Daughter. Sister. Friend. Believer. Warrior. Writer. Voracious reader. Shoe Lover. Car Accident Survivor. Quasi philosopher. Prone to circumlocution. Beyonce stan. Retired cynic. On a quest to make a dent in the universe. Impossible to summarise in a few words.
I recently received an email from a reader, which can be summarised down to the following:
• The reader and her male best friend have been friends for years. Despite accusations of them being more than friends, it’s always been strictly platonic.
• About 3 years ago her best friend met the love of his life. They’re currently living happily ever after.
• About a year ago the emailer realised she’s deeply in love with her best friend and she wanted my opinion on whether she should confess her feelings.
Normally I feel torn when I read such emails. This is because even though I like to pretend I’m objective, I like you all and prefer to take your side. In this case it took all the strength I could muster to not type “DON’T BE SO STUPID”. Fortunately I’ve become more familiar with a concept known as tact.
Sidebar: Why didn’t anyone tell me how handy being tactful is? It’s like lying but it comes with none of the guilt. Plus people still (pretend to) like you after you state your opinion.
Somehow, I found a sophisticated way of stating that a confession would be as wise as meeting Lil Kim and calling her Nicki Minaj.
It’s not that I don’t want her to confess because I’m unromantic (then again my idea of romance is being given a wheelbarrow filled with cash and a pair of Louboutin’s atop). And it’s not because I don’t like happy endings. I just think if she goes ahead with her plan, the results will be catastrophic.
Unfortunately months spent (over) obsessing and engaging in counterfactual thinking have clouded her judgement. As our e-conversation continued it became apparent that she was more likely to confess than not. Furthermore all her friends were advising her to confess her feelings “before it’s too late”.
Sidebar: This lends credence to my theories that “Just because they want what’s best for you, doesn’t mean they know what’s best for you” and “Ignore the majority opinion, because the majority don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.”
I truly believe if this young lady confesses it will be an act of self-sabotage, akin to shaving off her eyebrows and drawing them back on…..with toothpaste. Here are my reasons:
Honesty isn’t always the best policy
You know that platitude “Honesty is the best policy”? I despise it because it oversimplifies the complexity of human relationships. You cheated therefore “Honesty is the best policy”. You may have scratched your dad’s car whilst backing into the driveway then claimed you had “no idea what happened” therefore, “Honesty is the policy”.
Honesty in such instances is really a self-serving, rather than virtuous act. It’s not genuine, it’s simply a tool used to absolve oneself of guilt or whatever emotion (or secret) you no longer want to be burdened with. And after your confession the other party is left shattered from the impact of your confession.
Honesty isn’t always the best policy; sometimes the best policy is to keep your mouth shut and walk away.
A woman must never make a decision about love in a time of famine
In times of famine a gnawed chicken bone is an attractive meal. I’m not implying that her best friend is a gnawed chicken bone. I’m just attempting to illustrate during periods of severe “man famine”, us women consider (and reconsider) options that were once filed under “hell no! Not even by mistake”.
My suspicion is she’s capitulating. This isn’t love! She thinks she has no other options and she’s now fixated on the next best alternative.
Sidebar: Ironically there are 6 billion people in the world, a significant number of them, single adult males looking for company. She has plenty of options.
This is most probably phase and just like all those people that had a gheri curl/perm in the 80s, one day she’ll look back and ask herself “What was I thinking?” On those grounds it’s better to lean on the side of caution and allow this phase to pass.
The girlfriend’s pregnant
I’m aware I should have mentioned this fact in the introduction, however I’m in a facetious mood and thought I’d give this blog entry a soap opera feel. Forgive me.
If confessing was inappropriate before, now it’s just insane. I agree we should all have the freedom to live our own love story, but when our love story catalyses another person’s nightmare, we must be prepared to face the (dire) consequences. Relationships grounded on theft (yes I call it theft, even though technically he’s no one’s property) rarely end well.
In movies, you can ruin another woman’s life by confessing to your best friend that you’ve always loved him. He’ll walks away from her and then you live happily ever after. Why? Because it’s a movie! However this is real life and in real life, the impact of our decisions, ripple and ricochet for years. She can’t make a confession without their being multiple casualties. In light of that, is it worth it?
The real question is this; who does she love more? Her best friend or herself? If she really loves him she should keep quiet. As sometimes truly loving someone means letting them go and putting yourself second.
I’m aware this is dilemma many of us have faced at some point (albeit without the involvement of a foetus) and I’m wondering if I’m being absolutist in my response to it. So what do you think she should do? The floor is yours.