Love Advice

Stop romanticizing my friendship

Friends to lovers have always been a go-to when it comes to romantic movies. There seems to be something romantic in watching friends who obviously like each other end up together. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t absolutely love this troupe, but it shouldn’t be applied to every situation.

I’m a big supporter of having a mixed friends group. Especially when it comes to relationships, I always end up going to my guy friends for advice. The advice is always useful and they are always up for knocking sense into me when I need it!

I think it also helps me become more grounded; too many people who have only ever been surrounded by one gender struggle to socially interact with the other. Especially when it comes to relationships and marriage, you need to be able to see red flags. I don’t think that’s possible without a mixed friendship group.

What really grinds my gears is when someone completely misreads a friendship and starts to make feelings that aren’t there. One of my closest friends I always refer to as ‘the big brother I never asked for but I’m glad I have’. He has my back, especially when it comes to relationships and advice.

However, thinking of him as anything but platonic makes my stomach turn and makes me feel ill. The justification behind this was that we talk almost every day and send each other memes (ah yes, the love language of 2020).

But there were no ‘feelings’ when it came to my female friends who I treat the exact same way.

Of course, some romantic relationships do evolve from friendships, but we shouldn’t expect every relationship to do so. People shouldn’t have to second guess going out for drinks with a friend because a third person who has no part in this relationship thinks they should date.

Not to mention when a person in the friendship is in a relationship it’s disrespectful to everyone involved. It makes the whole thing toxic when there is no need for it to be.

The double standards are startling. Why is it that when it comes to boys the narrative suddenly shifts and you have to be in love with them? It makes the friendship weird and suddenly you’re questioning every message you send. If someone doesn’t ask your opinion on a relationship keep your opinions to yourself.

Platonic relationships are some of the most rewarding relationships you can have. When I think of the most important times in my life, my friends have always been constant. Sibling-type friendships are definitely one of the best because they feel like you’ve known a person forever no matter how long it has been.

When other people try and put a label on an innocent friendship it can get really awkward but you have to be honest with yourself. When a third person is involved (as in if one of you is in a relationship) it’s important that you respect their boundaries because guaranteed this is not fun for them!

For me, it was a boundary issue, I felt that so many people I called my friends were violating this boundary, and made me feel uncomfortable about an innocent friendship so in a lot of cases I drifted away from them. The friends I have now don’t bat an eyelid when I mention another friend regardless of gender and it’s such nice relief!

It’s so heteronormative to think that every girl is in love with her male friends and vice versa.

Building healthy relationships with people should be seen as normal regardless of gender.

If you can’t see that, maybe you need to stop looking at things from a romance novel and come into the real world.

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Love + Sex Love Life Stories

Have you ever felt unrequited love?

Usually when I think of unrequited love, I think of something great. Some sort of grand story full of catharsis. Unrequited is generally special.

A type of love that demands to be talked about for an eternity. Something electric, with compulsive wavelengths. Something like the movies that comes with its own playlist attached to it.

Something with late and long nights spent together in a damp minivan twinkling and spitting out dreams on a whim. Something with vicious fights fueled by our own desire. Something that makes my soul open up just as swiftly as it gets torn apart. And, somehow I wind up bursting at the seams yet feel completely unsatisfied. I always want more. 

Why do we long for the type of love that hurts so much it imprints our hearts? It is difficult to locate the line that separates struggle and triumph, as nearly every love story in popular media blurs the two. But unrequited love is so unbelievably magnificent and sad at the same time that it becomes all encompassing.

Unrequited love is an entire body, overwhelming, feeling. I have broken hearts before and I have had my heart broken, so I can tell you that the feeling never fades, one way or the other. It feels as if you are running fast, and for a long time, yet making no distance at all.

One time I waited two months for a guy to message me back before I realized that he just wasn’t going to. Ever. Again. And that entire time I couldn’t help but wonder why I cared so much. What we had wasn’t at all special, but I still was left longing for a distraction from the heartbreak. I was showered by his passivity instead of his kisses and I wanted him to know how much his absence hurt me, but he was so equally careless and carefree that none of it mattered.

Not even for a second. 

I felt unrequited love again while in a long-distance relationship. This kind of unrequited was different. It wasn’t one-sided. Instead, we felt tremendously for each other. It’s just that our bodies weren’t able to be physically together for some time. We were only long distance for the few months that I would be studying abroad, but it felt like an eternity. I remember being there and using all of my senses to try to gauge what his touch felt like.

Somedays I would wake up and watch the sun from my window, silently knowing that that same sun wouldn’t bounce to him for another six hours, and I would recall how that same sun looked dancing across his back at dawn. I’d lay in bed at night and want to tell him about my day, but I knew that I couldn’t. I was constantly reminded that he no longer took up the space in between my arms when we slept. But I was, and still am, fascinated by the immediate consumption of these moments. I am so grateful to have given him my heart. He still has it. 

The extent of passion is practically boundless. We should feel like we can fly on a whim, or scream and dance, when we are in love. Unrequited love just forces you to confront that intensity, those struggles and triumphs, head on. Some of it is beautiful; some not so much. I like to remind myself that love doesn’t need a reason, love just is. 

Unrequited love is messy, but worth it. It is a collection of fleeting moments. It teaches us that all love should be leaking, dripping, through every difficulty yet also a thread that is continuously weaving through and connecting our bodies and our souls. The whole point of longing is to continue, because there will always be potential to love someone rather than to have loved someone. They can’t be the one that got away if they weren’t the one in the first place.