You Saw My Blinker Bitch

{April 15, 2010}   Sorting it Out

I’m feeling in love with my best friend.( No, not you silly, my other best friend.) Only I’m not quite sure that I’m IN LOVE, but I completely and utterly love the man. You see, I’ve never really had a close male friend, and that’s what makes this all a completely confusing experience. I grew up with only female friends, so I never really learned how to make a distinction between the love I have for my girlfriends (oh and I do love you so!) and the love one can have for someone of the sex to which she or he is sexually drawn to. It’s such a wonderful time for me to have someone new and exciting to share with. I have never been happier spending hours on end talking about anything, everything, and nothing. Not in my adult life, at least. Yet night after night I struggle to label what it is we have here. I’m not really sure it even needs a label, but I feel like that can put me more at ease with how I’m feeling, what I’m feeling, and how I can make sure to keep my wonderful friend around for years to come.

Recently (ok, well like a year and a half ago), I got out of an extremely bad relationship. I spent the better part of my adult life not really knowing the closeness and love that can come from a proper relationship. I was battered in every possible sense that one can be. Mentally I’m a wreck, and I pity the poor man who ever comes after that show, and emotionally I’m fantastically retarded. I was told I was loved, but often with prodding for such affirmations. I was told I was nothing – garbage, a poor existence – more often than not. I was never supported in any decision I made, and no matter how well I knew my choices to be sound (mostly) I was taught to be sorry for them, or that they were always wrong. If my opinion ever differed from his, I was promptly ‘put in my place’ and told what my opinion needed to be. I was stunted and left a withered shell of a girl who once was. There was no semblance of the person I felt like I was deep down in my heart remaining. I lost sight, no control, of who I was and how awesome I was. I forgot how much fun I used to be, and how much I liked being me.

Along comes a long lost acquaintance, passing by my new life, experiencing my new freedoms with me. When we re-met after decades of not even remembering the other shared the planet with us, we became inseparable. We were never supposed to spend more than a few weeks hanging out and having fun. He was, I thought, a floating friend whom I could count on to give me life experiences I would always remember but would have lost track of in time. One night of superficial conversation and debauchery turned into another, and then another. This was all fine and well and what I needed most in life at that time – FUN. It was profoundly meaningful to my recovery of self, yet supposed to be inconsequential to my days ahead. Innocently enough we texted back and forth, almost daily. We learned about the lives of one another from then until now. We found that lost period – that lost time where we had forgotten one another. It was nice to have a new friend, and exhilarating to be the person I had always dreamt I was all balled into this new and exciting adventure.

Texting turned into phone calls. Phone calls turned into lunches, and lunches into dinners. Dinners expanded to include one another’s children. Having one another’s children in our lives turned into sleepovers for the kids and camping trips. The friendship quickly turned into the kind where you have to tell the other your worries, your happiness, your confusion, your everything to the other as soon as humanly possible. This sometimes happened (and still does, frankly) in the middle of the night, or the wee hours of the morning. It didn’t matter, we always think of the other when something important happens. We share silences, we share laughter, we share disappointments . Just yesterday, he talked me through a traumatic hour and a half, just because he knew I needed my best friend. He is always there when I need him, as I am him. We would do just about anything for the other, because we care so much about the welfare of each other.

Herein lies the problem. This man and I have become extremely close in the last year. We hold hands (ok, we’ve usually been drinking for that to happen, but still), we hug when we know the other needs one. We rarely go out separate from the other, and most of our friends can expect to see both of us, or at the very least not be surprised if we come somewhere together. We are attached in ways beyond just a friendship. Or are we? You see, I have never felt so secure, so loved and cared for, so able to be MYSELF with any man before. In stark contrast to the man I spent so many years with, this man allows me to be me. Sure we fight, but those fights never last more than an hour before we’ve figured out that we’d rather not fight. We often don’t agree, but he’s never pressured me to succumb to his position. I feel comfortable telling him a plan and asking his opinion, and the warmth that envelops me knowing that he disagrees with me but will always support me keeps me smiling when I go to sleep at night. It sure feels like love to me. Yet, I don’t know that it is. I really don’t know WHAT it is. I’m confused, because I have ingrained in me the thought that if I am attracted to men, and I have a strong relationship and bond with a man, that he and I must be lovers.

The emotions I feel for this man change daily, hourly actually. Some days I can’t imagine anything other than the platonic friendship we share. I can’t fathom being any more entrenched in his life than I already am, and can’t think of him in any way but as one of the greatest friends I’ll have this decade. Yet other days I wonder why he’s been put into my life. I wonder if I don’t deserve to be as happy as I am with him after all I’ve been through. I wonder, mostly out of loneliness I think, why I can’t find a man just like my friend – the man of my dreams. When will MY day come, already? I’ve come to the conclusion that we are meant to just be wonderful friends, to love and support one another as we see fit, and nothing more. I do not value the friendship I have with him any more than with anyone else I love dearly, or anyone else I can share with, and have a close and wonderful bond with. I’ve learned that it’s okay to love your friends no matter what sex, orientation, or anything they are. I’ve learned that yes, I’m in love with my friend, but not like that.


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