Marie Claire - US
I Broke Up With My Best Friend To Find Love Image Credit: Marie Claire - US
I Broke Up With My Best Friend To Find Love Image Credit: Marie Claire - US

I Broke Up With My Best Friend To Find Love

Mariya Karimjee spent over a decade leaning on her best friend— until she realized he was the one thing holding her back

I met Brian* as a freshman in high school in 2002. He had a wide gap between his two front teeth and deep dimples. His enthusiasm and curiosity were contagious. I loved him in the way of first loves, without any complications or true understanding of heartbreak.

For four years we were friends, but I convinced myself that our friendship would blossom into a quintessential high school romance: After graduation, we’d be that couple, the one happily married at our 10-year reunion, every other classmate smiling knowingly.

For four years we were friends, but I convinced myself that our friendship would blossom into a quintessential high school romance: After graduation, we’d be that couple, the one happily married at our 10-year reunion, every other classmate smiling knowingly.

Instead, shortly after graduation, Brian held both of my hands and told me he was gay. I felt something loosen inside of me. It’s not my fault he’s not in love with me, I thought. And in that moment, we silently agreed to remain the best of friends.

We became each other’s fill-in significant other. We talked and texted nonstop. When he suffered from a debilitating bout of depression, I was by his side. A year after finishing graduate school in 2011, I moved to my home country, Pakistan. Still, we never went more than a few hours without talking, sharing every detail of our lives by phone. (Brian was in medical school, so his nontraditional schedule mad


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