Two years ago, I was Facetiming and talking on the phone with my friend Charlotte. We were having our usual, fun, chill conversation on the phone, and she told me that one of her guy “friends” admitted to liking her. For me, this did not come as a surprise.
Charlotte was practically this beautiful, Instagram model. She looked good in all of her Instagram posts. She would mostly have famous, professional athletes slide in her DMs, and she would hook up with them sometimes. Plus, Charlotte and I had met through Tinder at the time. She was this gorgeous, attractive girl that I really wanted to get with. However, the more I got to know her, the more I realized that we would be better as friends. I didn’t think that we were compatible, and I couldn’t see myself having a long-term relationship with her. Something was just missing with her. Nevertheless, I still liked talking to her and decided we were better off as friends.
Anyways, Charlotte was telling me that this guy that was her friend was heading off into the military, but he ended up confessing his feelings for her. Charlotte told me that it really came out of nowhere, and she didn’t feel anything romantic with him. He told her that he always had feelings for her, and Charlotte was kind of weirded out and confused by that.
Charlotte asked, “Like Isaiah, if he knew he always had feelings for me, why didn’t he say something from the beginning and just act like my friend all this time?”
It was a valid question, and I responded, “Well, some guys just don’t really like being honest and truthful about their feelings. I don’t personally believe in the Friend Zone, but some guys that do would rather keep you close and be stuck in the Friend Zone because it’s a safer option. They don’t get rejected, and they can pretty much stay close to you and wait for a better opportunity to make their move.”
Charlotte then asked me why I don’t necessarily believe in the Friend Zone. I said, “Well, I just don’t think you can be stuck in the Friend Zone. For a guy or girl, you can choose to either tell your friend how you feel, never say anything or walk away from the friendship. However, it’s all your choice. You’re only stuck because you chose to be stuck.”
Charlotte was impressed with my answer, but she’s still annoyed that most of her guy friends just randomly profess their love for her. I understood her frustration, and I assured that she always had a friend in me. She was glad to hear that I just intended to be friends with her, and she started talking to me about her guy best friend that she really cared about. His name was Billy. She told me that they had been friends for years, and she could always count on him. Billy sounded like a really good friend. Then, she told me some interesting things about him that made me question if he was a good friend.
She explained to me how every time he talked to a new girl or had a girlfriend, he would just cut her off. Billy would tell Charlotte that his girlfriends were not comfortable with him being friends with her. I thought that was a little weird because I just had a hard time believing that all of his girlfriends were telling him to stop talking to Charlotte. I felt like he just wanted to cut her off, but I didn’t say anything. Charlotte also added that everytime it didn’t work out with any of his girlfriends, he would just be messaging her like crazy talking about he’s sorry and wanted to be friends again.
Charlotte said, “Yeah, he just messaged every 10-15 minutes for weeks saying that he missed me and wanted to be friends again. It was so annoying getting messages from him and just ignoring him, but I also thought that it was sweet that he was constantly messaging and apologizing to me. It showed that he was serious about our friendship and knew he made a mistake, and I just had to eventually forgive him.”
I blurted out, “Well, that sounds like harassment to me. I get that it was somewhat sentimental to you, but that’s also kinda childish and pathetic to me. You clearly didn’t want to talk to him, and he didn’t really respect the fact that you wanted to stop talking to him. But you didn’t block him or tell him to stop for whatever reason, and it ended up working out. Now y’all have a wonderful, life-long friendship together.”
Charlotte said I was right, but she said that Billy doing all that wasn’t pathetic to her. It meant a lot to her. I could tell there was a little change in her mood. She was bothered. It’s possible that I may have revealed and shared too much of my thoughts. I was thinking that maybe I shouldn’t have said all that, when she just wanted to share something sentimental about her best friend. I was thinking I had to be more careful with my honesty and transparency. Some restraint is necessary and important.
Thankfully, I was able to change the subject, and we were able to go back to having a chill, fun conversation. I was relieved that our conversation about her best friend Billy didn’t ruin our time FaceTiming and talking with one another.
A couple of days had passed, and Charlotte messaged and told me in the afternoon that she met the most amazing guy. I was all excited and happy to hear that, and I wanted to know so much about the guy that got her in her feelings. She told so much about him, and how he slid in her DMs and is practically her dream guy. Charlotte felt a real connection with this guy, and I was genuinely happy for her. I wanted her to find the one, and I couldn’t wait to Facetime her and talk about the guy.
