As previously stated, Theatre was my life from elementary to high school. So much so that I did plays in school and in outside audition only performance groups. Around my junior year in high school I started looking past physical appearances and into talent and personality. That lead me to Stanley- the nicest, palest, funniest, most lanky and talented guy in one of my acting groups.
Stan was a genuinely great person. All the girls thought so. I’m pretty sure everyone had a crush on him at some point. He was a classic “nice guy”. Of course he’d had a few hook ups here and there, but there weren’t many and it never ended in malice. Aside from a crush, I developed a real friendship with Stan. That’s probably the main reason I didn’t want to act on my crush. We’d grown so close as friends that I didn’t want to ruin it.
One night a bunch of us from our acting group went to go see a performance. After words we were mingling and talking. I don’t remember exactly how it came up but me and Stan ended up on the subject of crushes.
I laughed, “No one has ever liked me like that.”
“I like you,” Stan said with a slight smile.
I smiled, “Stan, I mean like me like me. You know?”
“I know. I like you like you,” he nodded.
“Okay,” I laughed as I walked away.
I messed up. I liked Stan. Stan liked me. I’d never been in that situation before and I had no glue how to respond. By the time I calmed down and wanted to talk to him again, he was gone. We continued our friendship as if nothing ever happened. It left me feeling relieved, but frustrated at the same time. We weren’t together, but at least we were still good friends. We stayed like that for a few years.
My freshman year in college I wrote Stan a note telling him how I felt. I hid it in a birthday card because I was petrified to talk about it out loud. He texted me about it soon after. He said at one point he may have had feelings for me, but we were better as friends. I honestly didn’t disagree. I may have just been holding on to old feelings. Our decision to be friends actually stuck. Due to time and life we don’t talk as much as we used to, but I really appreciate our friendship. He definitely showed me that it’s possible to stay friends even after awkward moments of possible romantic feelings.
Lesson Learned: SPEAK UP! If someone tells you they like you and you like them too, say something! Even if it doesn’t work out at least you can sleep at night knowing you did your part. In all seriousness, though… Communication and maturity is important. Unreciprocated feelings don’t mean you have to end a friendship. You may need some space for a minute, but be careful not to lose a good friend in the process.