dating

'I fell in love with my best friend. But he was 6 inches shorter than me.'

“Guys, I have a problem.”

My girlfriends were over at my one-bedroom apartment for an end of summer dinner party. We were standing around my breakfast bar eating and drinking and I admit: I’m in love.”

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“Oh my gosh! This is amazing Moll who is he??”

A few of them knew who he was. He was my best friend and our coaching program classmate, Carlos. He was hard to miss. He was what you would call a 'provocateur'. The life of the party, the funny guy, with a good heart. 

He was searching for something like the rest of us, and we’d become quite close in the last four months. But there was another small detail about us.

He was 5’4" (1.63m). I am 5’10" (1.78m) 

We met in the coaching program. He came late and received a special announcement and introduction. The teachers were big fans and spoke highly of his martial arts practice. When the session ended I promptly went up and introduced myself.

“Hi, I’m Molly. Very cool about Martial Arts. I actually run a summer camp maybe one day you can come to teach our students.”

“Sure,” he says.

He could feel the desire underneath the odd offer I had just made.

“Also, I’d love to connect with you… summer camp or not.”

There it was.

He said, “Yeah, I’d like that.”

In the next few months we quickly become good friends. We share Ubers. We talked about taboo, dark things. 

We were two misfits, the odd ones disguised as normal people who had finally found their mates.

“Stay with me in the community house next month, it’ll be fun,” he suggests.

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“No, I can’t, I’m committed to my girlfriends we always rent an apartment together.”

A couple months later: “Come to the retreat, it’ll be fun.”

I send him my flight schedule. “Fine. I’ll come.”

“Hurry up and get here this dinner is boring… without you,” he texts.

He was 5’4" and I was 5’10" and we were falling in love.

There was not a single doubt that he was my best friend. Everything felt OK with him. I didn’t hold any part of myself back. He made me laugh in a real way. He had an incredible, dynamic range of emotions I didn’t have access to. His expression and sensitivity were so attractive to me. He wasn’t the Chad and Brad of my former life I was always bored to death with. I wanted to be around him, I wanted him in my life.

*****

It’s August now and I’m in my apartment with my girlfriends.

“Moll, this is amazing! What’s wrong?”

“Well first, he’s my best friend. I don’t want to ruin the friendship, it’s important to me, our connection. And also well... he’s much shorter than me. He’s about 5’4”.”

“Ooooh.”

The shoe drops.

*****

“Molly, what’s going on with Carlos?”

Our mutual teacher sends me this text midday out of the blue.

“What are you talking about?”

“Why is he acting crazy?”

“I don’t know.”

I head over to his apartment. He’s behind the counter and I come up to where his hightop chairs are. And there it was. Smack in the face the answer to her question. I couldn’t deny it anymore. I was absolutely in love with him.

I leave his apartment and text my inquiring teacher: “I figured it out. I think I have feelings for Carlos.”

She replies but there’s no text. Just a link to a video named “Ignoring desire will torture your partner.”

She was right. I wasn’t just torturing him, I was torturing myself too. It wasn’t so easy, though. He was 5’4" and I was 5’10" and now I was tortured by how much I loved him.

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I remembered back to my uni roommate Liz’s words: “Women can’t date shorter men. It doesn’t work out, it’s just not accepted in society.”

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While I considered that truth, if I was really being honest, that wasn’t what was eating away at me. The real question my heart was asking was: could I really date my best friend?

I had only ever dated men I hated, resented. Men who I thought were total idiots. I dated them to date them because… well, you were supposed to date and get married. Life rewards the “wifed up” woman. So I dated on society’s terms and my heart was never fully in it.

Now I could be dating someone I really loved, respected, wanted to get to know, wanted to explore life together. Someone who quite literally had become one of my favourite people.

That’s what I was tortured by. His height was an excuse to not follow what my body and heart really wanted.

He was 5’4” I was 5’10” and I gave in.

He came up below my shoulder and we fell deeply in love. I was all legs, he was all force. He loved me with his entire heart. I loved him with all of mine.

I moved into his apartment and we created a little home. I wrote him love notes and he brought me home takeaway. I cried in bed when things got too intense and vulnerable. He wouldn’t stop loving me even when all I knew was to push him away.

He was 5’4” and I was 5’10” and we loved each other at our worst.

We taught our classmates at my women’s intensive. He was a skilled jokester. He knew how to land precise strokes and inject humour and play into my rigid spots. He saw me deeply, nothing could get past him. I loved him gently and completely.

When I told him I wanted to move back home he said he’d come and we drove across the country together.

I knew when he was withdrawing, when he was afraid I was going to push him away and hurt him again. I didn’t make his life easy, loving me was an extreme sport. I was always testing if he’d stay. And he always did.

He was 5’4" and I was 5’10" and we were pushing the boundaries of our love.

I claimed him in public, we were always touching, I didn’t want to break contact. He grabbed me by my waist and buried his face in my back.

I brought him home to my small-town family. He introduced me to his. His Mum a tall, beautiful woman. It all made more sense.

We announced we were moving interstate and all of our friends came to help us pack. To say goodbye. To share reflections and gratitudes for our relationship, our bond, our connection. How we impacted and inspired each of our friends.

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He was 5’4" and I was 5’10" and our love was contagious.

We spent one final Christmas together. He got offered his dream job on the other side of the country. I wanted to continue to build the life I moved here for.

We cried, a lot. We fought, we hurt each other. It was easier than admitting how painful the ending would be. We tried to hold on but life had different plans and it was time to let go.

He was 5’4" and I was 5’10" and now we had to learn how to fall out of love.

*****

“Molly, are you sure you guys are done?”

My old coach came to visit me and we were chatting over avocado toast.

“Yes, Ali. We’re done.”

“But are you sure, sure?”

I look at her with a piercing gaze. The question I was tired of being asked. The question that didn’t help me in this “letting go” process but that everyone seemed to want to ask. She had been with me through it all and coached me in all of our difficult spots. 

“The love you guys have for each other is… completely blinding. Everyone can feel it when they enter the room.”

I take it in. It gets into my heart and I know she’s right but hearing that reflection is a lot.

“Ali, I can’t go back. You just have to understand. It completely takes me out when I open my heart to it. Our love is so much to feel and it’s just… over.”

He was 5’4" and I was 5’10" and our love had changed others.

“He misses you so much, Molly. You’re all he talks about… still.”

He was 5’4" and I was 5’10" hoping if I closed my heart it would make this easier.

The world kept turning, our lives never stopped being lived. I met someone new. I’m not sure if he has as well. But through the tears, the sadness, the pain, comes the thought that can always make me smile. I have loved and I have been loved.

Feature Image: Getty.

This post was originally published on Medium and has been republished here with full permission. 

Molly Godfrey is a trained desire and intimacy coach as well as an integrated mental health coach. She works with women 1:1 virtually all around the world to move from frustrated to free, helping them to identify and change their painful patterns around men and relationships. Find more at her  website.

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