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.

Cosmopolitan (Australia) - - Contents - Just ask Mor­gan Rear­don…

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.

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