Photo of a "Love" sign

A Letter To An Unrequited Lover: Finding My Peace With Friendship This Valentine's Day

Dear Unrequited Lover,

I give you love. Thus, I am your lover. Some might say you are mine as well, but you give me love as a friend and that is the cause of this unrequitedness. 

flower vase bouquetI know this may come as a surprise. I realize my timing is more than poor. Please do not act surprised when I say I love the way you say my name. I love when you say it loud with a smile on your face. I love when you whisper it soft with a hand on my shoulder, kneeling low to make sure I can hear. I love when you say it to other people while you talk about me. It is nice to see your mouth form the word. It is nice to see you stand there. It is always nice to see you. It is nice that you see me, friend.

I try to push away. You can hold me to that. I put on a cold face and spend my time other places. Nonetheless, you pull me back. I cannot help but smile when you recite my coffee order from memory. I cannot help but answer when you ask me about my day. I cannot help but listen when you tell me your dreams. I cannot help but look up when you grab my hand. You know me well, I cannot deny that. You want me to know you, you cannot deny that. 

friends in scrabble lettersAre we really just friends? Is it all in my head? I think we could be something more if the timing was right. If I had met you, before you met her. Before you fell for her, maybe I would get phone calls and not texts. Maybe it would be us, rather then you and her, going to the restaurants and shops I suggest. Maybe those looks across the floor would be longer and maybe the space between our faces when we talk would be smaller. Maybe your laugh would be louder. Maybe when you tell me about your bad day, you’d let me make it better. I want to make your bad days better, but that is not my place. We are friends. What are friends for? A question I ask myself before I decide to step a little closer and before I decide not to hold our hugs a little longer.

Tiny white, pink and red candy heartsIt is easy to imagine what it would be like if you were my lover. I see it when you are with her. I see how you give her the world. I see how you celebrate every moment the two of you are together. I see how you talk about her. I hear how you say her name. How you take photos of her. I see how you stand over her and how you touch her. It is all in the “how”, not the “what”. You say my name, you touch my arm, you share your life with me and you stand close to me. It’s “how” you do it that draws the line. To the “how”, I am blind and I am sorry for that. I wish you were my lover. I am glad you are my friend. I am relieved you will likely never read this and I am sad that “us” was never given a chance. I am ok, though. I think you know that. Friends know when friends are not okay. We are friends.

Thank you for being in my life. Thank you for standing by my side. Thank you for being my good friend. I know I can be a lot sometimes. I hope that one day you see me in love with someone who loves me the same way. I know you would like that because you are a really good friend.

Love,

A great lover, but a better friend