My mother gave me the most useful advice for the relationship between my best friend Mike, and myself. “A boy and girl can never be just best friends, because eventually they will fall for each other, maybe not on purpose, maybe not at the same time, and maybe forever. ” She summed up everything that would happen between us up until the forever. Mike came to my high school when we were sophomores, along with his then best friend Marcus. They transferred to my school to play football and I was instantly attracted to Marcus, so naturally I talked to Mike about it.
Little did I know then what the outcome of a small crush on his friend would lead to. Although we have recently grown apart we have really been through it all and it has been the most dynamic relationship I have ever experienced. I am almost positive that we no longer have a title of friends or anything else but I know that I will always be here for him and he will always be there for me. In the beginning of our relationship my attraction to Mike was a social attraction as was his to me.
He was in a new school setting and did not know anyone so he wanted to get to know people. I was physically attracted to his friend and wanted to get to know him better so I invited Mike and his friend into my circle of friends. I knew that Mike played baseball so to get to know him better I joined the track team knowing that I would be staying after school with him because practice was at the same time. Our proximity in the classroom led to our start of conversation. We had one theology class together in which I sat near him and this is when I initiated conversation.
He told me that Marcus played baseball as well, knowing that we lived near one another and since neither him nor I drove yet he offered Marcus to bring me home if I ever needed a ride. My relationship with Marcus began and ended while Mike was there for me the entire time. Mike was a great listener. He could tell when I just needed someone to vent to and was really good at neutral listening. He was hearing about me and Marcus’ relationship from both sides of the story. Other times he would listen and then give me advice and evaluate what was concerning me.
Either way he always knew what to do to make me feel better. We grew really close over this time of my life and when things were over between Marcus and I my relationship with Mike really intensified. After sophomore year was over Marcus went back to the school he came from and my first real crush was over. This was also the end of Marcus and Mike’s friendship as Mike sided with me in the end of our relationship. Mike stayed at my school and we were already so close from my relationship with Marcus that we remained acquaintances.
In the beginning of our new closeness he knew more about me than I did about him because he was hearing about me from Marcus and every time I had talked to him it was something about me and my feelings. Our relationship took a big step and was intensified as we moved from acquaintances to friends. We talked on the phone almost every night and started to hang out all the time. He opened up to me and we talked about everything. He knew everything about me and I knew everything about him. This was the first time Mike let his open self known to me and told me things he had not told anyone else.
We had inside jokes and secrets that were just between us. After this went on for a while other people began to notice our relationship and we were not easily identified without the other. This is when we entered the integrating phase of our relationship. If I was ever out somewhere without him I was asked at least five or six times where Mike was and why he was not with me. If someone was trying to get a hold of him and for some reason he was not answering, I would get phone calls asking where he was. A new common world was created when my family acknowledged Mike as another family member.
He stayed at my house for a while during our senior year. I took him back and forth to school this year and since we were inseparable at this point anyway he just ended up staying over for days at a time. I did not even consider doing things without him and just assumed to include him in all my plans. It was almost as if we were married. We did everything for each other. We literally functioned as a unit. This would be the last time our relationship could be labeled as stable. Although we were this close, our relationship was still not romantic.
We loved each other but as best friends only at this point, or so we thought. When I began to look at schools Mike knew he did not want to go to college and he was never excited or showed much emotion towards helping me find out where I would go. When I decided finally that I would soon be moving to Pittsburgh and leaving Mike behind things began to get weird. Up until this point we really had not had too many fights and arguments. All friendships experience hardships and we had had some but nothing was ever as bad as it became.
I was trying to include him in the process of me going away to school but neither one of us really wanted to face up to the fact that I would be leaving and our relationship would never be the same as it had been for so long. We could no longer be together as much as we wanted to and we began to fall apart. At this point we did not know what our relational definition was or what it would soon become. Our fights began as petty misunderstandings as they had been in the past with issues of listening. Mike would always take things the wrong way in a conversation that would have been perfectly normal just a few months prior.
He would find something I said and take it too literally or twist the meaning. He would take the smallest thing I said as a personal attack and it would spiral into a huge fight. A lot of hostile listening went on with both of us. We would listen carefully to what the other was saying just to pull out something to disagree with. If I would say something about liking something another boy did for his girlfriend he would come back with a “Well sorry I didn’t do that, you know nothing is ever good enough for you. ” I was known for assumptive listening.
