I had done the unthinkable. I did the one thing I promised I would never, ever do. I fell for my friend (with benefits) and it kind of fucked me up.
See, I prided myself on this relationship and my ability to not want more than what we had in that moment. I’ve always had the tendency of caring too much, wanting what I couldn’t have. But this was different. We were friends. We talked about real shit, didn’t sugarcoat anything, and never got jealous of what the other was doing.
We could hang out and not hook up. We could also hang out and hook up. It was pretty freaking simple.
There was no need to discuss emotions, no need to question each other on where this was going. We had an understanding of what this was and what this wasn’t.
However, one day I found myself at home, thinking about him and what he was up to. I was curious if he had other friends just like me, friends he did the same things with and took to the same places. I wanted to know who he was spending time with and what other girls he was talking to.
“NO! No, no, no. Stop thinking these things!” I thought to myself in that moment.
Why? Because a friend with benefits does not get jealous. A friend with benefits does not feel betrayed. A friend with benefits does not catch feelings because that defeats the entire goddamn purpose of it all.
I realized I was really cool with all of it, until one day, I just wasn’t.
It was ignorant for me to think that this day wouldn’t come. I was bound to develop romantic feelings for someone when they have a good head on their shoulders, made me laugh like an idiot, and was, well, extremely good looking.
So what’s the problem? If we have such a strong friendship where there is no fighting, no ugly encounter with jealousy, and is always a carefree time, why not be more?
Because being more is what would wipe all of those wonderful things away. Being more would ruin everything we had worked so hard on up until this point.
When you are in a situation with someone where you are friends with benefits, there is usually an unwritten rule that these two people do not feel romantically involved with the other person. This is someone you enjoy spending time with and find attractive to an extent, sure. But viewing them as someone you want to spend every aching moment with, settle down with and commit to wasn’t in the agreement.
I knew these things. I knew that this person didn’t feel the way I felt about him. Hell, I didn’t even know I felt that way about him until a random Saturday afternoon. Being aware of all these things, I was in a really shitty situation. I had been the “cool girl” for so long, that I didn’t want to be another girl who “had to talk”.
So what was I supposed to do? Continue being friends with this person, doing what we had been doing, and just hope that my feelings would subside? Tell him that I felt a different way about him and deal with the consequences of never being the same? WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO?
I decided to take whatever feelings I had for this person, tuck them away in a little jar and store them back up on the shelf. Ultimately, this was a “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” kind of situation.
I don’t internalize things, ever. And to an extent, I am sure he was aware that if he said, “let’s give this a shot”, I would have been on board, which is why I figured that saying nothing, said it all. If he felt that way, we’d be together. If he wanted things to change, they would have by now. Saying how I felt, knowing full well he didn’t feel the same way, would be setting myself up to hear that the feelings were not reciprocated.
So, for the first time, in a really long time, I just took one for the team.
Of course, I am still dealing with these floating feelings, not sure if they are fueled by infatuation or just a natural care that developed over time. Sometimes you just gravitate towards another person, regardless of whether that is someone you will have a romantic relationship with, and that is okay.
If anything, this is just a reminder for everyone out there who might be in a similar situation and is unsure of what to do next. Look at the situation from a logical point of view, and determine which route is best to take given your circumstances. What was right for me may not be right for you. Hell, you could end up spilling the beans and in turn, marry the person.
However, I knew that wasn’t the case for me, and in the end, I didn’t want to lose a friend. And sometimes, that’s a hard decision to make, but a necessary one at best.