I told my bestie I liked him and he didn’t like me back
Falling for your bezzie mate can be one of the best (or the most complicated) things to ever happen to a person.
WIPING A STRAY dribble of Jägermeister from my chin, I took a deep breath and in my best, ‘this really isn’t a big deal’ voice, turned to my best friend and said very quickly, ‘So when I was away on holiday I think I missed you more than a friend is supposed to and so I think I have feelings for you, yeah…’
I looked at him, heart in my mouth, waiting for his response.
‘I’m moving to America,’ he blurted out.
My heart sunk. That was not the reaction I was hoping for – far from it. I waited for him to follow up with something a little more positive, but it never came. Instead, he commented on the bartender breaking a glass, before chugging his drink and looking nervously around the room, like he’d much rather be absolutely anywhere else in the world than here with me.
Confused? Let’s rewind to a couple of months earlier when I was living my best damn life in London, partying every weekend with my gaggle of awesome pals,
one of them, the aforementioned male bestie (let’s call him Dylan).
Dylan and I went to school together but we weren’t friends way back then. It wasn’t until I moved to London two years ago and a mutual mate arranged a catchup that I had my first ever real conversation with him. We clicked and pretty much became instant besties. We’d grab dinner together, visit cool places around the city and chat about absolutely anything – guys I fancied, girls he was hooking up with, period talk. Nothing was off limits.
I’ve always had male friends and never once fell for any of them, so I just assumed the same would go for Dylan. But one night at a house party, a mutual pal cornered me and asked why Dylan and I weren’t dating when we clearly fancied each other. I vehemently denied it, of course. But then I snuck a look at Dylan. He was across the room in conversation with someone but in that moment he looked over at me and smiled. F*ck. F*ck f*ckity f*ck. It hit me like a kick in the stomach: do I like Dylan? It was like someone flicked a switch and a showreel of our friendship was playing out in my head. Our oneonone dinners, him calling me like clockwork every
Friday night when he was drunkenly heading home from work drinks and asking me to come over (note: I never did), him – also while drunk – joking with people in pubs that I was his girlfriend, random people at parties asking me how long Dylan and I had been a couple for because we just ‘acted like one’. Doesn’t the truth come out when you’re drunk? Does he like me, too?
The more I thought about it, the more it made sense; they say the best couples are friends first so, in a way, liking him was a mature, adult thing to do. I’ve got a track record of picking real wankers and Dylan was absolutely not one of those.
Now that I was aware of my formerly repressed feelings, I felt something shift in our relationship. Maybe I was just more open to it now, but I truly thought there was something between us. I even googled ‘Should you tell your bestie you like them’ and read tons of articles about what to do. Most said only do it if you were willing to risk your friendship and I wasn’t sure if I was.
Enter my dear friend alcohol and here I was, standing in front of Dylan in a noisy bar with my ego hanging by a thread.
What followed his awkward reply (if you can even call it that) was a copious amount of icecream, crying to my roomie and ignoring his phone calls and messages; I had well and truly used up all my maturity.
After asking for space and doing a bit of selfreflection, we finally met for a drink – nonalcoholic – a few weeks later to talk about the elephant in the room. It took everything in me to muster up the courage to face him, but I did. We sat opposite each other and I then broke the glacier between us by explaining the way we acted towards each other wasn’t really platonic. He was clearly very uncomfortable, but I spoke from the heart. Yes, I had feelings but clearly he didn’t, or if he ever did he wasn’t going to admit it, and that was OK. Once again, words seemed to fail him and he didn’t have much to offer other than, ‘I can’t not have you in my life.’ And so, after the chat, we went to our friend’s place and watched Game of Thrones together like nothing had happened. I was still hurt and it took a good few months before I felt like we could just be ‘us’ again but we got there, despite a few teary, drunken blips on my part along the way.
I don’t blame him for not fancying me and I certainly didn’t write this to shame him. No, this story was about taking what was singlehandedly the most vulnerable moment of my life and turning it into a story about a badass, strong woman who saw what she wanted and went for it. Sure, it didn’t work out but hey, not everything does. I’m still standing – heart fully intact – ready for the guy who nearly dies of happiness the second I tell him that
I sorta, maybe, kind of have feelings for him.
‘Here I was, in a bar, with my ego hanging by a thread’
LOVE IS BRUTAL. BRUTAL.