What I WIsh My Mom Never Told Me

Originally published on iamthatgirl

Dear Mom,

I wish you hadn’t told me that “boys never want to be just friends.”

I wish you hadn’t told me, because that advice shut people out of my life. That advice made me feel overly responsible for the feelings of others. It makes the company of married men uncomfortable when it doesn’t need to be. That advice caused me to carry unnecessary guilt for unrequited love. It created confusion with my platonic male friends, and jealousy when my boyfriends had platonic friendships of their own.

That advice burdened me with the responsibility of being undesirable; and the fear that kindness is both not enough, and too dangerous, all at the same time.

I regret the years I spent taking this advice in stride, unknowingly feeding a stereotype, while I limited myself and my relationships with others. Not all boys want “more” just like not all girls crave drama. Some do, some don’t. We’re all just human and passions aren’t exclusive to gender. Besides, our crushes are just a fraction of our passions as a whole. A crush on your friend could never subtract from your authentically kind heart.

I have learned some things for myself and I’ve found some of my guy friends are my best friends. I’ve had friends develop feelings that I didn’t reciprocate, and I’ve also been in the situation when it’s reversed. And the world kept turning. In fact, it turned enough times until eventually those feelings moved on to other people and the friendship could fall right back into place. You fall right back into being best friends and when you’re out celebrating a birthday or a wedding with all of the people you know, the two of you will laugh at the thought that your friendship was ever on the rocks. 

I’ve learned that sometimes you fall in love with your friends, not because it is part of some predetermined scheme, but sincerely because your friends are beautiful people.

I wish you hadn’t told me that, “Boys never want to be just friends.” Because sometimes they do. Instead I wish you’d told me that some people will like me romantically, some will simply like me as a person, and some won’t like me much at all. My job is just to be myself, to be respectful, to be kind, and to not worry so much about the rest.