One night, I sat next to my best friend on her bed filled with pillows, having one of our deep conversations.

“Losing that friendship wouldn’t have been in vain if you took something away from it,” she told me, and her words resonated deeply. We were discussing the aftermath of losing a cherished friendship with a person named David, whom I had known for three years and had developed romantic feelings for. We talked about the mistakes made, the hurts endured, and the lessons learned, as well as my decision to move on.

I did something drastic. I wrote an emotional letter to David, ending our friendship, and to make things worse, I sent a text saying we couldn’t be friends anymore. I later felt the need to explain myself further in a note written under emotional influence. It’s important to note that sending messages while emotionally vulnerable is not advisable.

Back in 2016, after three years of a strong friendship with my best friend filled with deep talks, jokes, support during tough times, and encouragement for personal growth, I realized I had developed romantic feelings for him. Admitting my love for him was scary. I feared losing him and facing rejection.

For a month, I tried to deny my feelings, hoping they would disappear. I was scared of the consequences of confessing my love. But my attempts to bury those feelings failed; they persisted.

Being honest about your feelings and embracing vulnerability won’t weaken you; it will make you stronger.

A friend suggested that the first step might be acknowledging my feelings. After avoiding it for so long, accepting my true emotions felt overwhelming. During a coffee chat, I finally confessed to my friend: I was in love with him.

“Being honest about your feelings and showing vulnerability won’t break you; it will empower you.”

On a clear night in Los Angeles, with a glass of wine in hand, I called him from my apartment balcony. With a trembling voice and shaking hands, I revealed my hidden feelings: I loved him.

Fast forward to today: My confession of love was not reciprocated. He said that while he once felt the same, he didn’t think we were compatible. My worst fear came true – loving someone who didn’t feel the same way. I felt embarrassed, confused, exposed, foolish, and hurt.

We tried to go back to being close friends, but it didn’t work. The calls stopped, the messages weren’t as frequent. We met again in 2016, but my heart wasn’t ready. Despite wanting to be friends again, the pain stopped me. So, I told him that I couldn’t handle being friends right now. He replied with a thumbs-up emoji, and we haven’t spoken since.

But here I am. Being honest about my feelings and admitting my unreciprocated romantic feelings for my best friend didn’t destroy me. It was tough, but I pushed through, relieved that I had been open with him, like letting go of a balloon’s pressure.

I accepted that my romantic feelings weren’t returned. It hurts, but I understand that unrequited love is part of life.

With time, I’ve come to terms with the situation. I miss David sometimes and wonder why things turned out this way, but more than that, I miss our friendship. I wish I could share my experiences and accomplishments with him. But when I dwell on the past too much, I gently steer my thoughts away.

I now know that I am enough, with or without him. Being rejected by one person doesn’t devalue my worth or deserving of love. I am whole just as I am.

I now know that I am enough, with or without him. Being rejected by one person doesn’t devalue my worth or deserving of love.

I’ve learned that being emotionally mature means embracing vulnerability and honesty. Looking back, I may have handled expressing my feelings differently, but I’m proud of being open about them. I give myself credit for speaking my truth and understanding that I wasn’t ready to resume our friendship yet, a decision I now accept. I wish I had this conversation face-to-face rather than over text, as it deserved more care, as did he.

Despite my flaws, I show myself compassion, knowing that growth is an ongoing journey, and we’re all imperfect. That year was tough, lacking self-esteem and self-worth. But in the following years, I grew in confidence, self-love, setting boundaries, self-care, and resilience. I look forward with optimism for the growth that lies ahead.


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