By Zoe Gayle
It’s an age old story of how two friends have taken the leap of faith to cross the border of best friends into something more. But nobody really knows what’s up ahead of them, or at least nobody has ever bothered to tell the tale –– until now:
1. It’s a little unbelievable at times
There’ll be times you catch yourself staring at them, wondering how the planets managed to agree among themselves to align in your favor. You’ll wonder how the same person texting you about how they ended up in a toilet because of a wrong bowl of ramen is somehow the same person texting you that they miss you at the most random times. You’ll catch yourself smiling about your little predicament in disbelief right before they swoop in and tease you about how goofy you look.
You’ll laugh together, trying to connect the dots and understand how you two were led here; behind the banter is a silent “thank you for feeling the same way”, “thank you for being with me” –– but they’ll catch on eventually, say no more, because the way you smile at them says it all.
2. How to balance being their best friend and their significant other
This one’s tricky.
How do you know when to react to news they’ve shared with you as their best friend or their significant other? How do you offer them advice?
Nobody tells you just how difficult it can be until you’re finally put into the arena with all odds against you! Moments such as these can get a little awkward in the first few months of the relationship –– contrary to popular belief where dating your best friend would mean less awkwardness. Sure, you know each other pretty well, maybe even better than you two know most people –– but humans are complex, and part of their complexity is their ability of confusing you on which side of the border of best friend and significant other you ought to stand on. And with that comes…
3. A copious amount of questioning your friendship
Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, and a couple online dating forums anyone who’s ever googled the pros and cons of dating your best friend, will tell you that the best thing about it is solid groundwork. A foundation so strong built upon trust, loyalty and years of knowing each other ought to be the best part of dating your best friend –– yeah, until it’s not.
Like any couple, you’re bound to have an argument about someone’s inability to articulate their feelings for the other, who’s going to argue back by questioning the extent of how much you know them because if you did, why would you two even be arguing about this anyway?
Nobody tells you how many times you find yourself wondering how you two became best friends in the first place. You’ll hate misunderstandings because you’re allegedly supposed to know each other enough not to have them –– and misunderstandings, prove otherwise.
The questioning could stem from suppressed concerns or little arguments. Because of the “solid foundation” mentality imposed in popular culture faves such as magazines and dating forums, you’ll find yourself wondering why you two haven’t figured it out by now.
4. It hurts twice as much when you get into fights
Dating your best friend doesn’t exempt you from the struggles experienced by other couples –– you’ll have arguments, you’ll have huge fights… but unlike other couples, nobody tells you how it hurts you twice as much as it would any other fight. You’re going against the person you find solace in after a hectic day at school or work, you’re going against the first person you want to tell anything funny to. What does that leave you with, exactly? It leaves you feeling alone, it leaves you wondering if you have anybody left on your side and it leaves you afraid of what will happen if you never fix things.
Nobody tells you just how hard that tugging feeling in your chest gets after you’ve gone past the heat of the fight and are sitting quietly, wherever you may be, thinking and feeling a million things at the same time. You try to convince yourself at the higher chances of you two patching up –– after all, you’re best friends, right? But all you hear are your echoing voices arguing in your head.
5. But in the same way, nobody tells you how many times you catch yourself smiling at the thought of them.
Past the awkwardness and right before a couple of fights, there are happy days between and after, where you’ll find that same goofy smile they teased you about plastered on your face. There are days you’ll find yourself wondering why they aren’t sick of you yet because of the copious amount of time you’ve been spending together lately; and the days you aren’t together, you find yourself burying your face into a sweater they’ve lent you for a whiff of their distinct scent you’ve grown quite fond of.
Nobody tells you about the late nights you find yourself grateful you have someone like them around; someone you can talk to about anything under the sun, someone who can keep up with your spunky personality and knows just how to keep you in check without the resentment.
Nobody tells you how you discover how capable of you are of feeling such emotions until they came along; good or bad –– either way you catch yourself smiling. Sure, you’d smile at the thought of them before, but this smile is different; you’re sure of it. And you’re sure there isn’t quite a perfect significant other, but there could be a perfect friend; a best friend.
(Originally appeared at Thought catalog, click here for more)