I recently confessed my feelings for someone I've known quite a long time. Almost a decade. When we met, he was with someone and I was just out of something with someone else. Obviously the wrong time. We spent a few months together working in a small little town. By the time we finished our job and came back to NYC, he and his boyfriend had split. We remained friends with nothing ever happening between us.
Over the years, we run into one another from time to time and always had a wonderful time together. On my end, at least, there was always a little bit of a crush developing on this man. He's simply wonderful. A really great person with a beautiful heart. Obviously, we both ended up in other relationships, and now it seems it could be the serious plot for a Gary Marshall style rom com. But it's not.
See, the thing is, we kept missing moments in which we could have probably ended up together, but I'm not aggressive enough in those moments to really make them happen. I just let life pass me by without saying a word until it's too late. I even recall my ex telling me how much he hated that I hung out with this guy because he hated the way we looked at one another. I've had friends ask me over the years why the two of us never dated. And this is now where I'm at. I don't know. I simply don't know why we never figured it out.
I know, from my perspective that it could be wonderful. Then again, it might not be. However, going back to the confession, it was met with far less enthusiasm than I'd hoped. I was told, "I see you as a good friend and it's difficult to see you as more than that." Done. I'd rather have had him say I just don't have feelings for you like that. Because this is the thing. Friendship is the best place to start a relationship. If for no other reason than you are already starting something with a foundation built. Trust, respect, honesty. That, in my opinion is the best thing you'd want in a relationship with someone else and why wouldn't you want to risk that. Yeah, you might end up ruining a friendship, but you could end up with someone you never thought possible.
On the flip side of this whole thing, someone recently also came to me and asked me on a date. I've also known this person for a long time and have always navigated around his advances. And the only thing I could say was, "I've never felt that way about you." I felt like I had to be honest about it. I didn't want to say I only see you as a friend, because that can leave open a grey area that I don't want. I finally had to be honest and say, "Look, i'm not into you like that, and I appreciate your feelings, but it has to stop." I had to. Because I'd rather be honest and risk losing someone because of honesty rather than keep them around with false hope.
So, the moral of this whole thing is, friendship can be tricky. There's a reason why straight men and women aren't typically friends, it gets messy. Same goes for the gays, it gets difficult to know if you're being hit on or if you're just making a new friend. But when a long time friend comes to you and expresses feelings, and you know you've been a big part of the flirtation for so long, be honest, don't leave it open ended, and try to be open when you know it could be the best thing that's ever happened to you.