I used to believe that falling in love with your best friend was a terrible idea. After all, my first relationship was with my high school best friend and that ended in disaster. So after that heartbreak, I vowed to myself that I would never cross that line again.
But then, I met David.
David was guy from my college block—bespectacled, quiet, unassuming. I didn’t even know he was in my class–he never really stood out, never made a strong impression. But among all the girls there, he noticed me and decided to ping me on Yahoo Messenger to say hi. That’s how we became friends.
I didn’t have any problems getting along with David. He was a very chill, easygoing guy. We weren’t part of the same social circle but we constantly hung out in between classes and bonded over conversations. I even ranted to him about my ex-boyfriend-slash-bestfriend when we first met up for lunch even though I hardly knew him. But David listened without batting an eyelash. I knew then that he was BFF material, and he became my trusted confidante.
Our early years of friendship were totally platonic. I was enjoying my single life, with no plans of coupling up anytime soon; he just got out of a failed relationship with his highschool sweetheart. We went through the ups and downs of college together and bonded over stories about life, love, hopes, dreams, etc. I never entertained the thought of falling in love with David because everything was so perfect with us just being the best of friends.
But love strikes when you least expect it, and during my final year in university, things changed. There was an emotional shift and suddenly, being with David sent me into a whirlwind of emotions. I looked forward to spending time with him more than usual. My heart thumped wildly every time I was around him. I couldn’t last a day without talking to him or texting him. There was even one time, while hanging out at our favorite coffee shop, that I wondered what it would feel like to kiss him. Before I even realized that I had fallen for this guy, I was already in too deep.
I tried to fight my feelings. I was in dangerous territory again and there was only one outcome: heartbreak. Loving your best friend is only asking for trouble and I knew that David saw me as nothing more than a friend. If I didn’t abandon these feelings soon, this beautiful friendship would go "poof." But you can’t just unlove someone that has become so special to your heart.
My confused state of heart and troubled emotions affected how I acted around him and our relationship became strained. There were fights, cold shoulders, frequent tampuhan. At some point during my last semester, we decided to go on a one-month "communication hiatus" to clear our heads. I convinced myself that it was for the best–I’d be able to think things through more clearly if we had no contact. But the decision was like a cut through my heart–it felt like I was breaking up with him even though I was merely taking a break from him.
We went out on a final date before that communication blackout. The entire day went by in a blur and before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye. But I got the shock of my life when David ended the night with a kiss. I went home in daze, convincing myself that it wasn’t real and that he did not intend to do it. But I couldn’t be sure–how could it be an accident when his lips lingered against mine?
When David and I resumed contact, I didn’t ask him about that "kiss." I didn’t want to hurt myself even further and I didn’t want to face rejection once and for all. If I pretended that nothing had happened, things would go back to normal. And it did for a while. But I was in for a big surprise.
When David and I finally got around to talking about that incident, I got the shock of my life when he admitted that I was special to him–like "more-than-a-friend" special. And "that kiss" was a deliberate act, not an accident. That day, we finally laid our feelings out in the open and accepted the fact that we were in love and that we could take this relationship further.
At the same time, there were so many what-ifs and worst-case scenarios running through my head. I knew that if we chose to be a couple, there was no going back. If things don’t work out, I’ll lose everything that ever made me happy. I voiced my hesitations but David held me close and told me that he still wanted to give it a shot with me. It was the only assurance that I needed.
Did the risk I took with David pay off? You bet it did, and by a thousand-fold too. We have just crossed the five-year mark and things are better than ever. We’re still best friends as much as we’re partners and I can’t imagine spending my life with anyone but him. Looking back, I’m glad that I went against my own advice and simply followed my heart. If I had not taken that risk, I would not have found true happiness.
PHOTO: My Best Friend's Wedding/TriStar Pictures (1997); GIFs: Giphy