I Know It’s Not Right But I Can’t Stop Falling In Love With You


I can’t stop falling in love with you.

We grew up in the same town together and have been friends to varying degrees for as long as I can remember. On long summers home from college we started hanging out more one-­on-­one and less in groups, thanks in no small part to the fact that we were some of the few who ended up stuck back at home when our other friends went backpacking during their breaks.

The summer after college was over something really changed. I was so unsure of my life after completing a degree in one of those “useless” fields, meanwhile you were so driven and purposeful with your future. We hung out one perfect late June day that summer, and I saw you differently than I ever had before. There is truly no better way to describe what happened than to call it an overnight change. One day you were a dear friend, the next I kept asking myself if you could be the one.

It took me months to finally tell you my feelings, and unlike most stories of unrequited love, you felt the same way. I was in grad school by this time though, and we were hours apart. We tried a relationship, but it never quite got off the ground. It was a small part the physical distance between us and a large part my inexperience with relationships. I told you I needed to learn how to “be in a relationship”, but you told me it’s just something people know. I disagreed then, and I still do.

After I finished grad school, fate would have it that we both ended up living back in our hometown. I would love to say here we had a whirlwind summer romance and lived happily ever after. We didn’t. You even mentioned the idea of “us” again, that we might give it another chance. I wanted that, but I didn’t say anything. I was worried I might have to move far away for a job, but it’s so painfully clear now I would have put you first if that situation had arisen. But I lived in fear. And I didn’t tell you I was falling in love.

You went on a blind date, but I wasn’t worried. Blind dates never go well, right? You went on a second date, a third, and then too many to count. You started regularly seeing this guy, and then suddenly you were officially in a relationship. I was distracted by my new job for a short time, but eventually I realized what I lost. It didn’t help that the new guy was wrong for you; he is wrong for you. Everyone agrees. Seriously, everyone does. And even if you aren’t going to be in a relationship with me, I still think he is wrong for you. He’s a nice guy, but that’s really all you see in him.

On paper we are perfect. When we tried to be in a relationship it didn’t work out like a fairy tale romance because relationships are complicated in real life. They are complicated by distance, people having conflicting schedules, and the fact that I’m too awkward to know how to initiate physical affection beyond a hug sometimes. But I’m still falling in love with you.

I went on a date with another girl. She was great, truly! She was beautiful and the best kind of person, but all I could think about was you. It’s not fair to you that I have fallen for you, but that doesn’t change that I have. I’m falling more and more in love with you, even though I need to stop. I just can’t stop.