Friendship impacted me ways I never expectedpexels

Intense societal pressure to find 'the one', who 'makes you feel whole' completely seduces us to the notion of romantic love. But in reality, platonic love was what 'made me feel whole' again.

It's customary to explain the story behind meeting one's partner. I met my partner in crime (let’s call him Noah) in South America at a point in my life where I felt truly lost. That year, I had been trying to rebuild myself after suffering from heartbreak and overcoming a depressive patch. I was set on just focusing on myself, rather than forming any meaningful connections with people, especially as I had just broken up with someone the day of my flight to Peru.

I would have never expected from meeting Noah in a party hostel in Buenos Aires that we would have become friends. At the time, he seemed to me to be way too loud, boisterous - given he first approached me in a club by saying that he found my friend 'really fit'. I immediately tried to avoid him, categorising him as 'that creepy guy who tries to grind up on your friends at a club'. He, however, thought I was his wingwoman.

Platonic love was what 'made me feel whole' again

Somehow, we ended up in conversation along a pier in Uruguay and, with the sun setting on the tender lapping waves, we opened up about our lives. Unapologetically we exposed every single vulnerability we had. In just one evening, I went from initially thinking how liberating it was to be voicing my thoughts with a stranger, someone I would probably never see again after my travels, to thinking that I had never had such an intense connection with someone in such a short space of time. We consequently ended up travelling across Argentina to Brazil together, joined at the hip.

I realised through this the importance of being open-minded with who you interact with and just how wrong first impressions can be. As it turned out, his loudness was just a façade for the troubles he had experienced - family loss, crippling shyness and just like myself, a desire to find someone who would 'make him feel whole'.

Generally, we assume that companionship is best when two people are from strongly similar backgrounds - yet Noah and I are completely different on the outset. He is crude, swears like a Trojan and is hilariously inappropriate. And yet I could probably make a War and Peace length book of the number of inside jokes we had managed to create in the space of a week. What unites us is the way in which we think and feel at the most intimate level: the way in which we operate as two human beings.


Mountain View

Love under the veil of secrecy

As Noah is a decade older than me, hearing how he dropped out of university at my age and had bitterly regretted it since made me re-evaluate the sense of utter disillusionment I was experiencing about education at the time. I realised just how privileged I am to be given this opportunity and how I must seize it.

Although writing poetry is my cathartic release, it took me a long time to share my poems with him. Eventually, I gave into his demands on a long-haul bus to Brazil; it was the very first time I had someone actually read my poetry in front of me. When he had finished reading them, we sat in silence for what felt like an eternity. Then, he frantically typed on his phone and eventually, passed his phone screen to me - where I suddenly saw a poem that he had written, there and then, about me. Given he had shunned poetry ever since he was 14 when he had written a poem about a traumatic event in his life, to feel like my poetry had motivated him to the extent that he wanted to write and wanted to express himself, moved me more than I can possibly say. My reticence for sharing my works has now shifted to a self-confidence and strong motivation to have my works published.

Noah has not only helped me to become the best possible version of myself, in terms of focusing on my ambitions in life, gaining perspective and closure on certain situations, but also to have hope. Knowing now that I don't need a romantic relationship to have someone who is emotionally there for me means I know that nothing can, or ever will, make me not feel 'whole'.