“This is where I risk everything and ask if you want to be ‘more than friends’. -Claire”
This sticker is posted on my best friend Liz’s house in San Diego, California.
I met Liz in December of 2009. We’d met in a discussion group at San Diego’s LGBT Center. One night after a meeting, Liz had asked if I wanted to have dinner with her and her wife. She seemed cool enough, so I took her up on her offer. We had a good time and continued hanging out over the following weeks and months.
We became fast friends. We started spending A LOT of time together. All the while, Liz was in a monogamous relationship with her wife. Though many other people questioned the amount of time we spent together, neither of us viewed our relationship as anything other than a platonic friendship.
Several months later, Liz and her wife split up. While their divorce had nothing to do with Liz’s and my friendship, the comments and questions and jokes about the two of us being TOO good of friends were starting to wear on me, and had me feeling like a “home-wrecker”. Regardless, I continued to support my friend as she went through the very emotionally painful breakup with her spouse. The whole time I still saw our relationship as one of “just friends”.
Months after they split up, Liz started dipping her toe back into the dating pool. It was mostly casual flirting with people she’d just met, and occasionally she’d go out for food or comedy or rock-climbing. But when she’d report back to me with the giddy details, I found myself surprised by own reaction. It hurt. Suddenly, a jealousy I’d never had for the duration of her marriage, started to develop over tiny, little “flings”. Had I been developing a romantic interest in my best friend?
The first few times, I tried to ignore it. “No, Claire. She’s just a friend. If you pursue anything more, people will blame you for the end of her marriage. Plus, what if she’s not interested? You’d be risking the demise of an amazing friendship.”
And then one day while she was at work, she sent me an email about her newest crush. It wrecked me. I sat around feeling depressed and mopey for a while. And then I decided to do something about it. “Our friendship’s not going to endure if I can’t support her romantic interests. Plus, it really isn’t my fault Liz and her wife got divorced. So I should stop acting like it is.” So I took a risk.
Armed with a sticker, a ball-point pen, and the knowledge that she’d be at work for a few more hours, I taped this to the outside wall of her apartment and waited to hear from her.