“It’s not you, it’s me” — this mantra has helped men and women escape relationships for decades, and continues to be an excuse today, and likely will work for the upcoming centuries. But scholars ask at what point does this excuse lose its meaning. The receivers of said message, likely, have heard it more than one time. Receivers stop believing that this is true, because after hearing it two or three or seven times, the mind only begins to believe that something in them must not be correct, lovable or even tolerable.
Expert receiver of this message, Sam De Franco, knows the ins and outs of the statement. De Franco is a resident expert on the science known as “falling in love with your best friend-ology,” and recommends that you eventually just give up on relationships in general. He says, “Marriage is pointless in today’s society; nearly half of marriages end in divorce.” De Franco has given up on marriage, and soon intends to officially give up on relationships in general. This choice is very much based on the mantra, “It’s not you, it’s me.” His desire for others is reciprocated a mere 10 percent of the time. As of May 23, 2016, De Franco has only ever engaged in sexual intercourse with two people — these people had no emotional ties to De Franco and vice versa.
Recently, De Franco has been getting intel about his current experiment in his research. This intel tells him that soon this message will be thrown his way once again.
“Just hearing the words, ‘I just don’t feel the same way,’ no longer affect me.” His research focuses mainly on the difference between words and actions. “Occasionally, the incidence of ‘words’ is the only action that may occur — generally making the news even harder for the receiver.” But his current experiment’s actions differ far from his words. De Franco has willingly lost many hours of sleep in order to gather more information on the subject.
Within 14 days, De Franco only slept a total of 45 hours, averaging less than three and a half hours a night. “I just really care, and I want to make sure they make it home alright.” Though this is enacted through love and true concern, it is, in fact, stupid. As the well-known contemporary artist Jenny Holzer states in many of her installations, “Expiring for love is beautiful but stupid.” This lesson is far from easy to learn, but it being one of her many "truisms," it brings it forth to the mainstream and allows people to remember it. De Franco recently made this installation the background on his 11-inch MacBook Air- with the hope to remind him to get over it.
Another expert on the subject is Dr. Grace Turkim, with a Ph.D. in listening and understanding, with a bachelor’s degree in sucky relationships and a minor in getting over it. She teaches a class at Illinois State University called Your Irresistible Best Friend 101. This class is only taught in the middle of nights when students call Dr. Turkim. Tears are not OK — tears are expected as students fall in love with the one person they are closest to on campus. Oftentimes this person is someone they consider their best friend, hence the name of the class. Turkim recommends that students listen to sad music — I know cliché and sometimes unhelpful. However, with Turkim’s current research, many students are finding that listening to sad music is more beneficial, for it displays that more than just one person has had this sensation of despair and what Turkim describes as “that feeling that feels like total complete obliteration of any sort of happiness,” which is a technical term often abbreviated as “not that great.”
But in order to get a full understanding of what happens, we must view the other side — the deliverers, or as many who study the topic call it, “the contemptible degenerate who wants everyone to be sad” (for the sake of wasted breath we will call this person “the deliverer”). The deliverer oftentimes does not know the damage that they have done, or will do. After an interview with a deliverer, who has asked to remain anonymous, we learn that sometimes, “falling in love with your best friend is impossible; you care too much, you really do love them — you’re just not in love.” They really do mean this; loving someone and being in love are two entirely different things. You love your dog, but (hopefully) you are not in love with her.
Being compared to your four-legged companion was probably not the best comparison; however, it’s the same idea. Love is love, love wins, love conquers all — unless it is two different kinds of love. De Franco knows exactly what this means. “In my most recent encounter with this statement, they were/are one of my closest friends, and not only do I love them as a best friend, but as a significant other too.” He goes on to explain that this is what made the conversation difficult, then retracts that statement because the two still have not spoke upon the subject.
This sentiment is devastating to many; it often causes tears and fractures in friendships, and can even emphasize depression, anxiety and body image issues. According to The Body Image Therapy Center, 43 percent of men and 70 percent of women are not happy with their bodies. Statistics like these are on the rise; depression and anxiety in teens are also rising at an alarming rate. And this must be combatted, but we cannot blame the deliverers in our society, no matter how easy it may be. Love does not just happen. Love is a process that must be worked through, on, in between, around and sometimes underneath. But when it comes down to it, everyone will end up with whom they belong with, because as much as we hate to believe it, fate will take over, whether it is God, Gods, the universe, fate or just plain old luck — you just have to give it time. Maybe you end up with your second-grade love or your new college bestie, but maybe you don’t. Maybe you find your true love on a blind date or at an art museum. Keep your eyes and mind wide open.
So moral of the story is yes, it is so unbelievably easy to fall for your best friend; yes, it always seems like the best idea at the time, but no, it isn’t; no, it’s never easy to get over someone like that and yeah, you’ll find everything wrong with yourself, but it really is never you. You are beautiful, worthwhile, amazing. You are sunlight. You are the stars. You are a child’s laughter. They know that, and they love you too much to lose that. So join me and put on your big kid pants; we’ll face this terrible journey together with a pen in your hand, a pain in your chest and a friend by your side.