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November 1, 2020

To the Guy who was Always “Just a Friend.”

My fear gets the best of me sometimes. I have a hard time speaking the words that I wish you knew. I think that’s why I chose to write this letter to you.

You and I were never a couple; we were friends, or as you would call it, a situationship. I’m not sure that you actually know the full extent of your role in my life, but I would love to tell you. The times that we spent all night talking ’til the sun came up, going for midnight drives, or just catching up over a text are some of the best memories I have with you.

You had this way of always leaving me wondering; I felt as though you were so mysterious, but I honestly still can’t tell if there are things you didn’t want to say or if you surrendered to life so greatly that you just go unfazed.

I enjoyed all the laughs, talks, and even the times that things may have crossed the line. I smile as I write this because we were just kids. We were doing kid things trying to figure ourselves out all while secretly playing bigger roles in each other’s growth than we could have ever thought possible.

We somehow were able to recently pick up right where we left off, but this time with more authenticity, honesty, and communication. The moment you decided to open up about your perspective of our friendship came as a shock to me. I’m not even sure if I ever thanked you, so thank you.

Because we both know that our friendship was never all that straightforward. That feelings, situations, and other people all got involved and we both allowed that. I always had a feeling about what you might have been thinking, about me or us, but it ended up getting to the point where I couldn’t trust that feeling anymore. You weren’t able to open up and I resorted to other’s opinions. I chose to trust other people’s gossip over trusting you, or myself. It almost became easier for me to just listen to those other people because I didn’t even know what I needed to hear.

There is so much that you didn’t see when It came to you and me. Which has also reminded me that you can never assume what another person is thinking. Because there is so much that I haven’t told you.

I may have played it off as trying to be cool and my ego definitely didn’t want to be bruised, but I’m ready to be real, open, and honest about what my experience with you has taught me. What it was really like to be in a friendship with a man that you know you can’t have a relationship with, that you want to be friends with, but also have a crush on. It’s complicated and I think I’ve learned that having it all isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

You didn’t see how much you triggered me and my inner trauma. How much I would overthink about whether to message you or not, if you wanted to hear from me, or if you would even reply. You didn’t see how insecure I was, how my feelings of unworthiness played a huge part in our friendship.

You didn’t see how much I blamed you for my pain. I would blame you for how I felt when you wouldn’t talk to me or the times that you would act differently in front of other people. I blamed you for leading me on and causing me pain. Now I see that I was the one that chose to be in that situation, repeatedly.

You didn’t see the tears I cried while at home confused about what I had done wrong for you to be so hot and cold.

You didn’t see how much I blamed myself for all the miscommunication and confusion. I put that responsibility on my shoulders and held it as if it was mine to repair. I blamed myself for having feelings—that I was wrong to feel the way that I did.

But, you also didn’t see how excited I would get when I got to talk to you. I really enjoyed hanging out with you. Being your friend. Talking.

All these things that you didn’t see were all the lessons you brought out for me to learn. Those times now make up some of the greatest parts of me. You didn’t get to see the growth you initiated, so now I’m here to tell you because if I don’t, you would never know.

I look at you now and I see someone who was in the past being labeled by my ego as the villain. My fear convinced me of so many things that the “you” that was created in my mind was so far from the “you” that I so dearly enjoyed.

I disregarded all the times that you had been there for me, when I would be upset and you would tell me to call you. The times you talked me down and made me laugh after a fight with a friend. The way you would just show up always ready for a good time. Especially for all the times I ranted to you, opened up to you, and never once did you ever react with judgement toward me.

I looked past all of these amazing parts of my friend. A friend who had been nothing but there for me when I needed him. A friend who was always available for a hangout or a 2 am phone call. A friend who was supportive and encouraging of all my ambitious desires.

I looked past all these amazing things and gave into the fear of my emotions. I allowed my fear to get the best of me and convince me that you were not good for me, that you were toxic, and even a bad influence. I gave into the pressure of other influences because I fell weak to the trust I had in what our friendship was. I tried labelling it, and out of the failure to do so I couldn’t figure out what to do when all you ever asked of me was to be your friend. Instead, all I did was take it out on you.

I allowed my abandonment wounds and insecurities to control me. They told me that you weren’t safe, that you were going to hurt me. I also had others trying to convince me of the same thing. I tried to stay strong in the knowing that what they were saying wasn’t true. I would try to explain to people that you were not that guy, that you were not trying to hurt me, and that you did care, but I got tired. I got tired of trying to prove to others that you and I were close. And, truthfully, I didn’t feel like you were doing the same. I was broken because I thought I knew that our friendship was meaningful, but it almost felt like nobody else could see it—including you.

You’re now in my life again, and I’m grateful. Grateful because it has allowed for so much reflection and to see the growth you and I have both gone through. In the past, I have told you that you always show up right when your presence is needed, and you truthfully do. I go through life and I learn all these things and get offered up these great lessons, and it’s almost as if you come in as a way for me to reflect and practice.

You were more than just another friend to me—you were more like a soul pal. Someone I could depend on to show up when I need them, someone I could learn from even if it’s messy, and someone who I could trust to let me do my thing no matter the discomfort it may cause.

Reading this may not make sense to those who don’t know you, but I think that’s exactly why our friendship is so special. It truly doesn’t make sense and it’s way beyond me to try to understand.

Just know that your purpose in my life does not go unnoticed, that your friendship has prepared me for so much more in life than just another guy friend could, and I’m sure that every time the universe sees fit, you will be there again.

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