Well folks, the unthinkable happened. My dumbass caught feelings.
I know what you’re thinking because I’m thinking it too. Me?? The girl who advocates self-love and independence?? The girl who cautions against relationships?? Me??
Don’t get me wrong; I still believe all those things. Self love is important at any relationship status in your life. Similarly, emotional, physical, and intellectual independence are just as essential. Now, it is not necessary that you have them complete before you enter a relationship (ALTHOUGH STRONGLY ADVISED), but you should be aware of what you still need to develop so that you can do so without depending on your partner for it because it will stunt your growth. But if you find someone who makes you better and helps shape you into the person you want yourself to be, then by all means, you go, Glenn Coco.
But enough of this tangent. Let’s get down to business.
My AP Psychology teacher in high school and I were very close. And during my time as one of his students, he lost his wife to breast cancer and it was devastating to the whole community. I can’t remember the context of the conversation, but his wife came up, and I will never forget the advice he gave me.
Love is when your head and your heart agree with one another.”
I have always used this to analyze whether or not a man was worth pursuing. If my head and my heart agreed, I could give this guy a shot. But far too often, they were conflicting. Whenever my head said “I like this one. He’s a good match for you,” my heart would just sit there unsatisfied. Or, relatively often, I would find my heart falling for someone that my head was just like “Are you dumb or are you dumb?” But as inconvenient as both situations may sound, the dissonance between the two most important entities of my being made it incredibly easy to let go of whatever guy was receiving my efforts.
Yea, yea I know. You just came here for the juicy details, and I’m taking way too long to get there, but I promise it’s all relevant. So lets get to the guy that broke me down, shall we?
Here’s the tea: I found a guy that my head and my heart agreed with, and he’s my best friend.
So background story in a nutshell: we sort of grew up together, we’ve always been very close, and we’ve had “things” on and off since just about the start of high school.
We’ve had moments where we couldn’t hate each other more, and moments where we couldn’t thank God enough for each other. It wasn’t until this past year that I could call him my best friend though. I am not very vulnerable with many people, but with him we both were just so raw and exposed that I was able to reveal a side of me that I even hide from myself. It was confusing and painful and beautiful, and I couldn’t get enough.
But then we started hooking up, and that’s when it got serious for me. This same person whose soul could dance with mine, could also dance with my body, and it was amazing.
This all sounds like the dream right? BFF turned lover? I mean, people write songs, movies, and novels about this kind of stuff.
But here’s the rub: No feelings allowed.
And honestly, I was truly fine with that because at the time, I didn’t realize what I felt for him. “What an ideal situation!” I would say to myself. I was obsessed with the fact that my best friend with benefits was actually working out. We even were happily giving each other dating advice at one point. Crazy right???
After a while, I began to see our situation differently. This was a human that I could connect with on so many platforms. We would have conversations that make me throw my hands in the air in excitement knowing that I wasn’t the only person who thought this way. We would have disagreements that allowed us to continually perfect our path to personal progression. He emotionally, physically, and intellectually stimulated me in a way I was almost addicted to. And I began to think, why not? Why not date this guy? Not only were we ridiculously sexually compatible, but we knew so much about each other–both the beautiful and the ugly. Most importantly, we made each other better.
Sure I had my reservations about him, but they were peripheral aspects of him (habits, plans, attitudes, etc.) The core of him was what I was drawn to. The part of him that will never change even when the peripherals do. So why not?
Here is where you get to hear that I am a dumbass. This guy had been consistently making it clear, both explicitly and implicitly, that he does not have feelings for me and he never will. At first, I had no argument. In fact, I agreed with him. I didn’t really see us going anywhere either. But whenever it was that I caught feelings, I started doing that stupid thing we all do. Making excuses for him.
“Maybe he’s just not ready for a relationship yet.”
“Maybe he doesn’t know what he wants yet.”
“Maybe if he’s with enough of the wrong girls he’ll se that I’m the right one.”
“Maybe if I do this or that he’ll see how perfect we are for each other.”
Unrequited feelings have the power to quite literally turn someone into a person they don’t even recognize. All those maybes turned me into this clingy, insecure, possessive, approval-seeking, crazy person. When the only maybe I needed to consider was:
“Maybe he just doesn’t like me.”
It was the scariest maybe of them all. It made me think that there was something incredibly wrong with me, that I was unworthy of love by all means, that no one will ever be able to love me. I guess it didn’t exactly help that I was going through a period of major depression too, because my better self was absent and couldn’t tell my broken self “Dude, you’re a dream for any guy. You are brilliant, beautiful, and inspiring. You deserve a man that won’t keep you a secret, a man that speaks highly of you, a man that wants to take care of you and see that you reach your greatest potential. You deserve a man who loves you.”
Although I am healing from the depression at a ridiculous speed. I still find myself constantly battling nostalgic memories of him, always fighting too hard against a ghost of the past. But I’m throwing in the towel, because it’s a fight I cannot win. I will go where I am celebrated and honored for how passionate my love is, not where my heart is continually taking a beating.
I will end with a quote from someone whose wisdom is too often under appreciated.
‘People say time heals all wounds…I say time heals wounds, but scars are left to remind you what you have been through.’ Stop shattering your own heart by trying to make a relationship work…We have to learn to believe the love we AREN’T given. You can’t love someone into loving you. You can’t force someone to be loyal, kind, understanding. You can’t force someone to be the person you need them to be…Sometimes the person you want most is the person you are best without…Don’t put your happiness on hold for someone who isn’t holding on to you.”