Sometimes, When Your Best Friend Becomes Your Boyfriend, You Lose Both The Love And Friendship

Nana Yaw and I have been friends for the past nine years. He was my senior back in Senior High School, and we also lived in the same neighborhood. So our friendship was born out of proximity. He meant so much to me that at a point, I considered him a brother. There was nothing I didn’t share with him. Any problem I faced, I turned to him for a solution. And he always provided me with solutions.

Some of the problems I spoke to him about were my relationship problems. He would listen, comfort me, and help me go through it. Our bond was so close that in my third year at the university I called him to share something significant that had happened. “Nana, guess what I just did?” I asked him. He exhaled loudly, “What did you do this time? You know I’m bad at guessing so just tell me.” “Okay, I will just say it and get it over with. Well, I’ve finally done it. To be specific, my boyfriend and I did the thing.” I blabbered. “What are you going on about? Wait … oh! You mean you’ve had your first shuperu. Congratulations, I guess.” We both laughed about it.

When the laughter died down, he asked questions. “Is it something you wanted to do? Or did he force you?” I told him it was my choice and he sounded relieved. I didn’t mind sharing such personal details with him because he was my best friend. However, I found out along the line that his interest in me was beyond friendship. All the while I saw him as a brother, he was secretly in love with me. He tried to keep it to himself but in 2015, he decided to tell me how he felt. I felt very awkward because I never saw it coming. I thought he saw me as a sister and best friend too, you know. What confused me most was that he confessed his feelings for me in hopes that I would consider a relationship with him.

I thought about his proposal for a while and decided, “Why not? We know each other very well. Let me see how it will go.” After I accepted his proposal, I still couldn’t come to see him as a romantic partner. It felt like dating my brother. A week later I called him, “Nana, I can’t do it. I just can’t have you as a boyfriend. Please let’s break up.” As calm and accommodating as he was, he accepted the breakup and we went back to our normal lives. Though we were very close, we didn’t talk every day. We could go for weeks without saying a word to each other. But when either of us had something to talk about, we would spend hours on the phone talking about it. After that, we would go back to not talking for another month or more. It’s just been how our friendship worked and we both liked it that way.

Somewhere last year, our friendship took a different turn. When my last relationship ended two years ago, I was single for about a year. So in conversation with Nana Yaw, I lamented, “I don’t know what it is I have been doing wrong. I can’t seem to find the kind of love that would stay. Every one comes with the promise of something beautiful but they are quick to walk away when I give them a chance.” As usual, he listened to me rant about my failed relationships. When I finished he said, “Maame, why don’t we give this a shot once again? Why don’t we date again? Who knows where this will lead us?”

We spent the rest of the evening talking on the phone about so many things. Two days later, I accepted his proposal once again. This time it didn’t feel awkward or weird. I was ready to give it my best.

As time went on, I found myself slowly getting attached to him. He always spoke about us with so much passion and enthusiasm. He wasn’t a funny guy but he tried to make me laugh. He would crack lame jokes and I would fake laugh at them so he wouldn’t feel bad. This only encouraged him to come up with lamer jokes that made me laugh genuinely. Things were so good between us that I became afraid it would all fall apart. I kept thinking of the saying, “If it is too good to be true, then it is too good to be true.” And I found it difficult to believe that my relationship with Nana Yaw was progressing smoothly without all the drama I was used to. I wanted to be sure that everything was right with us so I started asking questions.

The first one was, “Nana, are you seeing anyone else that I’m not aware of?” “What are you talking about?” He replied, “Stop worrying your head over such things. There’s no one else in my life but you.” I trusted him so I believed him. And I allowed myself to fall so madly in love with him. When he realized how much I was into him, he started pulling away. He’d be online for hours without saying a word to me. When I texted him, he found a way to make our conversation short and uninteresting. I started complaining and his response was, “Haven’t things always been this way with us? Do we have to stay on the phone 24/7? Please stop complaining.” He was right about one thing. Our communication as friends hadn’t been consistent, but we weren’t just friends anymore. We were dating and I expected him to act as such.

Nana Yaw constantly assured me of his love for me and made me understand that there was no one else but me in his life, but we barely spoke. We would have regular conversations for a day or two and then he’d go back to not talking to me at all. I complained several times but nothing changed. Last month, he called and said he had something to tell me. He said it in a normal way so I didn’t suspect anything bad. He said, “Maame, I haven’t been honest with you. There’s someone else in my life. She was there before I asked you out. It wasn’t anything serious that’s why I never told you about her. I am trying to break up with her so that I can concentrate on us because you are the only person I’ve ever truly loved. I’m sorry about everything but please give me time to sort things out.”

I knew something was off right from the beginning so this shouldn’t have come as a shock but it still did. I wept for the rest of the day. And my only question was, “Nana why? Is this some form of revenge for all the years I didn’t reciprocate your love?” Of all the disappointments I have faced with men, this one was the most hurtful among them. I was so angry that I’d call him and cry and say mean stuff to him. After a while, I prayed to God to restore peace in my life. After the prayer, I felt at peace with myself, and I let him go.

I believe he thought I would tell him we should break up so he started calling me frequently. That is what I always wanted him to do but knowing there’s someone else in his life made me lose interest in him. So I told him I couldn’t go on anymore. He said he can’t lose me again and I told him he lost me the day he decided to ask me out knowing very well he had someone else. Everything is over now, both our friendship and our relationship. I still love him but I know love alone isn’t enough.

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