From being strangers to best friends and then falling in love – I, being a desi cinephile, loved this idea. I have been watching this in almost every movie where the protagonists meet, become friends, and then, live happily ever after.
I mean, what could be wrong? You already know the person, like them, and know the common grounds – could it be more flawless? It sounds all perfect, right?
However, I was wrong. I, a long time back, dated a best friend and it was a nightmare!
For a little context, I met him in college and we instantly became friends. He was an introvert, but he was comfortable going out with me for drinking beers and on bunks – that made him even more adorable.
Everyone in college, our friends and families assumed we were dating and are just being secretive about it. Nevertheless, we would just laugh it off because we knew we are just great friends, nothing more.
In the last semester, there was a time when we ‘thought’ we might have started liking each other. We, however, talked about it and decided that it was better to remain friends because we can’t lose the bond we share now.
And then, we went on a vacation together, with other friends. As we spent more time together on misty mountains, we realized how we enjoyed each other’s company more than we anticipated – we would smile and laugh harder, around each other.
As soon as we came back from the trip, we craved each other’s presence. Within a week, he proposed and I said yes – this time, for the best.
For the next few weeks, nothing really changed – we went out for lunch dates and binged-watched movies together, just like before – except for the ‘boyfriend-girlfriend’ label. Now, everyone knew we were together – friends, families and even professors.
The best part was the fact that we didn’t have to ‘impress’ each other or be awkward during difficult situations. We already knew what the other person was thinking or feeling – these were some great perks of dating a friend.
It didn’t change much, it was all quite comfortable – for a while.
Later, when we got back to our respective lives and work, things started to change. There were certain emotions – jealousy, possessiveness, doubts and insecurity – that appeared out of nowhere.
He, an introvert, and I, an extrovert, started having compatibility issues – we have different tastes in different things, different goals and life philosophies. The things that didn’t matter earlier, became massive issues now.
When one person couldn’t make time, according to the other’s schedule, it all came down to tum mujhe pyaar nahi karte issue. Of course, we were in love, but does love mean sacrificing our career, goals and dreams?
Weekends use to make me happiest, but they were now a disappointment because I already had thousand impromptu plans with my ‘boyfriend’. There was no personal space, none at all – this made me feel suffocated.
Now, the things we used to do or speak to comfort one another earlier, we were now using the same things to hurt each other.
And then, it came down to a point where I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t miss more career-defining opportunities for someone, I couldn’t talk about weddings and kids right when I was starting a new job and I definitely couldn’t take more of ‘tu unn ladko se baat mat kara kar’.
I started taking a stand, which my former best friend used to appreciate me for, but my current boyfriend called it ‘faaltu zubaan chalana’. I was disrespected and manipulated because I didn’t choose to become something I never was. And, that was my deal breaker in that relationship.
With families and friends involved, it turned into a month-long mess. Nevertheless, I came out of that terrible relationship that took away my power, strength and individuality; and while I’m friends with most of my exes, I can never think of him being a friend again.
I lost two relationships, at once – a boyfriend and a best friend.
It might work for several people, but unfortunately, dating my best friend was a terrible decision for me and I would never do it again, ever!