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I have a friend whom I love dearly. Like Kate and Leo, we have been friends for years. Initially, it was a romantic connection. We had the intense chemistry of teenagers. However, our relationship always lacked some of the elements necessary for a love affair. Contrary to what people may think, attraction, admiration, and affection are not always enough. However, they have fueled our friendship.
As a result, my friend and I have remained incredibly close over the years. Our relationship evolved into something strong, something special, something real. Indeed, it transcends what most people define as friendship.
I love him and respect him intensely--in a way that only comes from a long lasting friendship. Indeed it has outlasted every romantic relationship that we’ve both had. We have shared our hopes, our dreams, and our adventures. I love him as strongly as I have loved any lover.
However, for the truly curious, let me clarify our relationship. I hate the phrase, “just friends” because our friendship is not some sort of consolation prize. We both value it for its own sake. However, for the sake of clarity, we are simply and most sweetly, friends. The only "benefits" of this friendship are the love and support that we share.
The relationship enriches my life. It makes me a better person, but it does not complete me. I remain hopeful that I will find that kind of love too. However, I recognize that only a very secure man would understand if I gushed about my friend while receiving an award. He would have to trust me enough to understand that my friend and I share a different kind of love. And that would make all difference.