The dreaded Valentine’s Day has passed, but the desire to love and to be loved never really escapes us. What the hell does that even mean? My fingers want to break themselves just from typing that first sentence. I like to believe I have a clue what I’m doing when it comes to relationships, given that I’ve miraculously been able to maintain one for the past four years. Sometimes, it feels like just yesterday that I was 14 years old and struggling to understand this abstract concept of love. If you have an uncontrollable tendency to choose the wrong people, make decisions that inevitably become regrets, and screwing up every good thing in your life—I’ve got news for you: me too.
I finally managed to categorize the 3 types of loves I’ve encountered in my short 22 years: the best friend, the lover, and the one.
THE BEST FRIEND
You’re too young to wrap your mind around a romantic relationship, so you use your friendship as a smokescreen for how you really feel. You talk—A LOT until 5 in the morning about anything and everything. It starts out so pure. Some would even call it puppy love. But some point, it starts to become a bit confusing for both of you. Wait, did he just hold my hand? Why’s he sitting so close? He won’t let go during this hug, and I don’t think I want to either. For a lack of better words, sh*t’s just getting weird around here. But you don’t care because you low-key like it. You two will never talk about it either because you both don’t know what’s happening to your friendship. Plus, you’re kids. Processing and communicating your feelings is the equivalent of taking an AP exam.
All you know is… you love being around him, he never fails to make you laugh, and you guys will probably be best friends forever. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s going to be all fun and games until one day, you start to feel some flutter in your stomach when he makes some corny joke, or he brings up another really pretty girl, or he puts you in the best friend zone. OR all the above.
Let me be the one to say: this sh*t sucks. Every day, you think you’ll be that lucky scenario like the movies when two best friends fall in love eventually and live happily ever after. If this has happened to you, congratulations—you are officially #relationshipgoals. But for the rest of us, falling for our best friend who doesn’t want to pursue more SUCKS. I didn’t know it at the time, but stepping out of that friendship was the best thing that could’ve happened for the both of us. The good news is you will grow up like me and feel thankful to have experienced such a young, pure, innocent type of love. I don’t even know if I can call it that. But 14-year old me likes to believe it. It really was the perfect first chapter, and now you’ll know the solid foundation of a friendship that you need for your future relationship.
Well, we survived the last one. Little do we know though, the “best friend” relationship was a breeze compared to this one. You’re closer to being a young adult now, and you meet a dude who intrigues you in every way. You fall real quick because this relationship is all about the passion and initial connection you have. You never really take the time to get to know one another like you did with your best friend but who cares? You’re into each other, and that’s all that matters. You feel a bit more adventurous with this one—do things you’ve never done before. It works, sometimes even for a little longer than it should. Until one day you wake up and wonder who the hell you’re dating. You know absolutely nothing about each other besides the fact that you have a good time together. Flaws start to arise as they do when time passes by. Wow, he’s actually kind of a d*ck. But what now? Your friends and family never really thought he was good for you, but you passionately declared that he was the love of your life, and they just finally got onboard. Are you ready for the “I told you so?” No, of course not. So you stay and suffer. At least, I did.
If you’re anything like me, you’re going to try really hard to focus your energy on the “good” in an attempt to ignore the bad. Trust me, there was a lot of bad. Eventually, you’re going to be exhausted and overwhelmed with the reoccurring fact that this will never work out. You had a lot of fun, but fun’s over. So it’s time to close this chapter. The best part about failed relationships is that you have an opportunity to grow your list of what you want in your future relationship and what you certainly don’t want. So hang on to the takeaway of this one, and apply it to the next.
Sounds cliché and ridiculous already. Well, let’s be optimistic this time around. We all hope in this lifetime to meet “the one.” For me, the one is the perfect combination of the best friend and the lover. You take your time to really get to know each other, and you do have a friendship. This is important. All the passionate and lustful types of love aren’t hard to find. A genuine friendship that grows into a strong relationship—that’s hard to come across. It takes perfect timing, a willingness to express and communicate your feelings, and a commitment to start a journey together. You’re going to realize how different this relationship from all the ones you’ve been in. It’s hard to explain actually. It’s easy and natural, but you both still work very hard when times get tough. You’re literally best friends and lovers. Nothing is awkward around this person. You can do the weirdest sh*t, and they won’t judge you—they’ll join you. Boring and mundane things like going to the grocery store become a bit more fun with this person. He’s friends with all your friends, and he just fits in with your family. It just seems perfect, and you think you might have finally found your own #relationshipgoals.
Well, I could end this post there at a seemingly happy ending. But you and I know that’s not how this works. Remember—I’m the expert at screwing up all the good things in my life. So yes, I will manage to find a way to self-destruct and ruin this too. But the guy who is the one won’t allow you to. He will fight to be with you, and often times he will literally fight with you. Yes, you do get into massive fights even if he is the one. But the difference between him, the best friend, and the lover, is that these fights won’t tear you apart—it will bring you closer together every time. Your friendship grows, and your love becomes more undeniable. I like to think I’ve found the one. Life at some point may disagree with me, but for the time being, I think he’s it.