Long before I left for school he had a crush on one of my old friends that I had a falling out with. It never bothered me before but all of the sudden I became more sensitive about it and anytime he mentioned her name I thought he was purposely trying to make me mad and I would take it as a personal attack and become extremely defensive. This caused about half the fights we got in toward the end of our relationship. Anytime he would be about to say something, I would jump in with a smart remark and not let him finish.
If we were talking about me leaving, he would say something about wanting to see me before I left and I would say something about how it wasn’t all my fault that I had to leave even if he wasn’t going to even mention that. Through the beginning of the school year we tried to make things work. Different feelings began to develop, and we became really confused about what was going on between us, which did not help our friendship at all. Questions of a romantic relationship developing began to arise. I think the problem was that we just missed each other so much that our emotions became too strong.
I know that neither one of us have ever felt the way we feel about each other which also led to these strange feelings. It was so hard with the distance that even though we tried our relationship eventually deteriorated. This was the first time we went through the renegotiating step of our relationship. We have been through this several times over the last couple months. We found ourselves asking, “Is this what we really want? ” over and over again. Do we really want to take the step and make it a romantic relationship?
Do we want to try to remain best friends and see each other as much as we can? Was being friends worth hurting each other without trying? After several different outcomes of renegotiating we found ourselves with the choice to disengage from one another or at least try to. We began the steps of relational deterioration. Differentiating was definitely apparent in our break up. Little things he would say would hurt me, like saying that he was going to “his” friend’s house, when if I was home it would have been “our” friend’s house.
I felt like he was alienating me from our old habits. He would get upset when I talked about things or people he did not know. I was the main contributor to the circumscribing stage of our relationship. Without trying I found it harder to talk to him about boys and things that we used to talk about everyday because I did not want to hurt him or upset him. I definitely did not want to engage in any intimate behavior for several reasons. The only time we could be as intimate as we had been in the past is when I went home for the weekend.
It was too hard for both of us to be pulled away from each other all week and just jump back into being inseparable for two days only to be pulled away from each other again. It also began to get harder to come home every weekend and the time between seeing each other became longer. Stagnating was also a very obvious step we went through. Mike would start to disappear when I came home for weekends. He would be busy the whole time I was home. He would rather not see me at all than fight with me like we had been for a while.
It was just easier for him to ignore me than to replay the same things over and over again. The silence part of this stage was my way of expressing my feelings. We had several conversations where if I said anything at all it was one word short answers. I hated fighting with him as much as he hated fighting with me so instead of trying to just talk it out like we had before I got sick of repeating myself when I knew that nothing I said could change the situation and I would just be silent. This led to our judgments of each other.
By me not saying anything at all Mike thought this meant the worst, and by me not asking questions I never knew what he was thinking. I started to think I was the source of all of his problems and did not want to add the stress to his life I had been lately. I remember making cynical comments about our relationship like, “When I talk to Mike again, oh wait, if I ever talk to him again” and I remember how it hurt when friends would tell me that he would say, “When Kimi was my best friend. ” Right now we are in the avoiding stage of our deterioration.
We began to make excuses of why we could not see each other when we knew it was possible. Over our last break I avoided going certain places because I knew he was there and I did not want to ruin his time. He was at a mutual friend of ours house one night and he saw two of my best friends walk in so he left thinking I was there too, to avoid the situation of confrontation. We no longer talk on the phone ever and we have no connection whatsoever. I do not think we have started the terminating step of this process yet.
Not many people know that we are no longer as close as we were. Whenever I talk about him I still refer to him as my best friend, and I stand up for him when other people speak poorly of him. The main reason I think we have not reached this point yet is because I have not grieved the loss of our friendship. Neither one of us wants this relationship to end so I think if, and when it does it will either be a direct or positive tone ending. We have never held back from one another so I think a direct ending would be most likely.
I think we would talk it out and come to the conclusion that we are fighting too much and agree that we need to just end it. Although both of us would be extremely hurt to have this conversation it would end in a negotiated farewell. Our words would be hostile because we are so alike and neither one of us would want to take or accept having the blame put on us but we would not want to blame the other either. I think it may have a positive tone ending because I know that we would both be dancing around the issue so one of our little misunderstandings would just end being the final straw.
I am not sure what is to come of my relationship with Mike. I do know that no matter what happens, the way I feel about him will never change. He is my best friend and as far as I am concerned he will always be. Although it is hard sometimes to express how we really feel about each other I think we have a mutual agreement and understanding of each other. Another quote I’ve heard is “Everything is okay in the end and if it’s not okay it’s not the end. ” Since things are not okay right now I’m sure it is not the end. Hopefully when it does end everything will be okay.