It kills me when she talks about her love interests, about how they spend hours on the couch watching movies or making meals together. I’m there for her successes and her heartbreaks, but every time I feel battered and bruised.

We were lovers once, and she remains one of my best friends in the world. I feel more comfortable and at home with her than almost anyone else, and eating lunch with her is invariably a highlight of my week. I want her to succeed, and to feel successful (boy howdy do I understand the disconnect between the two), and I’m very thankful that I can be there for her, as she has been for me so many times before.

Things changed between us some time ago, largely due to my struggles with depression, and I absolutely accept that. We aren’t where we were, and while I can hope beyond hope for things to return, an objective eye shows that to be unlikely. For me there is a difference between loving someone and being in love with them; it’s possible to have one without the other. I both love and am in love with her, and I think I’ll always be.

Spurned and discontented men might crow about “the friend zone” or the impossibility of being friends with a woman without any sexual activity, and to them I shake my head in disappointment. It’s no more her fault that she doesn’t feel the same way toward you than it is that birds fly South in the Winter. None of us can control how we feel, but we can do our best to control how we act.

The fact that I’m able to see her, to laugh and commiserate with her, to offer my support, is a great thing. Our lunches give us a well-needed break from the stresses of the work week, and help us stay connected in a way that I don’t have with many people. I’m glad I can be there for her and she for me.

Whatever it is that I want, or that I miss, or that I dream about – none of that is her problem. They are aspects of my life, my attitude, my experience that I deal with.

I genuinely hope I don’t come off as whining, because complaining to the void isn’t my goal. This blog helps me order my thoughts and gives a snapshot as to where I am and how I’m doing, and I’m trying to express myself clearly and without request for support or advice.

I genuinely look forward to our next lunch.