From Various Crushes to Committed Friendships

Cheers my friend, what a nice night this is.
And while we drink a toast to ourselves, let me tell you a story about the two of us …

Once I met this person who seemed to be quite nice. I don‘t remember when or where exactly – they just happened to be around at some point and our ways started crossing more frequently: was it at parties or demonstrations, at friends‘ or festivals, at university or in between all of that? Who can tell now …
The somewhat familiar face got connected to a name and became a person that I got to know tiny pieces about; out of each meeting, new pieces – like swapped sentences and looks – were glued to the lose bundle of impressions, as glittering, solid or ominous hints about this person and the stories of their life.
Small, fragile connections were made in this several little moments and they began to build crosslinks: that weird thing happened which is called ‚getting to know someone‘.
Every glimpse made me more curious for the whole picture, every new insight seemed to reveal something new or some new depth. Something between us seemed to build by every of these tiny steps; something vivid seemed to grow and resonate on slightly more levels with each shared moment.

What did I feel, what did I want back then?
I wanted to learn more about that person, get more impressions and find out who they are, what they do, like, think and dream about, find out about their stories and where they are heading for.
I wanted them to get to know me, get interested, curious in discovering these things about me and my life.
I wanted to spend time with them, share moments, thoughts, experiences.
I wanted them to like me.
Not all at once, but gradually, increasingly.
And at some point I wished to share what’s going on in our lives, to build something together and to develop, do something meaningful together.
I wanted them to be part of my life.
I wanted a somewhat committed relationship.
What does that involve? What does that mean? I couldn‘t answer that question, except for „I don‘t know yet – it’s up to us, we‘ll have to find out together.“

If I was in love, my friends asked early on in that process.
I was being very hesitant with answering. People assume so much with that phrase and since I don‘t do couple-relationships, most of the assumptions are wrong anyway.
I don‘t wanna buy people – it’s not about property and control, but about relationships and communication, so where’s the difference? And at what point does it matter if this is a crush or a friend crush, anyway?
Because when I start getting to know a person, I just don‘t know yet: I might really want to get in touch with them and be super excited about it – without any idea whether I‘d like to be ‚romantically involved‘ with them or not. All I usually know is that I really want to get closer with them and see how I feel about it and how things are going between us.

But was I in love here, at some point?
Well, yes, I was – in retrospective it’s safe to say that I was.
Just don‘t overestimate what that means:
It wasn‘t so important after all, because it was just a rather small addition of romantic dreaming, desire, to the major part of a genuine, solid friend crush.
All the things I wanted and how I felt (like I described before) are not touched by the question of a ‚romantic‘ crush. The difference between the two was really just a gradually increased intensity of these feelings and the strong wish for this to be mutual and special.

At some point, the moment came where it became clear that this was not going to be a rather romance-based relationship. (I even hesitate to write it like that, because lots of my friendships are romantic as hell: ‚romantic‘ as in ‚having romantic moments together‘ or as in ‚admitting in a variety of ways that the relationship is meaningful and valuable‘. But you know, ‚romance-based‘ as opposed to the ‚platonic‘, ‚not being in love‘ labeled relationships.)

Isn‘t it super inconvenient, frustrating, to be in love with a friend who doesn‘t share these feelings for you? Well, it can be, of course. It’s not like I‘m looking for that kind of constellation. But also, it’s not incredibly horrifying, either.
After I‘ve passed these moments of disillusionment and disappointment, I usually realize two things:
First, it’s not like I‘d want to run from that person or drop everything we‘ve built – there are so many positive bonds between us and still so many possibilities to develop together, neither of them related to ‚romantic relationships‘. At this point I really don‘t want to give up on that relationship just because a small part of my day dreaming won‘t come true.
The second thing I realize is this: all the things that have happened so far, everything the other person has done for me and all their interest in me and our relationship is still there. These experiences don‘t just suddenly vanish due to my new view on the situation. All that has developed between the two of us is still there – and is still valid. Even more, you could say that all what had happened was not done as an ‚investment‘ for some e.g. romantic ‚pay off‘, but out of genuine like, respect, interest, concern for me and our friendship. And as such it will continue. And as such I‘ll also stay true to my part of this friendship.

It‘ll be a bit tough or a bit weird for a while until I rearrange things within myself; I‘ll need some time to regain ad sustain my trust – the trust that something (now definitely) called ‚friendship‘ can be as meaningful and worthy of commitment to the other person as it is crucial to me.
I‘ll need some time. I‘ll struggle with it sometimes. But usually I come to the point where I do have that trust. I‘ll come to the point where I can value this relationship without any regrets – where I can fully embrace what we have, in the way it is;
where I am happy and thankful for this relationship that I call committed friendship.

So now here’s to you, my friend. This is our story (as well as my story with several others);
I am very happy to share it with you tonight.
Cheers to us.