Around 6:00 that day, Charlotte messaged me again and told me that it wasn’t going to work out with the guy. I was devastated and hurt. I was invested in this potential relationship, and I wanted to see it come to fruition. How could it be so short lived? They were supposed to have some rom com moments, have some cute pictures together, decide if they want to be public or private about their relationship, get married, have kids and grow old together. I was rooting for this potential couple, how could it be over so soon? I needed answers. I needed an explanation for this romance that literally lasted for a few hours.
Charlotte and I Facetime each other around 9:00, and I immediately ask what happened with her dream guy. I admitted to her that I was rooting for them, and I just thought that they were meant to be. Charlotte thought that I was sweet thinking that, but she said there was a lot that happened. She explained how everything was going well as they were talking and connecting with each other, but then he brought up guy friends. I knew it was about to get crazy.
Charlotte said, “So, I told him that I have guy friends and that I have a guy best friend named Billy. I told him that we’re really close, but he had nothing to worry about. Billy is honestly just a friend.”
Then, she told me that he was uncomfortable with her having a guy best friend. He was worried that they would get close and develop feelings for each other. I was certain that Charlotte would tell the guy that he had nothing to worry about, but she ended up dropping an unexpected bomb shell to me.
She stated, “Well, Billy and I had kissed and made out before.”
I was shocked and couldn’t believe what I heard. I needed more information and details about this unexpected plot twist. So, Charlotte continued, “Well, it was a couple of years ago and we were just hanging out with each other. One thing led to another, and we just ended up kissing and making out. But nothing else happened after that. We just felt like it was weird and decided we were better off as friends.”
There were a lot of questions and concerns that were racing in my mind with Charlotte and Billy. Like how could y’all be friends after that? It wasn’t like they kissed for a few seconds. The way Charlotte described it to me, it sounded like they kissed for a good 15-20 minutes before putting a stop to it and going further. And how did Charlotte know if it was genuinely weird for him, too? He might’ve just said that because you said that. And if he saw you as just a friend, why does he always ghost you the minute he has a girlfriend? It just seemed like Charlotte was something more than just a friend to him. The math was not mathing to me at all. I was thinking all those things to myself, but I refrained from saying anything because I remembered I didn’t want to be too honest and transparent with her.
Anyways, Charlotte added that she told the guy what had happened between her and Billy, and the guy told her that she needed to end her friendship with Billy. Charlotte explained, “Yeah, he was saying that he’s uncomfortable with me and Billy’s friendship, and I essentially had to choose between him or my best friend. That was just so unfair to me because we had just met, and you’re already trying to dictate who I can and cannot be friends with. That’s ridiculous and a huge red flag to me.”
I understood where Charlotte was coming from, and I agreed with her to a certain extent. Charlotte and the guy really had not gone on even a first date, and he really had no business/right telling her who she can and cannot be friends with. However, I will say that if their relationship was more established, then he could have more of a say. I do believe that friends of the opposite sex can get in the way of a relationship and disrespect it as well because they may not know how to respect boundaries. That’s unfair to your partner if he/she feels that a friend is disrespecting your relationship and disregarding certain boundaries. I feel like it’s important for your partner to feel safe, comfortable and secure with you.
Charlotte stated that she couldn’t believe the ultimatum the guy gave her, and she said that she would choose her best friend. The guy understood and decided that they should just stop talking to each other. Then, Charlotte asked me what I thought about the whole situation.
I was thinking a lot of things about Billy, her and potential future relationships where her friendship with Billy could be a problem with guys that were interested in her. However, I said, “Well, I think he definitely gave you an unfair ultimatum, especially with y’all not really going on a first date yet. You made your choice. Your friendship with Billy is clearly important to you, and you don’t want to compromise that in any way. He clearly wasn’t the guy for you, and that’s okay. The right guy is definitely gonna come your way soon.”
She was appreciative of my encouraging words, and she was glad that I was her friend. We ended up changing the subject and just talking and having our normal, usual conversation. Before we hung up, she mentioned the guy again and couldn’t believe how much they connected with each other. She felt like it was real, and it would’ve been nice to see him in person and go on a date with him.
“I can understand that, but you can’t keep thinking about it. It wasn’t like you were in a full blown relationship with him, and y’all weren’t talking very long either. Do you know how pretty and beautiful you are? There are gonna be better, sweeter guys that will come your way and treat you better,” I said.
Charlotte was thankful for everything that I said, and she’s glad that I can be so hopeful and optimistic. She just thought that she had a real chance at love. I just couldn’t believe that she chose her best friend over love.
That’s the end of the short story “Choosing Your Best Friend Over Love.”
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