I was hopelessly in love with my guy friend for a few years, and one night I decided to drink my unrequited feelings with a bottle in one hand and my fully charged phone in the other. I woke up the next day with a hangover and three new messages from him. In my drunken state, I’d confessed everything and surprisingly, it wasn’t all that mortifying.
- I’m more comfortable being myself with him now. Once I started having romantic feelings for him, I started trying so hard to become the girl he wanted. There were times I’d purposely like the same bands as him so we would have something to talk about. Other times, I’d pretend to be the “cool girl” to get his attention. Now that my feelings are out in the open, I can be my goofy, weird and sarcastic self. Turns out, he prefers the real me.
- We can support each other without ulterior motives. Admittedly, I wanted a relationship out of our friendship at some point, but keeping that in the back of my mind at all times only made things strained between us. Despite the fact that he didn’t feel the same, the fact that he knows about them now has allowed me to process them and move on so that our friendship can be full of love and support without the extra baggage.
- We talk more often these days. There were days when I’d waste hours trying to craft the perfect text to send him. Other times, I’d overthink a reply which would cut our conversations short. Since my feelings were drunkenly pushed out in the open, there was nothing left to hide. At first it was a bit awkward, but after talking it through, we were able to find an understanding and conversations aren’t strained in the slightest. I’m free to just be myself, no overthinking required.
- He gives me relationship advice. Yes, the guy I was in love with now gives me relationship advice. He’s also the best person for it. He knows me well enough to know what I’m like when it comes to dating and relationships. Often times, he brings a different perspective to the table that I haven’t considered yet. Most of the time he just reminds me to stop overthinking and to be upfront about my feelings. After all, our friendship is proof that just because a romantic relationship doesn’t work out doesn’t mean it has to be a disaster.
- I’m his wing-woman too. More often than not, I tell him when he’s being oblivious to other people’s feelings. He didn’t know I was in love with him until I told him, after all. It’s safe to say that he’s not that perceptive. Now I help him in any way I can when he needs dating advice or when he just needs to rant about his current relationship.
- We hang out more than we used to. Because of my feelings, I was afraid of being alone with him yet at the same time wished it was just us two hanging out. I was worried I’d be too awkward or turn him off with many of my ramblings. When everything was out in the open, my worries started fading. Now, whenever we hang out, it’s because we enjoy each other’s company, no anxiety involved.
- There’s no more passive-aggressive jealousy. This is normal when we have a crush on someone—we get secretly jealous of anyone that looks like they are flirting with the object of our affection. I was the worst with this. I’d ignore him because he was talking to other girls when I was around. It tortured him not know why I was suddenly mad or annoyed with him. At least now, I understand boundaries and where we stand as friends.
- My rose-tinted glasses are off and I finally see reality. The worst part about the whole unrequited love thing was that I’d try to find tiny kernels I could piece together to call it love. I’d constantly find signs that maybe just maybe we were meant to be after all. From checking each other’s zodiac compatibility to interpreting kindness as flirting or something more, I was sure we were written in the stars. Now that I’ve processed my feelings, been honest about them, and moved on a bit, I can see that was never the case.
- I get to know him better than before. When you’re in love with someone, you tend to put them on a pedestal. You see them as perfect and incapable of doing any wrong. More often or not, you’re in love with the fantasy you created, not the real person. Because the feelings you have for the person exaggerates who you think they are and in the end, you’re in love with an image, not a person. If I’m being honest, I didn’t know him as well as I should’ve had. I knew what I liked about him and that was it. Since we are more open with each other, I got to know him all over again.