Falling in love with your best friend
I attended a 10th year wedding anniversary party this past weekend. The wife, Sewa is my cousin’s friend. She had known her husband, Sam for about nine years before they got married. For the most part of these nine years, they were just friends, best friends actually.
They met while they were in their first year in the university, they were classmates. They became best friends almost immediately and continued their friendship, no strings attached for the following five years; through failed relationships, graduation, youth service, job search, the works.
“One day, out of the blue, he said, ‘be my girlfriend’,” Sewa told me and a couple of her friends at the party. This was about twelve years ago. If you guessed that she laughed and dismissed this statement, you guessed right.
She however eventually decided to become his girlfriend, after she realised that he was serious about it.
“It was one of the best decisions I ever made,” she said with a wide smile on her face. “These past twelve years have been the best years of my life and being with Sam has a lot to do with it,” she added.
It’s stories like Sewa and Sam’s that make the “marry your friend” narrative worth the hype. I mean, who knows and loves you better than your best friend right?
If you ask Omoye, she’ll tell you that your best friend also has the most power to hurt you. And she’d not be wrong. You’ll understand when you hear her story, quite a sad one actually.
Omoye had been friends with Kunle since their secondary school days. Their friendship continued through their university days, even though they attended different schools. Kunle had always asked Omoye to be his girlfriend but she had always turned him down, saying she didn’t want to ruin their friendship.
A year after their service year, Kunle was single, so was Omoye, he was back again to ask her to be his girlfriend.
“It kind of made sense to accept his request at that point. You know, he was my best friend, he had always had my back, I knew he loved me and would never hurt me. And since I wasn’t seeing anyone, why not?”
They began dating and the following weeks were nothing short of blissful.
“We talked all the time and he sent random gifts to me at the office. He was so romantic, I was asking why we didn’t do this earlier”
Until, everything began to go downhill. Omoye initially thought he was going through stress at work.
“Communication ceased. We didn’t talk unless I called. I didn’t mind at first, then I did. I asked him several times if something was wrong, he’d say everything was fine and continue to ignore me.”
This went on for weeks. She’d have to force him to see her. He’d tell her they don’t have to talk all the time. He’d complain that she stopped being his friend and demanding too much from him.
“I was gobsmacked,” Omoye recalled angrily. “Me, Omoye, demanding too much? All because I asked to see my boyfriend, who’s supposed to be my best friend, once a week?”
At some point, she had no choice than to end the relationship.
“It was the hardest thing I’d ever done. I let it drag on for too long because I was scared to lose a friendship we’d built for over 10 years. But I came to terms with it and ended things with him”.
Omoye says it was the saddest thing that has ever happened to her.
“I couldn’t believe Kunle could treat me like that. Kunle? Should not have been him. I cried so much that at some point, I felt that I had exhausted all the tears my eyes could produce.”
It’s been almost a year since Omoye’s devastating heartbreak and she has gotten closure.
“He came back begging, saying he was scared of how fast the relationship was going. I was shocked but I’ve forgiven him”.
I learnt two things from Sewa and Omoye’s stories. First one is that there’s no rule book to anything in life, especially relationships. Secondly, a relationship without a healthy communication will fail, even if it’s between best friends.
Ideally, a relationship between two best friends should be perfect. Even though the dynamics change the moment two best friends decide to be romantically involved, it doesn’t take away the fact that the two parties know each other well enough to make the relationship work.
The cases where it doesn’t work like Omoye’s are usually devastating because the friendship is ruined for life; there’s no getting back those years of great friendship, no matter how much you try.
My general theory about relationships is this; if it doesn’t work, then it wasn’t meant to be. The idea of getting romantic with your “bestie” could be a scam, depending on who you ask.
What are your thoughts on falling in love with your best friend? Kindly share in the comments section.