Are we platonic soulmates or should I make a move?
Do I need to calm down and stop romanticizing something that is clearly friendship?
A BIG CUTIE PIE:
My male best friend and I have been best friends since college. We have the same group of friends and were in the same circles in college. We instantly clicked intellectually/emotionally and he has helped me accomplish every single personal milestone that I’ve accomplished, been there for all the assholes I’ve dated and we’ve been each other’s emotional rocks through career turmoil, rejections, and fallouts with relationships. I helped him through the worst breakup a year after graduation with our mutual friend. We send each other pictures of the people we’re going dates on, vet them on social media, and give pep talks when we’re feeling down.
When we were both juniors in college we both moved to NYC for the summer and started internships in the city and have been inseparable since. He relocated there after graduation, and I moved to London (UK) but we haven’t stopped being as close. I visit New York every month or he comes to London and we FaceTime every other day for hours and text all day. We talk about companies that we want to start together in 10 years and laugh about the places that we want to travel together when coronavirus all blows over. The only time we’ve come close to hooking up he was visiting me in London and sent me home in a cab from his hotel when I was blackout drunk and making a comment about our friendship after our mutual friend that came to drinks said that he was watching me protectively.
I’m also getting increasingly worried about him because he’s in NYC and vulnerable to the virus and I can’t do anything to help him or assure his safety.
Talking with him is easy and I could listen to his voice for hours. Despite this, I’m not physically attracted to him. Am I shallow? Is it weird to think of him as a soulmate in the most platonic way? Am I shallow for thinking that he’s physically more of a brother?
I’ve been single for about 3 years and all our friends continuously point to our friendship for the reason, but with the virus imposing this sort of ’the world is going to end’ feeling I keep thinking if we should consider if we’re something more? Or is this the virus that is just imposing this feeling and I need to calm down and stop romanticizing something that is clearly a platonic friendship?
Look, I am the most intense relationship shipper in the world. Like I see two batteries next to each other in my remote and I’m like, “I hope they end up together.” I am SO INTO “I have a crush” stories. So I would absolutely would tell you if I thought you two should try to smash your naughty bits into each other!!!
YOU SHOULD ABSOLUTELY NOT TRY TO DATE THIS PERSON!!!!!!!!! At the very, very, very, very least, not right now, but likely never in my humble opinion.
You have a best friend!!!! A friend whose friendship has survived dating and breaking up with a mutual friend, college and distance!!! THAT IS PRICELESS SORRY FOR YELLING! But you do not need to muck this up simply because your friend happens to have genitals or gender identity similar to what you’re normally into! You aren’t even attracted to him. He’s simply a guy who isn’t mean to you and whose name you know and you guys became close friends because that’s what humans do and now your friends are telling you that that means you have to…try to date across continents!?!!?
The world is not, as it may seem, ending. That is not to say that it isn’t terrible terrible terrible. That the world does not feel like it’s ending for loads of people. That the world didn’t lose thousands of people, many of them due to governmental negligence or ignorance— something unacceptable. The world is a festering wound in so many ways right now, so I forgive you for feeling pessimistic about it. But the world at large is not more over than it was 4 months ago. (Ok, a little bit worse because of climate change/emissions etc). But not over yet. And even if it WERE ending—which it is not as far as we know—that is not a compelling reason to play “hide the cannoli” with your platonic friend.
Literally nothing in your letter hinted at anything beyond good friendship other than your friends who think that you having another friend is the reason you’re single??? MADNESS.
A lot of people have been single for 3 years. Diane Keaton has been single for 35 years and she’s an icon of screen and menswear, ok?
Do I think that if you start dating someone they’re going to have some questions/reservations about this friendship? Yeah. I think so. Do I think that your relationship with this friend will alter when either of you starts dating someone? Yes, I also think so. Do I think that it will be painful in weird ways that you don’t expect? YES, I ALSO THINK SO.
I have a very very close friend/best friend who just started dating someone right now and despite the fact that I’m already dating a person, I’ve been feeling oddly possessive and envious about it at times. (Partially because I can’t see her right now and they can maybe??) Not that I’m proud of feeling that way or anything, but I think that will likely come up for you guys as you move forward.
I also think that you should not date anyone who doesn’t respect this friendship that you have to the full extent of its beauty. I mean this friendship has given you so much and anyone who doesn’t see that is a creep ass little brat.
Right now you two seem to be each other’s main support systems on almost every front. I mean traveling internationally every other month is frankly a lot. And it may be time to add in more people so that when the day comes when one or the other of you inevitably becomes less available for whatever reason you have outside sources to lean on and talk to about it.
That happens in all friendships like this though. It’s not because of romance!!! It’s not because you’ve been secretly in love with him. I’ve known my best best friend since I was two years old; we grew up down the block. We have inside jokes that are like 18 years old. She’s for all intents and purposes “my person.” She also lives in Ireland while I live in LA and we have big emotional cries about the fact that our lives are so separate all the time. It’s depressing and hard and shitty. It would not be solved by us dating though!!!!
There is a lot to be said about the fact that our culture puts dating and romance on a pedestal. That people would think it were less weird to move across the country for a guy you just met than for a friend you’ve known for a decade. We undervalue friendship pretty regularly as you can tell by the phrase, “just friends.” Or the fact that people say something romantic is “more than friends.” As is friends is the lesser of the two. It’s not. Don’t let outside voices convince you of that. Don’t let loneliness or concern about this guy convince you of that.
You have a wonderful, once in a life time friendship. Please do not throw it away because you think you might need to add in oral sex to justify your closeness. You two are soulmates and not all soulmates are sex-soulmates and that’s fine. Slow your roll. Date and have sex with people you are attracted to. If that’s ever him, take it from there. In the meantime, enjoy this moment of being single and having these specific boundaries with your friend and this amount of time and resources to spend talking to him. Life will change, and while I’m sure you’ll remain close, it might not always be like this. Savor this shit!!!!!!