Upon first glance, I know that the idea of two best friends hanging out all the time with each may seem beautiful. But when one of them develops romantic feelings for the other, while the other knows they never will, it creates a serious imbalance within that connection. What makes matters even worse for that connection is when the person who doesn’t feel that romantic incline is also codependent and doesn’t like to be alone.
I spent four years of my life dealing with this very thing, and in the long run, it only caused great pain and strife, especially for that person who fell in love with me. Recently, I met two friends whose connection with each other is strikingly similar to the one I had for those four years. They like to spend the majority of their free time alone with each other. They have a movie night together at least once a week. They always do their grocery shopping together on Saturdays. They often cook meals for each other and have those intimate dinners. And there’s a lot more they like to do platonically with each other as well. While all of this may seem harmless, it’s that underlying codependency that creates the imbalance in this type of relationship.
In my case, for the longest time I never wanted to be alone. When I met someone who felt the same and shared similar interests, I quickly latched on. We were initially inseparable, spending the majority of our free moments with each other. I truly treasured this relationship and its closeness. What I didn’t know was that this friend was falling in love with me the whole time. By the time I did, they had become completely smitten with me. At that point, I had become overly dependent on them for various reasons that included my loneliness and state of mental and emotional health.
For a time, none of that seemed to matter and the both of us were like two peas in a pod. The friend who was so taken with me said it was better to have a close friendship with me then nothing at all. And of course, I agreed because deep down I was so insecure and didn’t want to lose all the focus and attention they gave me. But then other friends starting coming into my life where each shifted my attention away from this friend. Some of those new friends included romantic and sexual interests. When each of them began taking some of that regular time away from being with this friend, the imbalances of this codependent connection began to rear their ugly head.
Constant arguing, guilt trips, jealousy, self-pity, anxiety, depression, and even rage all started fueling that relationship. I made matters even worse by eventually trying to force myself to be sexual with that friend who was in love with me. I thought somehow it might make me feel the same way as they did. All that did was reconfirm that I didn’t feel that at all and probably never would. The result of all of those codependent behaviors was a complete imploding to that connection and now I have no ties to that former best friend at all.
There are days that I still wish somehow we could be friends because I remember how good it was early on between the two of us. But I also remember all too well those many anger-filled days where the two of us fought like cats and dogs. That alone, along with being much freer of codependent behaviors these days prevents me from ever going back.
I thank God for helping me to have great compassion today for anyone who ends up being in this type of codependent relationship. I learned an important lesson in life and saw how hard it was to break free from them. I gained the understanding that I was always in them because of my own deep insecurities inside. While I may have loved this former friend on a soul perspective, and still do today, it’s the unspiritual way that connection was built, that made it fragile and weak. Because it wasn’t formed on spiritual principles, it never had the legs to last an eternity.
It’s my hope that my two new friends, who are currently engaging in this type of codependent relationship, will see all of this sooner than later. I want to save them the pain and hardship that I know both my former friend and myself went through as our connection dissolved permanently. But like everything else in this world, sometimes we just have to go through those painful things on our own to figure it out.
So if you should ever find yourself in this type of relationship, I hope you will understand now that there really is a high level of unhealthiness to it. If you truly care about each other, you may want to take more time apart than together, so that things don’t fall apart when others come into the picture down the road. Trust that God will sustain your relationship if it’s meant to, and please know that the two most important relationships to work on in life are the ones you develop with God and yourself…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson