I originally posted this on my tumblr. I didn't expect it to resonate with anyone, because I often feel like (and am told) that it's an experience that doesn't make any sense. I'm bringing it here, and making a couple of edits. Click here for the original version

Imagine you meet someone and the two of you click quickly. You take the next few years and you spend a LOT of time together. You get to know each other pretty well, inside and out. They’re like your best friend, but maybe something else.

And we all have had a something else. A relationship you can’t quite explain. It’s not sexual at all, but it’s intimate. People wonder about it, the bold ones will ask you about it and you might pretend like you don’t know why they’re making such a big deal out of it, but the truth is you don’t really get it either and you can’t explain so you feign ignorance.

Nothing truly inappropriate ever happens betwixt the two of you, but you always remain close. Maybe there was a hand that lingered too long or a hug that was a little too tight, but the two of you are close like that and it’s whatever. Plus, in the time the two of you know each other you both have your own other complicated-by-sex-and-other-feelings relationships (some people call those dating relationships, but whatever…) so that’s DEFINITELY not what’s going on between you.

And then one day your friend — your dear friend — who’s sometimes like a sibling, sometimes like a bestie, sometimes like a… something more — meets someone who falls head over heels in love with them. This person is enamored by them in every way and as they make their own moves, it quickly becomes apparent that you come along with the package.

At first your friend doesn’t really let on to what’s happening. Why would they? It’s not like it’s the first time this has occurred. Plus, at first, even they don’t see the signs. But that other person? That blinded by love person? They have a master plan and they’ve got to figure out how you fit into it all.

It becomes very clear to you that this other person is confused. They see you as a threat. They don’t want to mess up a good thing by making you the enemy, finding that your influence surpasses their own, but they have got to figure out how to lessen your influence. They have to find a way in.

And as they begin to get to know you — maybe to find your weaknesses, maybe to figure out what’s so great about you — they find they kinda like you too. Truth is, the two of you are a lot alike and that's what draws your mutual friend to each of you. Plus, it can’t hurt to befriend you since it’s clear you’re not going anywhere, right? And you know your friend likes this person, you want your friend to be happy so you are on your best behavior. Being friends is the best move, and it's easy.

And then you and that person create your own friendship separate from the original relationship you had. The two of you speak about things that don't concern your close friend, you do things with each other that don't include your close friend and it all feels good -- like this trio might work. Sure, it's complicated and yes it can be tricky navigating being friends with two people in a relationship, but you're making it work.

Fast forward a handful of years and you and your once close friend aren’t all that close. Time, space and distance have concerted to create a gap. And that new person isn’t new anymore. They now have more influence. And you’re not upset about that; things change and that’s for the best sometimes. Your close friend seems happy, and that's what you want.

There was a time where the former duo felt like a trio. You knew your place and you felt you respected what they had, just like what you had with each of them individually was respected. Now, however, you know something is really different. You start to feel like you’re viewed as a threat and you begin to think that maybe, just maybe, you have been viewed as this all along.

You know your friendship is being monitored. The closeness the two of you shared that never seemed to bother either one of you, is suddenly taboo when that other person is in the room. And you can pinpoint in your mind exactly when it all shifted. When it became inappropriate to sit too close to you, to have a private conversation, to have secrets with each other. When the respect for your previous friendship seemed to dissipate. And what's absolutely insane is that you can feel them pulling you closer while simultaneously pushing you away. Wanting to see you, but not wanting to spend time with you. Wanting to spend time with you but on their terms only. Dangling a carrot and then taking it back.

That, my friends, is my life. Well one part of my life. A part of my life that I've taken to pretending isn’t in existence. A part I’ve tried to rid myself of, but I guess that closeness makes it hard. I guess this must be what it’s like to be friends with a conjoined twin or something.

I haven’t the faintest idea what to do. I leave every interaction with them drained and frustrated. I mull over every word, every conversation, every action, every inaction for weeks. I draw conclusions, I tell my friends, I write blog posts.

I keep trying to leave it but no one will let me go.


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