When does letting go of an unhealthy relationship become an act of kindness? When you’re both too chicken shit to pull the trigger.
Today, I let my closest friend of almost 20 years go. He was there for me throughout my chicken leg phase, braces, first (and all) heartbreaks, failed exams, skating lessons at ungodly hours, endless MSN conversations, late-night gin adventures, drunken KFC nights abroad and my broken engagement. My confidant; my rock.
It took me awhile to connect the dots and realize that he was in love with me. And even when he told me, I ignored it. He had been living with someone for years now, always waiting. Delaying future plans on the off chance I would change my mind.
I never did. But I selfishly wanted to hang onto his unconditional love. Because every time I would crash a relationship into a wall, he would be there, entertaining my 1 a.m. texts hitting him up for pizza and company. His feelings never changing.
He told me last week that that he had picked up the engagement ring for his girlfriend he has had on hold for years and how upset he was telling me. I’m not sure if he expected me to change my mind, intervene, stop him…but the words just hung awkwardly in the air.
And so I let him go.
I don’t know what it feels like to be in love this deeply with someone, but I consider myself very lucky to have been loved this way. I’m also not sure what a world without my best friend looks like…but I love him enough to stop being a chicken shit.
Today I learned that not all acts of kindness leave you with warm and fuzzy feelings; some make you feel completely gutted.
Total Kindness Cost: I can’t even do this part.