When You Love Your Best Friend, But He’s Friendzoning You

It’s super annoying when you fall in love with someone who doesn’t love you back (rude). It’s even more annoying when people tell you it must be “meant to be.” By Misha Scott.

When someone tells me I have to let something go because it just isn’t “meant to be,” I want to stab them in the eye with a screwdriver. Not only does that advice feel lazy to me, it also invariably leads to me not getting the thing that I want. I’m a natural problem solver, so when I hear reasons why something won’t work, I immediately look for the nearest wall to beat my head against. Sometimes this approach is invaluable – like in a job, or shower sex. Sometimes I just end up with brain trauma.

So anyway, I fell for my best friend.

It happened on a quintessentially LA night. We wandered into this after party with a bounce house in the yard and found ourselves in the middle of a sordid Lewis Carroll adventure where the supporting characters are a dude in the pool dressed as Jesus and that guy who comes into the bathroom while you’re peeing to ask if he can do a quick bump off the counter if he looks away while you wipe.

By the time we finally got back to my apartment it was 4:30 in the morning and nothing felt real. We sat on my couch sharing gummy vitamins and coconut water and having a slurred conversation about my rings, and then suddenly he was holding my hand. I remember kissing his neck and saying, “This is a terrible fucking idea.”

That night was the Sparknotes version of everything that came afterward. He went down on me almost immediately, which I took as a very good sign, but when I suggested we get a condom, he got all emotionally responsible and said that we *shouldn’t* because friendship. I had to grudgingly agree, but my heart wasn’t in it. We talked and cuddled until the sun came up, trying to sound convincing when we promised that nothing would be weird between us now. He kissed me before he left and spent the next two months behaving as if he hadn’t seen my vagina.

Thus began what became a familiar cycle: we’d find ourselves at a party together, get drunk, and end up nuzzling on a couch somewhere. I’d try to pretend like I hadn’t hoped this would happen – I once used my body hair as plausible deniability, lamenting to him as I took off my pants, “Ugh. I specifically didn’t shave so that I wouldn’t try to fuck you tonight” (which might be the hottest thing I’ve ever said to a man about to go down on me). Then we’d fuck, have a very mature, adult conversation about how we needed to stop doing this, and do it again a couple months later.

The problem was, I didn’t want to stop doing it. Not only was the sex that incredibly rare mixture of filthy and tender, (seriously, is there anything hotter than being called a dirty slut by a man who’s also held you while you cried over a broken heart?) but more importantly, he’s the single most emotionally honest person with a penis that I’ve ever met.

I’ve never liked anyone without being afraid that I would be too much for them. Men I’ve dated in the past have dealt with the gushing artery that is my emotional jugular with varying degrees of grace: at worst they try to “cheer up” the bleeding with chocolate and gifs of baby animals, at best they just sort of silently love me and accept the mess. He was different. The first time he asked if we could sit down sometime to check in about our feelings I wasn’t sure if I was going to cry or have an orgasm.

Then there was his impressive taste in music, his passion for his art, his kindness, the way that being around him inspired me to be a better version of myself. How, when he told me why he was attracted to me, he began his list with “compassionate” and “creative” and didn’t once use the word “cute.” He was perfect for me.

Perfect, of course, except for the fact that he didn’t want to be with me.

Perfect except that I got the feeling that I wanted to be his friend a little more than he wanted to be mine. Perfect except that he’s a good Christian boy and I’m a godless heathen (which, he had to remind me repeatedly, was not unimportant to him). Perfect except that his all time favorite band is Coldplay and I’m not sure I’ve ever been able to listen to a Coldplay song all the way through. Perfect except that I’ve sometimes wondered whether his unbridled positivity and my deep cynicism would eventually make us want to kill each other.

I refused to see any of these things as serious problems. I just knew I wanted more. I tried on three separate occasions to bargain my way in, proposing first that we could just be friends who have sex and cuddle while watching Netflix (“You mean like, be a couple?” he asked), and eventually asking outright whether he could ever see himself wanting to actually date me.

And as he answered that question with all the patient honesty that I wouldn’t hear on other, less sober nights, I realized I was never going to be able to argue him into this, nor should I want to. There was no universe in which we could date without also risking a friendship that neither of us wanted to lose. If having a spiritual partner was a big deal to him, it was never not going to matter that my religious experience amounts to a once-opened book of children’s Bible stories my mom bought me when I was nine in an effort to make me feel like I had choices. Also, I’m probably never going to like Coldplay.

There’s value in fighting for what you want, but there’s also value in accepting that it just isn’t *shudder* Meant To Be. I think I’ll always wonder a little bit what could have been had we met at a slightly different time, in a slightly different place, as slightly different people. But we didn’t, and that’s OK. Because even though we don’t get to be soul mates, I really kind of love being kindred spirits who get drunk sometimes and make really good sex.

Misha is a 25-year-old filmmaker in LA. She loves feminism, avocados, and reading one-star reviews. She hates war and polyester, in that order. Read her previous article for Slutever, “Am I Gay Enough to Be Straight,” HERE :)



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