Less than lovers, more than friends

Friendship | | , Journalist, Content Strategist & Editor
Updated On: October 27, 2023
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It’s been more than three-and-a-half years since my breakup.

Moving on from a relationship that lasted for more than four years, from a person in whom you saw the promise of ‘forever’, seeing her walking out of the relationship without giving a closure, is traumatic to say the least.

Trying to put the array of emotions I felt into words is a futile exercise. It hurt a lot initially, but as the saying goes, time heals. At the risk of sounding filmy, I’d say the moments I spent with her, happy and dark, often flashed in my mind. I wanted to feel her warmth, the tenderness of her touch, the moistness of her kiss. But most of all, I wanted to be the version of myself when I was with her – happy, calm and positive.

Alas! Now she’s gone, gone forever and she’s been gone since that dreadful day.

During this time, I did meet new women, got to know some of them and even had physical relationships with some. But I realised there is just one thing that I feel – void. I wasn’t emotionally available for them, but craved all the emotional comfort. I never wanted to make love to them, but I did have sex. When I look back now, I realise a couple of them regretted it, for they could make out that I’m numb from within.

I pushed myself away from them because they didn’t deserve the pathetic human being I had become. Not one of them could jolt me back into normalcy and I can’t blame them. I was hurt that badly.

young couple on vacation
young couple on vacation

One evening, walking towards my car preparing for a ten-hour-drive to the hills and a four-day-long getaway from work, I got a call from her. We’d met a few times at parties and hit it off well. When she asked me whether I could fetch her from work, I didn’t expect to see her waiting with a backpack, ready to travel with me. I’d told her about the trip only yesterday, and all she said was “Hmm…have fun!”

Related reading: After the one night stands, she missed being in love

By the time we pulled over at Murthal for dinner, I saw a different person from whom I had spoken to at the parties. People often feel at ease talking to me because I listen, but the way she opened up was unlike anybody else. She let herself be vulnerable, and there was no trace of a mask. For the first time after my breakup, I felt I could shed my facade too. I drove the whole night listening to her soothing voice, learning of her deepest insecurities and wildest dreams. I saw her eyes glitter when light from streetlights fell on her teary eyes, saw the cold wind gently stroke her hair whenever she rolled the windows down despite the chill.

smiling young woman embracing laughing
smiling young woman embracing laughing

In the next four days, I opened up to her too like I’ve never done before any other human. I cried for hours straight, hugging her. We slept together, cuddling, and often weeping in the middle of the night. We drank, smoked a few cigarettes, cooked together, and did not leave our cabin once.

The third night, we got physical. We weren’t high, and knew what we were doing. We knew we weren’t in love, but also knew we hadn’t felt what we felt then in a long, long time. We made love like we were in love. It was intense, passionate and exceptionally satisfying. We knew we had to leave the hills and get back to the concrete jungle, to the routine the next evening. The fourth morning was one of the best ever.

We sat in silence sipping green tea, with the scenic view in our eyes
We sat in silence sipping green tea, with the scenic view in our eyes

We sat in silence sipping green tea, with the scenic view in our eyes, and the passionate night in our hearts. The silence wasn’t one of guilt or shame, but of contentment. That was a rare morning where you cognise the existence of a meaningful relationship with another human being, the birth of a consequential connection.

Today, she’s an indispensible part of my life and she says that I am too in her life. We aren’t committed, we’re not in love, but we do indulge in passionate love making from time to time.

We do go on dates with other people, and discuss the possibility of relationships with them. What we’re not now, is lonely and empty. We’re more than best friends to each other, but less than lovers.


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