I consider myself to be a very lucky and blessed man. And it’s not only because I have great hair or can beatbox like a champ (both of which happen to be true); no, I count myself as favored because my life is surrounded by incredible women who add so much meaning it. It’s true.
There’s Autumn, Breezy, Brittny, Cassi, Elizabeth, Lauren, Lindsey, Mandy, Megan, Micaela, Molly, and Stephanie. Each and every one of these women is intelligent, funny, talented, beautiful, witty, kind, caring, and full of life. They all add so much value to the lives of others and they do it with a graceful heart and shining smile. I find it incredible that I’m blessed to know all of them. And on top of all that other wonderful stuff, each and every one of them is single, just like me.
So if they’re so great and wonderful and awesome, why don’t I pursue any of them with romantic intentions? What keeps me from forgoing the bounds of our friendship and pursuing one of these wonderful ladies with butterflies in my stomach and soft words in my heart? Setting aside the fact that every last one of them is entirely too wise to give me the romantic time of day (which I respect and admire), I hesitate to pursue something more with them because they’re my friends. Because they mean so very much to me, I find it terrifying to imagine ruining what we have for the mere chance at something romantic (especially considering my track record with relationships and exes). As astoundingly wonderful as they each are, the friendship I have with them means more to me than the possibility of love that could one day exist. And I could honestly never forgive myself if I somehow took what we had and dashed it against the rocks of romance. The thought of any of them never speaking to me again is troublesome at best.
It’s likely that you’ve been in the same boat as I am. Most of us have that one friend of the opposite (or same) sex who seems perfect for us in every way (I guess I’m just blessed enough to have 12 of them). They like the things we like, they laugh at the stuff that makes us laugh, and they make us feel good about ourselves. We love this person and we care about them. And most of all, we know they love and care for us too.
Sometimes this situation can lead to romance. You sit and you discuss this chemistry you have and you decide, “Hey, why don’t we give this a shot? We’ll be great together!” And sometimes, this works out. Monica and Chandler showed us as much, even though it took them a few years to make the zoom zoom go boom boom.
Other times, one friend feels the desire for more while the other does not. This usually results in a hidden pining and tortured heart (see: George for Jerry on Seinfeld) (oh, it’s true) or brave confessions followed by soft rejection which result in a wounded friendship (see: Bumper for Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect) (this isn’t entirely accurate. I just wanted a reason to reference my favorite movie of 2012).
And still other times, we find ourselves in the same boat that I am now. We realize the potential of what’s in front of us, but we hesitate because the dark and sinister questions of “what if?” loom above us.
What if things go wrong and our friendship is ruined? What if he/she is a horrible kisser? What if he/she poots in their sleep? What if our relationship is never the same? The entire ordeal can be stressful and mind-numbing.
How do you decide if and/or when to pursue something more with this person you’ve come to care so much about?
The key is to decide if you’re willing to risk your friendship for the possibility of more. There’s no right or wrong answer, really. It’s a decision you and your BFF have to make together. I’ve had that talk with a few of the ladies mentioned above and after they caught their breath from laughing so hard at the thought of me trying to woo them, they agreed that our friendship was too valuable to risk. But that may not be the case for you. Each relationship and each circumstance is unique. Maybe you and your “frand” are destined to spend forever together as a couple. Or maybe you’re just meant to be friends. It’s up to you to decide that for yourselves and move on (or not) from there.
Friendship or romance? The two aren’t mutually exclusive, but they don’t always go together either.