When I was around 16 years old, I had a friend who, by that point, was (according to him) in love with me for several years. I still remember this one conversation with him quite vividly. I was in the kitchen of a flat I have since moved out of, with my laptop on the island near to where the stove was located.
“No one will love you like I do,” his text read. Strangely, I don’t even remember the context of this, but I remember that reading that just made me angry and upset.
As far as I knew, he was the only person to ever have romantic feelings for me at that point, feelings that I just did not reciprocate even though a part of me kind of wanted to because we did get on as friends. And here he was, essentially declaring that this was as good as it was going to get for me ever. That seemed rather depressing.
Sadly, I was not able to make him see what was wrong with that statement and things went on.
Fast forward 2 years, I was on a stationary bike in our local gym when he texted me about how he had just lost his virginity. What do you even say to that? “Thanks for the info”? I certainly didn’t know at that point. (At the time, he was dating someone that I was friendly with who happened to have the same first name, nationality and hair type as me but again there’s too much to unpack on that front.)
To the best of my knowledge, no one has been in love with me since, so in a way, he is so far correct. It took me another 6 years since hearing that phrase to fall in love with someone myself, and unlike the person in question, I did not have the courage to be so open about it.
He has since moved to another continent and appears to be in a healthy and stable relationship. Despite how fucked up our relationship was, I am glad that things are now better. Where I used to feel animosity at the phrase “No one will love you like I do”, I feel relief. No matter how much unrequited feelings suck, they do eventually pass and life moves on.
(Although I still wouldn’t recommend saying this to anyone you know.)