What do you do when someone you've known as a friend suddenly has the potential to become even more?
This is the very issue that seems to be affecting my friend Veronica* these days. In the past, I've definitely explored a couple of issues she's faced in the love game: for one, keeping a relationship with a guy based solely upon text messages (always dangerous)... And for another, dealing with the aftermath of hooking up with a much younger guy (and his subsequent attachment which I liked to called "Post Hook-Up Stress Disorder").
But, so as not to take you off on too much of a tangent, let's focus on the issue at hand, which I got wind of just this weekend on the way to her family's Fourth of July festivities...
When I got to her house, another person rang the doorbell almost immediately. It was her friend, Jordan*, who was coming along with us for the festivities. Immediately, he began to make himself at home: raid the cabinets and roaming around the kitchen looking for things. And, the way they talked with each other, with such a playful ease... Even from the outside looking in, I knew he wasn't just one of her "boys." Well, not to me anyway.
Once we'd decided to take separate cars, I decided to pump her for information.
"So," I asked playfully. "What's the deal with that one?"
She laughs. "Nah, girl, he's just my friend."
[Insert blank stare here.]
"We're friends, you know, cool and whatnot, but everyone thinks we're going to get married," she went on.
Ding, ding, ding! "So, what do you think," I asked.
She pauses. "It's come up before, but we've never went there. The thing is, we have such a good friendship, I'd hate to mess that up."
I got quiet. Lord knows I understood that one having gone down that road once upon a time.
"True," I'd said. "But, since you guys seem to have such a solid friendship, don't you think you could withstand it if it didn't work out? Because if so, it would suck to let something that's a great fit slip out of your hands like that."
"I agree," she replied. "But I think what we're both trying to do is figure it out if we can go there. But we'll definitely talk about it."
We chatted about it a bit more before we got caught up in other conversations and arrived at the party. However, later, watching the two of them interact and noticing him building connections with her family, I couldn't help but wonder if there was denial going on. I mean, the potential for more was already there, in black & white.
The truth is, I understood Veronica's point. It's hard, especially when you already know you share such a strong friendship with someone. However, if there's one thing I learned from old incidents is that if you can't put the fear aside and follow what you want, then there may not be much chance in the first place.
So now what? Well, it looks like Veronica and Jordan are trying to decide whether what they have is strictly platonic or romantic. But my guess is that before they can transcend into couple status, they'll need to put aside the thoughts of others, their own doubts, be willing to open up to each other and of course let their guard down -- none of which are small hurdles. If, after all that, they can do it, then who knows what kind of flames will ignite?
That said, isn't there a saying that friends make the best lovers?
I don't know, you tell me. Are there any dangers in turning your best friend into a little more?
* = Names changed to protect the innocent