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Sex + Relationships

We’re Just Friends: How It Started Out

It started out friendly enough and ended in two strangers with memories of each other. 

In my personal experience, when it comes to dating a friend it’s all about the timing. About two years ago I entered into a relationship that was interesting, to say the least. Although it wasn’t a relationship right away it was the beginning of something that changed me, I would say for the better, because it allowed me to experience feelings that I hadn’t experienced before.

You know that feeling when everything is new and you’re excited about love for what seems like the first time in a while? Well I didn’t know that feeling, at least not until I started having feelings for my best friend. When it first started out I was in Florida for the summer and he was here at home in Austin. We were communicating as we usually did, over Snapchat. It had been a while since I’d talked to anyone in a way that implied more than friendship. I had talked to guys before, but this was different, I could actually see myself having real feelings for this guy. Maybe it was because I had never been such good friends with someone before having feelings for them. 

That summer we talked to each other every single day for long periods of time, and it was nice knowing that I had someone that I could confide in like that. I’d forgotten what it felt like to let someone into my life, let them see who I really am, because quite frankly, that part of a relationship scared me. But, I remember the day things started to turn into more than friends.

One day that summer, I was at the beach with my family texting him as usual when I put my phone down so that I could admire my surroundings, the beautiful ocean, clear blue skies, and the vibrancy of life that was buzzing in the air. Yet I couldn’t stop thinking about him. At that moment I realized that I had feelings for him, and when we got back to the house that day I discovered he might have those same feelings for me. That day I also discovered he was in a relationship with someone else. I’m not gonna lie I was sad about this, but I also knew I wasn’t going to pursue my feelings because I would never do anything to hurt his relationship with anybody else.

During this time our conversations began to get more flirtatious, it felt innocent yet we also began having more serious conversations than we had ever had before. That fall we went on a retreat with a group of friends. This was an opportunity for us to spend time with each other face-to-face rather than over the phone as we usually would. Looking back I felt like the progression of this relationship happened completely over the phone. This time he was more nervous than usual, more tense, and at this time I knew he had feelings for me. The entire time our friends were poking fun at us for acting this way with one another. I began to wonder what it would be like if we actually had the chance to be together, though this was a stretch because I never thought that he would break up with his girlfriend, and I didn’t want him to break up with her on my account. Much to my surprise, when we got back from the retreat we were on a FaceTime call when he had to take a call from someone else. When he returned from the call he announced that he had just broken up with his girlfriend. At this time I also learned that in the summer, when we both had feelings for each other at the same time, he had the choice between being in a relationship with me and choosing to rekindle an old relationship with his ex-girlfriend who ended up becoming his girlfriend once again. In much simpler terms he chose her over me. But, the story doesn’t end here…

Ilyanna Santos is an aspiring writer and journalist from Austin, Texas. She is a staff writer and Marketing & Publicity Director for Her Campus Texas. She is currently studying journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and is the Marketing and Social Media Director for Shamari Realty. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and a good cup of tea.
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