Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: Platonic Intimacy.

I’ve fallen in love with you as a human, and I’m so happy in this friendship. So please, don’t be afraid to show affection to me the way you want to.

I grew up thinking that if I loved my friends on the same level as those who I crushed on or who I was with romantically, it wasn’t a friendship anymore. It was you, crushing on your friend, feelings attached, and can never go back to having that same “friendship innocence” that it was in the beginning. My last best friend was my first love. I fell in love with my best friend and because of mutual feelings, we could never go back to being just that. We are always now bound to being exes of a relationship; our lives as best friends didn’t exist anymore.

Hi, my name is Liz; I fall in love with my best friends & tend to fuck shit up because of it.

The more I think about my past life and the friendships I kept so close to me, I fell in love with them in ways normal friends don’t do. I love everything about them, and I try my best to nurture and comfort and be a supportive figure in their lives because I have such a deep care for them and want the absolute best for them. I’m not saying I don’t tend to my friends in the same way, but I seem to just be a little more… motherly to those who I love.

I realized just how motherly I was when my ex used to tease me for treating him like a child. Sure, he didn’t mean any harm in it in the beginning until time went on and our arguments had told me otherwise. Nowadays, I tend to hide that quality because I don’t want to come off as annoying to people.

Although I’ve been on my own and discovering my identity for the last year, I’ve realized that this quality that I’ve been shunning away is a quality that will never leave me; I will always nurture and overly care for the friendships I hold dearest and closest to my heart. I realized this when I started to make friends on my own in the duration of the past year; whether it was at work with my co-workers, friends I made in my spare time, or when I decided to become a part of the Kpop community back in June of this year.

The fact of the matter is that once I gain that connection with someone, I automatically get really protective over them and begin to worry about them in ways that may seem a little bit suffocating. I know sometimes my anxiety can be overwhelming for most, but my worry for those I love and my extreme range of emotion I have for them is just how I know to show my own love to others. Some may not agree with it and may think it’s me crossing boundaries, but I’m honestly not the only one that values platonic love ion their friendships.

My current best friend, Ro, is a person that I met through the Kpop community. We instantly connected through our love for Victon, but also just getting to know each other and we came to realize that we have insanely a lot in common. After establishing a really close friendship, I realized that Ro was the type of person that valued their friendships to the same degree I did. We knew what our boundaries were regarding our friendships; we saw our friendships having the same value as most romantic relationships, and possibly because of that, we both tend to not have that many friends that understood it. It was extremely easy to get to know Ro and express the love I have for them because they understood the level of platonic intimacy within friendships. We are able to show affection to each other without it getting too weird; we know our boundaries and we both know it’s all out of platonic love.

In other words, we tell each other “I love you” every single day. We get cute and mushy and personal with one another, and no matter what happens, we always tend to be there for each other on levels most friends I had in the past never been on. The other week, I was in a really bad depressive episode and I was on the phone with Ro. Trying to explain to them what was going on and how I was feeling, a week later they sent me a notebook and a couple of pages of self-care tips as a way to remind me that I am loved and that they are there for me. Vice versa; they went through a couple of bad times within the past couple of weeks and despite our distance, I make sure that matter where I am, I make that time to be there for their roughest days.

Being Ro’s best friend has taught me that it’s okay to have this value in friendships because they are the most important relationships we want in our lives. For me, being in a romantic relationship for the last decade has made me not want to focus this next chapter of my life on romantic relationships. I don’t want to spend my energy on just one person; I want to be able to connect with a bunch of new people and build meaningful relationships within them. I just want to be able to make friends after not being able to have and keep them for the last decade, but I do want to experience a new type of love: a platonic one. Being best friends with Ro allows me to experience what it means to have a platonic love with someone, and it’s made my friendships with them a hell of a lot stronger.

I’m happy that I was able to build a friendship with someone that values the friendship to the same level as I do. To have a friend that understands friendships in the way that you do makes this a lot more easier; it pretty much makes the boundaries for you and allows you to be your complete self around them! It’s made me realize that these friendships have so much more value to me than romantic relationships these days, and they make me the happiest I’ve been in a really long time because of it.

Here’s to platonic intimacy and telling your firneds that you lvoe them to the moon and back.

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