Friday, March 12, 2004

I love you to bits… as a Friend

“Until today, I thought that hearing “We have to talk…” from a woman was the most awful thing she could say, but now I’ve discovered that worst of all phrases is “I love you too… as a friend”.

Jerry Seinfeld wrote a funny story about being the “friend” and although I laughed at his comic way of putting this across, I couldn’t help but sigh at the tragic truth of a tragedy that I’ve gone through myself… more than once.

Jerry whined that once again he has taken the role of the dedicated friend who can always be counted on for good advice and support. However, although he sits with hopes that his female friend will once reciprocate his hidden love for her, she tells him that she loves him just as a friend. So while she probably dates a million of Mr. Wrong’s, Jerry stands by her and suffers every time she gets hurt, hoping that one-day she’ll give him a chance…

What an idiot? I suppose so… but how many people reading this blog are remembering of a time when they too played the role of the “friend”. It’s a tragedy when we meet someone who touches our hearts and souls and then tells you that they don’t feel the same way. By the time you find out this reality, it is usually too late to save your heart and you find yourself desperately trying to hang on to the friendship. You convince yourself that the friendship is what you truly value and that there aren’t any hidden hopes… yet you anguish each time the person tells you about the great times they spend with their partner. You wince when they ask you what you would get for that special someone and try not to cry when they tell you that the other person loved that perfect gift that you would’ve chosen for yourself. Trying to be a real friend, you give your support and encouragement and tell yourself that someday, that extra bit of feeling will be gone…

While you give the best of yourself, your friend gives his best to his girlfriend/boyfriend… and you as the good “friend”, get the leftovers.

Even William Shakespeare couldn’t avoid the “love triangle”. In fact, being the romantic he is, he was so hurt after being a victim to love and its disappointments that he only managed to write two optimistic plays. If you take a look at the rest of his work, you will find his bitter resentment towards love and its consequences… Romeo and Juliet being his most obvious piece of work, but Hamlet and Macbeth not falling too far behind.

“Love cannot be found where it does not exist, nor be hidden where it does…”

It isn’t your friend’s fault if their heart does not beat like yours. And most people are being truly sincere when they look in your eyes and tell you “I love you… as a friend”. However, anyone that has ever been through this situation will tell you that the most horrible feeling in the world is to love and not be loved in return. It’s a no win situation because no matter what alternative you choose to take to resolve this issue, you will suffer.

By now most of you have already made up your minds about how you would react in these circumstances. There are many options to consider. You may want to substitute the person for someone else or end the friendship. Or you might want to fight to preserve the friendship, keep hoping that one day you’ll feel differently. Some people never face the reality of this tragedy and will sit in hopes that one day their friend will realise that they love you too. The more obsessive and mentally weak people might even plot and manipulate to win the relationship, regardless if the person loves them or not.

I’m a moralist and a firm believer in preserving all that is good. I value to my friendships and work very hard at keeping them. The last thing I’d want it to loose a friend or to let someone go without finding out what kind of a friend they can be.
However, the right decision isn’t always the right decision and after many similar experiences, I am inclined to think differently. A heart can only take so much punishment; a soul can only survive so many of these tragedies before dying.

If it’s too late to save your heart, if you know that your heart is won and that you’ve given away your soul… then I advise you to go to that person and ask for sincerity. Let them look you in the eyes and tell you all the things you already know and don’t want to hear. Only when you hear the painful truth in their words, can you truly believe it and move on with your life. Moving on is giving up on a friendship that only keeps the candle of hope burning. But if there’s still time to save yourself…


Run as fast as you can, as far as you can from someone who will steal your heart but has no intention of loving it. Time is too precious to be wasted loving someone who doesn’t plan on loving you in return. Before your heart gets tangled, before your soul is tied… RUN!

Running doesn’t make you a coward; it’s the intelligent maturity that helps you cut your losses before suffering is no longer an option. If it’s meant to be, then you won’t be able to run in any case, true love will always come back to you… There are things in our lives we can’t escape from, things that we must live… If things go wrong once, you can blame it on fate, but if it happens again the fault is yours. Being the strong hero isn’t sticking by a friendship that does you harm… true courage is letting go of a potentially great friendship, to save your soul.

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