He’s seen me at my worst and he still loves me.
You know the feeling you have with certain people, that you can say whatever you want without worrying you’ll put your foot in it and piss them off, or hurt their feelings, or otherwise make things awkward?
That you can wear whatever you want and look however you want, and they’ll never think less of you or say anything critical? That you can feel however you feel – furious or hopeless or goofy or exhausted or over-the-moon happy – and your mood will simply be accepted, not judged?
There’s a freedom that comes with being able to be your whole self and know you’ll still be loved, no matter what.
Everyone needs that person – the one you can call when you’re your saddest, stinkiest self, or when you’re about to burst with excitement. For me, that person is my best guy friend; not my boyfriend.
I was thinking about this the other day and feeling bad; a kind of confused and guilty brand of bad. It’s no secret I don’t have the greatest history with romantic relationships. Am I broken in some fundamental way? Do I not understand how relationships are supposed to work? Do I have intimacy issues? I never thought I did. After all, I share some of my darkest secrets with the entire Internet on a daily basis.
Here’s the thing about my boyfriend and my best friend: my boyfriend fell in love with me because he thought I was cute and sunny and fun, qualities I purposely cultivated and advertised in hopes of attracting a partner. (Come on, we all do it.)
But my best friend just loves me, weirdness and all. Who knows why? We’ve been friends so long, I can barely even remember a time when he wasn’t part of my life.
He’s seen me when I’m puffy faced and snotty from crying, when I’m depressed and unshowered, when I’ve just come from a run and am absolutely disgusting. I never check the mirror to make sure I look okay when I’m about to see him. I never worry that he’s mad at me, or read his texts to my friends in an attempt to examine his feelings. I know he’ll always love me.
But let’s be real: I also don’t want to fuck him, even though he’s kind, smart, funny, patient, a great cook – and totally hot. (I chalk it up to our Gemini/Scorpio incompatibility.)
No matter how amazing my bestie is – and he is – my boyfriend is the one I want to dress up for, curl my hair for, and hold hands with at the movies. He’s the one I want to impress, and the only person I ever want to do naughty things with. The butterflies I got the first time he kissed me are the same ones I still get thinking about kissing him now. I don’t want that feeling to ever go away. I want us to make an effort for each other, and to always feel just a little bit nervous before date night.
I know it’s healthy to have lots of different people in your life, and for them all to serve different purposes. No one person can be all things to someone else. But maybe because I haven’t had a successful long-term relationship, I don’t know what ‘normal’ is supposed to look like when it comes to a primary intimate partner.
My last boyfriend was crazy jealous of my best friend. He thought there had to be more going on than I was telling him. There wasn’t, but was I doing something wrong by having such a close friend, especially a male friend?
I don’t have the answer; I’ll continue to puzzle over these questions and keep trying to figure it out the best I can. I’ll try to nurture all my relationships and not hurt anyone. (I’ll probably fail, but I’ll try.)
In the meantime, I’m curious: can you still get butterflies once someone has witnessed your worst (smelliest, snottiest, most disgusting) self?
Comment: Do you feel closer to your romantic partner than to anyone else?