We were in the same school but never in the same class, but that didn’t stop us from knowing about one another. “I would always notice you and your pink socks,” he tells me whenever we talk about how we’ve actually known each other since we were 12.
Despite that we didn’t really start interacting with each other until we were in junior college at the age of 16. We then started hanging together thanks to our mutual school friends. We had an instant connection and all our friends could see it too. And it wasn’t just about physical attraction, we also got along like a house on fire and developed this comfortable, easy banter that just came naturally whenever we were around each other.
Soon we were meeting everyday, bunking college, going out partying and generally chilling with our group of close friends. There was no denying we were both attracted to each other. We even ended up kissing on a few occasions but never discussed taking it any further. At the time we were pretty content just hanging out with our friends and having a total ball – you know how exciting it all is after you just finish school and have all that new found freedom?
Eventually we both got into relationships with other people, though we still remained very good friends. We were only 17-18 at the time, but we were convinced we were in love with our respective partners. But after a few years of an on-off relationship with his girlfriend, he broke up for good and as fate would have it, my relationship ended too around the same time.
For a year and a half after that we become closer than ever. Yes, we did end up “hooking up” a couple times and even spoke about our attraction to each other a number of times. We discussed how we were such great friends and didn’t want to mess up our amazing friendship by getting together because it would be terrible if we broke up! He was also quite the ladies’ man and had charmed several girls we’d both known in college, and even had a few flings. I thought he was a really nice guy but there was no denying that he was a flirt and I convinced myself that I wouldn’t want him as a boyfriend.
But one monsoon season, while I was 21, everything changed. His parents went abroad to help out his sister who was going away to study. Naturally, while his parents were away, his house turned into the party crib for our whole gang. We would spend all day and night at his place playing video games and just generally having a good time. We were at that stage in life where college was just ending and we were still blissfully unaware of all the responsibilities that would come once we started working.
During those 2-3 months that he was living on his own, we grew even closer. We would often just sit on his balcony and talk while watching the rain pour down, completely forgetting about the rest of our friends who were inside. Something slowly changed during that time and we both started feeling more emotionally connected than ever. We had both developed even deeper feelings for each other but I chose to ignore it because I thought we had already decided a long time ago to just be friends. Plus, I was also a little scared knowing as much as I did about his past relationships! I didn’t want it to be just another fling for him where I could end up getting hurt because I knew I wanted more than that.
So I suppressed those feelings and even got involved with another guy. But I think seeing me with someone else really affected him and he realised how strongly he felt about me. I think that’s when he decided that he wanted to be with me for real. Of course I realized too that I couldn’t feel for anyone else the way I felt about him. So without really even discussing it we started behaving like a couple, spending hours together and falling even more in love. I had known him for years and I thought I knew him completely, but I saw a whole new side of him that made me fall even more in love with him. He was adorably sweet, genuinely caring and nothing like the nice but flirtatious guy I thought I knew.
After a couple months of being “unofficially” together during which we both fell harder for each other than we could have ever imagined, it all came together on Diwali. We were at a friend’s party but were sitting by ourselves on the balcony (by then we didn’t seem to need anyone else’s company). Without warning, he started pouring his heart out to me, telling me in all seriousness how much he loved me and asking me to be his girlfriend. The fireworks went off right at that moment and of course I said yes!
It turns out he’s a better boyfriend than I could have ever imagined. Not that it’s been a bed of roses, we do fight like any other couple, but our bond has grown stronger over the years. In fact, after years of being around each other every day as friends and then dating for 4 years, we’ve now managed a long distance relationship for a whole year and still love each other like crazy. Both our families and even extended families know about our relationship and yes, we will get married one day in the near future.
Being best friends with someone you’re dating really does have its perks. We know each other inside out, which means we often know what the other is thinking or feeling without having to say anything. Of course we also know all the embarrassing secrets and love joking about those too. The truth is, it’s pretty amazing to love someone flaws and all. It also means a whole lot of laughs and that’s the best kind of relationship right?!
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Published on Sep 29, 2015