The conflict between love and friendship in life often takes a backseat in the world of grand love stories. Yes, it is true that friendship is love and love is friendship but sadly, life isn’t all that simple. When it comes to your relationships, lines in the sand can be drawn between the one you love romantically and the one who is your best friend in the world.
Phrases like ‘bros over hoes’ or ‘sisters over misters’ exist for a reason and a good one too. You think you might have met the most perfect woman in the world, the love of your life or someone you see spending your entire life with. But the role of friends and best friends cannot be diminished in comparison.
Thus, there can arise a predicament you never saw coming. If you are ever at a crossroads when your love and your friend are at loggerheads with one another, who do you side with? Will it be bros over hoes, or not?
Love vs Friendship – How To Choose
We were in the last year of our school – it wasn’t just any other year, we had a different air around us; the seniors. In a few months, we would be in college and to be recognized as a stud in college you had to have a girlfriend. Dating in college was going to be a whole new landscape and I was looking forward to it. And I was prepared too. I thought I potentially had a girlfriend already.
Pratima sat right next to me (in the next row, of course, those days it wasn’t cool for guys and girls to sit next to each other in school), we talked right through the day. Though she got better grades, she knew my interests were beyond academics and respected me for that. Our friendship grew in the last year of school, and since I always had feelings for her, I mustered the courage to ask her out.
But as it turned out, I was a bit too late and she was already dating someone else. I had built up to it with months of hard work and someone else took the medal. At that point, her friendship mattered to me more so I sucked it up and stayed on. That’s when I chose friendship over love and decided to be a better friend to her. Pratima now insisted I meet this guy.
Related Reading: I know we are friends but…
I wasn’t looking forward to it
Best friends or lovers, I really just wanted to have Pratima in my life and whichever way possible. She mattered to me and I considered her the love of my life. There was nothing else I could do if she did not want me, except to be there for her as a caring friend. But when she suggested I meet her new guy, I wasn’t thrilled.
To be frank, I really was not open to this idea of meeting her boyfriend. Why would I want to meet someone who beat me and is dating the girl I wanted to? A love triangle is as complicated in real life as it is in movies and I wasn’t interested in being part of one.
But being the nice guy I am, of course, I met him and it turned out he was not the evil character I imagined. Sarthak was a pretty ordinary-looking guy with exceptional communication skills (that is where he beat me). We hung around during the summer break and got to know each other and with time started developing respect for each other.
Pratima and I were in the same college and in the novelty of college life, bunking classes, hanging out, going for movies, etc, a year flew by and they started having turbulence in their relationship. Both separately whined about how misunderstandings were becoming common and arguments consumed most of the time they talked. It wasn’t as sweet as they thought it’d be and the romance and the oomph had shredded away.
Their love story was short-lived
They were on the path to a breakup and teenagers aren’t the best at negotiating, understanding and accepting, so that was the best course of action for the two of them. I was split – on one side I had my crush, the girl I wanted to date, and in the other corner was this guy who rose in the ranks from being my rival to my new bro.
I hung out with both of them and I got a sense that Pratima was still pretty upset from her previous relationship and didn’t want to get into something new just yet. That is the first time I felt a small tussle between love and friendship and did not know whose side I should be on.
My bond with Sarthak had been gaining more muscle. Guys just need that feeling of comfort and level of understanding from another. Even if he was the one who beat me in getting a girl, we could still get along well.
Related Reading: How will you know when you’ve found real love?
I Was Split Between Friendship And Love
Half a year later (after our HSC prelims), Pratima now gave me strong signs that she was into me and was rather coming on to me. While this excited me, the lightning struck that this could actually ruin my relations with Sarthak.
I was in a dilemma now, should I pursue my feelings for my crush on a friend or fulfill my primary responsibility being a bro? It was my time now to choose between love or friendship.
Between the lines: guys have a common perception that girls are a temporary part of your life and your bro sticks with you forever. It is not just restricted to dating your friend’s ex; there are other unwritten rules that guys follow. Girlfriends discuss their siblings and also their attractiveness. While that is cool for them and a sister won’t really mind her friend dating her brother, for us guys, there is a huge sign in bold red that says ‘You do not date your bro’s sister’.
It was a really difficult time for me, choosing between the girl I wanted to date for many years now and the guy I knew for a few months. But as I sat to decide, I chose my brotherhood with Sarthak over Pratima, despite having the strongest feelings for her at that time. In the fight between love vs friendship, friendship won.
I went on to date other girls and have had good relationships with some really amazing women. While I lost touch with Pratima as she went to Australia for her master’s degree, Sarthak has been my closest friend and is my brotherman now – brother from another mother. I do not regret the decision even once. Sarthak has stuck around by me and I’m so happy I found my best friend in him.
(As told to Ankit Mishra)
(Names changed to protect identities)
Picking between love or friendship is something that is entirely up to you. There is no manual to decide who or what should take precedence in your life. Your individual relationships with them determine who is more important to you.
If you think she is your soul mate or the love of your life, maybe. But sometimes, we even find our soulmates in our friends. So when you are in a situation and are conflicted between love and friendship, think long and hard about who you should pick.