells you his secrets and his fantasies, you’re his best friend. But part of you will always wonder, what if that were me…