When dating your best friend doesn’t end well

I recently thought about FM. He was my first “serious” boyfriend, when I was 15. He’s the kind of guy you can count on when you need him. You know the type. He’ll drop everything and go out of his way to help you. The kind of guy that, even though he was only 17 at the time, my dad instantly liked and trusted him.

He’s kind and funny and generous. He has such a fun streak too. He’s got soft eyes, and when he speaks to you, you feel like you have all of his attention. He’s the kind of guy you want your daughter to date. Well-mannered, respectful and chivalrous – opens car doors, holds the door, always let’s ladies walk first and always stands to greet his elders (and he always had me home by curfew). You know, a nice boy.

Before we started dating, he was my best (boy) friend. I knew for some time, before he officially asked me to be his girlfriend, that he had a crush on me. But I didn’t want to ruin our friendship by dating him. He eventually convinced me to give it a shot. I remember, he asked me out on a Friday night. During the day, I had I gotten a card from him at school. (Ha! Do you remember passing notes and letters to friends and people you had a crush on at school?) The card read something along the lines of, “I don’t know just when it happened, but I think we’re more than just friends.” I still have it buried away in a box somewhere.

That night, he officially asked me out – it’s a big deal when you’re a teenager. Or at least it was, I assume it still is. What the heck do teenagers do these days? Does it still work the same? Do people still physically ask each other out or is it by SMS/What’s App? Maybe it’s only official when you take an “ussie” with that person? Anyway, a bunch of us were hanging out at his house. (His mom was the type of person who patiently accepted the chaos a house full of teenagers brings. She made you feel welcome the moment you walked through her door.) He asked me if I would go with him to buy cooldrink or cigarettes or something from the corner store – just the 2 of us. In the car he asked me what I had thought about the card – I remember feeling shy and thrilled, all at the same time. I don’t recall what I said, but it was a “yes” to us dating and we were officially an item!

He treated me like he was the luckiest guy in the world to date me. He did everything you could possibly think of to make me feel like I was the most important thing in his life. He fetched and carried me from place to place; he constantly spoilt me and told me how he felt about me. Though I did love spending time with him and being in a relationship with him, I simply did not return his feelings to the same degree.

It lasted about 10 months (an eternity when you are 15!) and did not end well. I loved him very much (and not to sound corny, but part of me always will). He was very important to me, but I wasn’t in love with him. You can’t force a feeling I’m afraid, and loving someone versus being in love with them are 2 very different things. There is no easy or nice way to tell a guy who’s gagga over you that you’re just not that into him. It’s a very hurtful thing to do to someone that you really don’t want to hurt.

As I said in my previous post, we all do things we regret. Though hurting him is one of the things that I regret, what I regret most of all is that I lost his friendship. I went from having someone I could count on for anything to having nothing, just a void where he used to be. I didn’t handle the situation very well and I bungled the break-up horribly, causing him unnecessary pain. But, I was only 15 – we live and we learn, unfortunately, sometimes it’s at the expense of others.

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