I Fell For My Guy BFF Of 20 Years And He Didn’t Feel The Same — Here’s What I Learned

For many years, I would cringe at the thought of something happening between me and my best guy friend. It wasn’t that he was bad looking — quite the opposite, actually — but having known each other since our embarrassing high school days, it was impossible to imagine him in anything other than a platonic way… until I did.

  1. Unlike me, he never saw me only as a friend. They say that a guy can never be a 100 percent cool with being platonic friends with a woman and in our case, this turned out to be true. Even though we always talked about our crushes on and relationships with other people and he flirted with countless women when we were out together, he wouldn’t have been against something happening between us.
  2. He occasionally sent me some romantic vibes, which I dismissed immediately. In my mind, I couldn’t make sense of how he would be sending me signals of liking me romantically when all he talked about was other women he liked and dated. I guess he was weirded out too because it was just too obvious that we would never last a day as a couple. We knew that we weren’t each other’s type and frankly, we were looking for completely different things in life.
  3. I never thought there could be sexual chemistry between the two of us so I was taken aback. It took us a very long time to let go of our hangups and outgrow our high school insecurities, but when we did, it felt extremely intense and even romantic in a way. All these years of knowing each other and not making any moves was what made the sexual chemistry between us explode. It was something unique that you can never have with a stranger you just met in a bar.
  4. When I suddenly saw him as potential boyfriend material, he pulled away. Having known him for such a long time, I could never make a move because it just felt incredibly weird. But when I gave him an obvious opportunity to make a move for the first time after over a decade of friendship, he didn’t. Maybe it was his turn to show me that he’d waited for too long and wasn’t going to make himself available the minute I was finally ready. The second time the opportunity appeared, however, it was different.
  5. Not seeing each other for a long time helped me let go of my inhibitions. We had grown apart a bit over the previous few years, so when we met up again after a long time, we had an a-ha moment. We both started flirting as soon as we saw each other and it no longer felt weird anymore. Even though it’s all over now, I am glad we let it all out. In a way, it still meant that we cared about each other and ultimately that was what our friendship was about.
  6. Looking back, it was bound to happen eventually. You can’t be friends with a hot guy all your life and never feel attracted to him, even if just for a second — and if he’s straight, he’ll be attracted to you too. Pretending that it’s just friendship for years on end is just not honest. Every time I think of all the time we were spending together, I realize we’d never have done it if deep inside, the attraction wasn’t already there. Ironically, the people around us — especially our parents during our high school years — believed that we were already hooking up when all we did was go out, eat burgers, and talk nonsense.
  7. He wasn’t “The One” and we both moved on. There are countless examples of couples who start out as friends and later realize that they’re soulmates. That wasn’t our story. We knew we weren’t right for each other, so we chose to cool it down pretty quickly. In the end, that was the right decision because by doing so, there were zero regrets and no bitterness between us. I’m glad about it because I’d hate if he became one of those guys I briefly dated and then never saw or heard of again. I have only a few guy friends and our friendship was important to me.
  8. We could never stay friends like before. Maybe Facebook friends but nothing more than that. We both knew that trying to hang out like we used to would just result in becoming hookup buddies, and we were already leading adult lives that were too busy even for that. Instead, we decided to cut our losses and while we remained on good terms, we had to leave the intimacy we’d previously shared behind.
Chrisa is a freelance travel and lifestyle journalist who is obsessed with urban life, big cities, and untold stories.