About a year ago I wrote about my friend Dave (refer to the post Friends and Lovers). It turns out that a lot can happen in a year. On the other hand, sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Last year, I wrote about being unsure if it would be worth risking an amazing friendship in the hopes of turning it into an amazing relationship. Last year, the answer was a frustrating NO. There was too much going on around us, and Dave and I agreed that under the circumstances the odds were stacked a bit too much against us.
The sad truth is, when there’s a mutual attraction between two friends, any decision can alter the dynamics. In other words, deciding not to date someone because you don’t want to risk the friendship still affects the very friendship you’re trying to preserve. And I will absolutely admit that the whole situation was getting to me. Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised that it was Dave who was present for Susan’s return. There are few things more frustrating than not being able to date someone who is every bit as interested in you as you are in him only because you’re both surrounded by people who would intentionally try to cause problems. Now understand that the first time Dave and I admitted our mutual attraction was 2007. You read that correctly. 2007. And even then, we basically acknowledged that those feelings had been there since we met three years earlier. It’s no exaggeration to say that I was near the end of my rope, even concerning the friendship.
Then the situation shifted several months ago. I took advantage of this shift and made a move (albeit with the help of some liquid courage). When something builds for seven years, it’s easy to start creating impossible-to-meet expectations in your head. After so much time, the reality is sometimes a disappointment because it’s just not as good as the fantasy. And yeah, it was just a kiss (or two or three…) but it somehow was even better than I ever thought it would be. Better yet, Dave felt the same way.
It’s still not an ideal situation, hence the recent posts describing my wanderings through the Marsh of Vague, Ambiguous and Uncertain. The old challenges have been replaced with new, different challenges. There’s still the fear of losing one of my best friends if this whole thing crashes and burns, but I decided that it’s a risk I’m willing to take right now.