Just Friends

That moment you’re like, “I’m never going to fall for that again.”

And then you fall.

I’ve always been the best friend. The friend every guy can talk to about everything, be emotional at all levels, and somehow immediately trust. The one who moves from acquaintance to ‘just friends’ quicker than you can say just friends. It’s been a cycle for years.

When it all first began, I was fine with it. Well, I told myself that anyway. Because if I couldn’t be the girl they looked at, I could at least be the girl they talked to. And then over the years, as I grew spiritually (well, and physically too obviously) I couldn’t help but realize that this ‘genius’ plan of mine wasn’t going to hold out very much longer.

The first guy to break my heart did so when I was 17 or 18. I don’t remember the day or time, but I know it hurt like hell. I know that I took off running (Forrest Gump style) and didn’t stop for 3 hours. 15 miles later I came home to my mom almost about to hurt me more than the heartbreak itself. And I swore I’d never let it happen again.

The crazy thing is, I still had to see him all the time. Yeah, we never dated. We never were official. But he knew what he was doing, well – and I did too. He got his cake and ate it too and well, I got attention and the validation of being needed.

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The second guy was a bit more mutual. We were ‘best friends’ for a couple years, and eventually both of us knew what needed to happen. But we fought it for a few months. We tried to make each other jealous, we picked fights, and hey – I even moved to another state, all the while still saying we were just friends. But somehow, when it came down to it, we realized we loved each other and cared about each other, but weren’t really in love with each other. And after a few months of just non-stop bickering and hurtful words and even weeks of silence, I finally walked away. And one month later he met the woman he now calls his wife. Strange, huh?

And here I am now. Over a decade after I met the first guy, and I’m still sitting here asking my heart the same questions. Trying to probe and dissect the same types of comments and conversations. Wondering if he sees what I see, or heck if what I’m seeing even exist.

But the fact is I think I missed it – or I just was never taught it. Either way, I’m just not there yet. And I’m okay with that. But what I’m not okay with is trying to read between lines and continuing the cycle of trying to figure it out.

The fact is, I don’t know what anyone means unless they say it. I’m tired of assuming or expecting or even doubting, but most of all – I’m tired of being just friends.

I don’t what to be your friend. I don’t want to just be the one you talk to. I don’t want to be the cake or the eat it too. I don’t want to keep assuming or wondering.

I want to know how you feel. I want to know why you want me to give you outfit advice or why I’m always the one you call when you drink. I want to know why you get upset if I talk about other guys, but yet you ask for my advice on girls all the time. I want to know why it’s so easy for you to walk away, but if I walk away, it’s like the world is ending.

The fact is, I’m not young – but I’m not old either. I’m not the nicest, prettiest, smartest, fittest, or most adventurous girls out there – I’m clearly just…me. I’m the one you tell your dreams to. The one you feel comfortable talking about your past mistakes with as well as your present victories. I’m the one who fights for you, sometimes even more than I fight for myself. But in all those moments of clear joy and honest to goodness, comfort that you bring to my life…the hurt soon follows.

I’m not the one I think you envision when you talk about your future wife. I’m not the one you take a double-take at in restaurants. I’m not the one you get nervous around. No, because I’m the comfortable one. I’m the one you expect to be there, whether I’m in a little black dress or yoga pants. You expect my presence and you worry in my absence – yet we’re still just friends.

And the end of the day, all I’m trying to say is – I’m not doing it anymore. I won’t be your friend anymore, I’ll either be your best friend for life and the woman you choose to take a double take at or I’ll be the one you look back on as somebody you used to know. Because the fact is, I don’t have to be yours. But if I’m not, let me go because I’m someone else’s.

Here’s me turning in my ‘just friends’ badge and picking up a badge with a little bit more clarity and a lot less frustration – the badge of ‘imm be me – and you be you.’

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