In my quest to be the best friend I can be, I have often had to apply a filter with regard to which feelings reach you, and which ones remain hidden. I am not certain how well I have filtered them, but, as of now, we are still close friends, so I must have done a fair job- it has been years, and I view you to be one of my closest friends, and I believe you feel the same, as you have expressed on a number of occasions how thankful you are that we have always maintained a healthy friendship. In fact, I know that you value that it’s never become anything more, as you have revealed how refreshing it is to actually have a guy-friend that hasn’t tried to be more than friends.
And I am your friend, and absolutely plan on continuing to be that friend for quite some time- yet there is something I must do. I must do this, because I’m afraid that if I don’t, you will not understand the sincerity and the severity of a certain issue.
First, know that as friends, we choose which emotions are filtered, which emotions are revealed, and basically we choose what we want our friends to see of us, and experience with regard to us. What I am getting at, is that we all filter ourselves around each other, and there are certain aspects of me that I filter from you.
One such aspect, is that I filter how I feel about you. Yes, I aim to be the best friend I can be, with regard to you. But in order to do that, I filter out a certain set of feelings that I have for you. For a while, I have realized that my feelings for you were developing into something deeper- a different kind of care. But I was and have been fully aware that you deeply value our relationship, specifically that our relationship maintain itself to be a friendship. So I have done my best to remain neutral (with regard to your sig. others); I have done my best to respect your interests, and to interact with you on a level that allows our friendship to never be contested or challenged by my true feelings. I have always tried to give you the most neutral advice, i have put myself in the shoes of a friend and encouraged you as only a friend would. I have never once let my true feelings come to in to play, as I knew they would upset the balance of our friendship that you so value.
At this point in reading this, I imagine you to be shocked and or upset- I know that by hiding my feelings and filtering them, I have left you open, perhaps you feel exploited, or that your expectations with regard to out friendship are violated- for that I sincerely apologize, and I will address them at a later point. But for now, please understand that there is something greater at play- I realize being this honest with you after having hidden it from you, may be enough to cause an end to our friendship, and that risk I am prepared for, and fully believe that the risk is warranted given this specific situation.
Now that you know that I have feelings for you, you need to know why I have waited to tell you, and why I am telling you now, and why I am willing to risk our friendship.
I didn’t tell you before, because you have made it clear to me that you prefer and desire only a friendship; thus, as these feelings developed, I felt the best way to care for you would be to aid and assist in maintaining something you value- our friendship. It occurred to me after some time, that hiding my feelings may be violating your expectations regarding our friendship, and that hiding them also was in no way respecting you, as I never gave you the choice regarding our friendship. So I began preparing myself for an inevitable conversation that would reveal the truth.
Then, something else happened. Perhaps the perfect example of how my dishonest behavior has violated your expectations for our friendship, without you ever even knowing. That is, you told me a very intimate and personal detail about your relationship, that you may not have told me otherwise (if you knew how I felt); you told me about [name removed] and his diagnosis. First, I thank you for trusting me, and secondly I apologize for not being honest when I first began developing these feelings- perhaps you wouldn’t have told me such an intimate detail. But I feel guilty at this point.
Regardless, it was that moment that provided the catalyst for today. It is not that I view this as a weakness on [name removed]’s part, as if I am a great lion awaiting to pounce (although, I AM a Leo so this is weird…), it is instead something I feel very strongly about- so strongly, that I decided I would reveal my honest feelings, in hopes that in doing so, you may appreciate the sincerity in my warning. in that, if I can prove to you that my warning is so sincere that I would risk our friendship, perhaps, you will take to heart my warning, and consider it at a higher level- as I am proving I have nothing to gain, and everything to lose.
What I am saying, is that I have chosen to tell you 2 things; the first, that I have feelings for you; the second, that with all my heart, I want you to distance yourself from [name removed].
The reason I tell you both, is so that I can make one thing clear:
I care about you so much, that I am willing to lose you altogether, if that means that I can successfully warn you and protect you from the threats involved with dating/loving a bi-polar person.
And I mean it. If this revelation of my feelings costs me (us) our friendship, but you take this warning seriously, I feel it will be the greatest thing i can do for you, and that it shows how deeply I care. For I do not ever want to see you hurt the way I have been hurt (with regard to bipolar) it would break my heart more than if i never saw or spoke with you again. And if I didn’t try my hardest to get you to appreciate just how dangerous it is to love a bi-polar individual, then I don’t deserve to be your friend.
So it is my resolution, to risk our friendship, and reveal how I truly feel, and to simultaneously warn you, in the hopes that you can see that I feel I have nothing personally to gain, by asking you to distance yourself from [name removed].
I know how these revelations work- a guy falls for his very close friend, he reveals how he feels to her, and the friendship is never the same.
I hope this doesn’t happen to us, but I understand it is likely to happen. I have mentally prepared myself for this, and do not blame you or resent or feel any anger if that is the route you choose.
If it means anything at all, I can promise you that i will continue filtering my emotions, that I will continue to be your friend, neutral, and caring.
It’s just that this situation is so grave- the hurt, the pain, and the sacrifice involved with dating and loving a bi-polar person is so deep, that it can profoundly change you in ways you do not desire. I am a walking testament to this, and if you have any questions, ask!
Now I have answered why I waited to tell you, and why I have chosen this moment to tell you. If you really want to know more about dating a bipolar person, please ask me, seriously. Also, if you decide (and in all likelihood, i imagine you will) to stay close with [name removed], I respect the commitment, and I respect you, and your choice.
As I have stated, I believe I am risking my friendship with you, in order that my warning may be taken more seriously. I am not out for personal gain, I am instead trying to protect you. If I didn’t warn you, I would feel terrible and so guilty- I would feel worse than if it cost us our friendship.
Now, to address your feelings of mistrust, hurt, or violated expectations regarding our friendship:
I am truly sorry I did not reveal these feelings when they began to develop, I couldn’t. I value you so much, that I didn’t want to hurt something that you also valued. There was a night or two where you thanked me over and over for being a friend, for not falling for you like every other guy. And it made me feel special- like I mattered. And i knew that if I revealed how I felt after that point, that I would be hurting something you so clearly valued, and as someone who cares about the things you want, I didn’t want to take that from you. I hope some small part of you can understand what I was doing.
I guess in closing- I don’t know how you will respond to this. The choice I take in being so honest with you, in placing such a dire warning, and the risk I am taking- it is all so much for you to hear.
Just please know that I care, I respect you, and you deserve to know the truth. You also deserve something better than gobs of pain and confusion that is inevitable when dating someone like [name removed].
You know I have always been a friend and an ally to your past boyfriends- always eager to meet them and see what they’re about. I don’t think I have ever pushed you to end it with any of them- some of them I have gone on to be close friends with as well. But, this one is different.
I just feel, as a friend, I must tell you these things.