Hope you didn’t think I forgot about you! It’s been quite the crazy last few weeks. I wrapped up my final University classes/presentations and can officially say I am done! However, I don’t think it will really sink in until I wear the graduation robe and shake the President’s hand in June. My feelings are pretty mixed about being finished. On one hand I am very excited to start a new chapter in my life and continue meeting new people and stepping outside my comfort zone. On the other hand, I have made such amazing friendships at my school that it will be very strange not seeing them around everyday.
I had talked to you awhile back in my post ‘More Than a Friend’ about a guy I’ve known since my second year of University that I instantly developed a strong bond with. Since then, our friendship has grown leaps and as time went on, he started developing strong, romantic feelings for me. I so wished I could reciprocate those feelings and have that happily ever after with him. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t see us as going past a platonic friendship. I considered him my best guy friend. Someone who I felt completely comfortable talking to about anything, with full assurance everything would remain between the two of us. Sadly, the physical attraction was never there on my end. He suffers from several health conditions, which makes him very self-conscious of his body image and as well struggles with self-confidence. He is also very shy to begin with and after having gotten to know him for three years, he opens up to me much more than his family. I knew that deep down it couldn’t go any further than platonic as I needed that special person in my life to have that level of confidence to push mine higher. Perhaps the attraction could grow if I was open to giving it a chance. However, the fact that I know how self-conscious he is and all the struggles he deals with makes it hard for me to be open to more between us. I casually mentioned to him when we first had this discussion that maybe it would be good for him to talk to someone to help deal with the struggles he faced, but he was very opposed to the idea. He said:
I have you.
I valued how he felt so open to talk to me about his feelings. However, I didn’t think it was healthy to not have any other close friends to talk to and felt it was important he was able to open up to someone else aside from me.
After all of this happened several months ago and we were completely honest with one another, I felt our friendship was strong enough to get through it (as hard as I knew it was for him). This leads us to today.
We were at school clearing out our lockers and fixing a final project to go on display for an upcoming graduate show. As I was eating lunch with him in the student cafe, I could tell he appeared sad. I asked him what was on his mind. He said:
A lot of things.
He was being kind of vague so I simply started listing off a few things. I asked if it could be about finishing school and not really having any definite next plans. He said that was part of it. I then asked if it had to do with me and being sad that we weren’t going to see each other as often. I could tell from his reaction to that line it was definitely part of it. He proceeded to tell me how he thought I knew how much he cared about me. It was hard on him recently when other students would ask if the two of us were dating. I guess being because we spent a lot of time together at school. He still couldn’t wrap his head around why I didn’t want to be with him. The more he talked, the more I felt sick and upset and I couldn’t form the right responses. I simply said to him how much I cared about him, but I just still didn’t see us as more than platonic. I told him that I felt he really needed to talk to someone about everything going on and feel better about himself/take better care of himself before I were to even consider that. He said:
That’s the thing though. I feel I can only get better when I’m around you. I feel totally comfortable around you.
Still, he would never wear a t-shirt around me. He still suffered from social anxieties and health issues – which I don’t think I could take on in a romantic relationship. I needed to breathe and so I made up an excuse to go to the washroom. After having taken some time to gather my thoughts together, I returned to the table and said:
I would really like to book for the two of us to see a therapist. We have health insurance through school and I feel it would be really healthy for our friendship to talk to someone at least once. Please at least think about it.
He was still very skeptical and didn’t seem like he would. I couldn’t say anymore other than to let me know his decision this weekend. The subway ride home was pretty uncomfortable. There was a lot of silence and small casual talk. When his stop arrived he said:
You’re still my best friend.
You are mine too. Don’t worry, we will get through this.
I really hope we can. What do you think of my situation and suggestion to him?