I met my best friend through Tinder, odd I know, but it happened. It was love at first awkward message, and I still remember the day we got matched because of the silly grin that was plastered on my face while I was at work. He was polite, goofy, clever, and essentially everything I wanted in a romantic partner. I didn’t want to fall too hard, too fast for him however, so I continued going on other casual dates as I got to know him through our constant messaging. We tried time and time again to meet up, but with the hour travel time to see each other, the horrible weather, and both of our very busy schedules, it never happened. Eventually, I thought maybe it wasn’t meant to be if we were facing all of these obstacles just to meet face to face.
Another guy was showing more and more interest in me, as my best friend seemed to show less and less interest, which was disheartening seeing as how I was so into him. But, this new guy was straightforward with his feelings and persistent, which was a refreshing change of pace. I soon agreed to be in a relationship with him because he made me feel safe and I was scared of being alone. That is when all the real drama began in my life.
I said goodbye and cut off ties with my best friend, so as not to complicate things with my boyfriend, one of the most difficult conversations I have ever had, even harder than any of my previous break-ups. To my surprise though, he would not give up that easily. There were messages, calls, and texts from him that I tried to ignore, but then there was the one message that I could not simply overlook. It was the message that made me realize that he cared more about me than anyone else ever had, and I had to keep him in my life somehow. It was the message that made me bawl my eyes out and call him in the middle of the night. Ultimately, it was the message that caused the only big argument I have ever had with my boyfriend because he did not want us to remain friends knowing there were still feelings flying around.
But, we did remain friends. Our friendship has grown ever since that day, and the feelings have never quite gone away. We talk practically every single day, even if it is just a quick hello. This guy that I was once matched with on Tinder is now my best friend, and I am in love with him. I’m not saying that I do not love my boyfriend, because I do. The connection I have with him is just different.
I can be a difficult person to live with and I applaud both my best friend and my boyfriend for everything they do for me. However, I feel like I am holding my best friend back from being happy. I get jealous every time he goes out on dates, even though I have no reason to be upset. I just know that he could do so much better than these random girls that he is seeing, and I tend to get in the way, failing to let him make his own decisions about his own life. Sometimes, I think he would be much better off without me in his life, for several reasons.
I have tried time and time again to create distance so that I could avoid hurting him anymore, but we both end up getting hurt each time. I have finally realized that I cannot keep trying to control everything. Sometimes, I need to just let life run its course and see what will happen.
I will always love my best friend more than anything in the world, but I need to let him go. I have a boyfriend, and though that may or may not change, I have to focus on loving him the way he deserves to be loved, because he is an incredible person. I know that my best friend will find someone someday that will give him the world and make him the happiest person on the planet. He is the kindest, funniest, and smartest person I know and he doesn’t deserve anything less than that. It just can’t be me to give him everything he deserves.
Written by Alex Owens