I am searching for something from him, but I have no idea what

My best friend (m17) and I (f17) have known each other for almost 12 years now. our relationship is very complicated - mostly because, although I rarely lie to others, I lie to myself a lot.

I say we grew up together, but really, we didn't. despite being in the same school for 12 years, by some crazy anti-coincidence, we never had any classes together. we were friends, brought together by our love for pokemon and all things nintendo (we're part of the DS generation), however, because of children being children and the unfortunate, incessant force of heteronormativity, all through primary school, we'd avoid each other in school out of fear of being teased for "liking each other" (stupid, I know), only hanging out together in our small mixed gamer group.

so. we reach secondary school. suddenly, hormones exist and viola! actual crushes! on each other! exactly what we had feared our whole lives.

so. it's the golden age of minecraft. we grow closer and year 7 me literally pulls the "what if I put my mc bed next to yours" move (ughhh). of course, there was lot's of teasing, which, would result in us drifting apart for two or three years from year 8 to year 10.

during this time (and after, and still now) I fell into heavy depression. I learned I had inherited a handful of mental disorders from my family. something very important to note is that my greatest fear is always being second choice, and this fear really played with me during my secondary school period. my whole life I had been searching for somebody who cared about me as much as I cared about them, and because I had always been the "awkward third friend" who was wanted, but never the priority, I was incredibly insecure (and, to be fair, still am).

GCSEs came around. while the teasing still went on and did make things super awkward, we were at this point mature enough to not care too much and sweep it to the side. we grow close again and suddenly I find myself telling him everything. my depression, my suicide attempts, all my fear and insecurities. I should note here, this was probably a bit toxic, because while it didn't bother him, it was pretty s***** of me to make him feel like he was the only thing holding me up, even if it was true.

Anyway. things start getting better. whenever I was with him, I felt safe, and at home. I really, really cared about him. Here's where things get a bit icky.

he starts sending mixed signals to me. because of our past, there's always been a lot left unsaid, and a lot of tension, albeit not sexual at all. romantic tension I suppose? and everyone knew. it was our weak point. but once he started sending mixed signals, bringing up what would have happened if we got together, talking about friends shipping us, and being super physically affectionate, I started to fall for him.

it gets complicated. we've always been pretty physically affectionate and cuddly when alone, but never in a romantic way and most definitely NEVER in a sexual way. but super intimate, how I imagine twins might be. I started to really crave his attention in a way I never had with anybody else before. at this point, I had no idea what I was feeling.

so, like any 15 year old would, I told one of my close female friends. she was the least s***** out of my group of s***** girl friends (they were so so so toxic and manipulative but I never realised for the 5 years I was with them). I told her what I was feeling - that I was really craving his undivided attention, but that I didn't know why. I told her I wasn't sure if it was because I needed him as a best friend and we hadn't been able to be close for all these years until now, or if it was because I had feelings for him.

Aaaaaaaaaand so. having been insanely vulnerable (something very difficult for me), she took what I had told her and picked out the bits she liked. She told him I was in love with him, just because she wanted his attention (I would later find out she had a crush on him), thus breaking my trust.

Seems small and petty, but remember - our history makes his bad. I couldn't afford for things to become awkward between us because my life quite literally depended on it. He was the only person stopping me from killing myself at this point. Totally unrelated to all of these interactions, but I was so so so depressed and suicidal all the time.

So of course, he took it the wrong way. But I found him the next day and we had a long chat about it - very unusual, as I am a highly anxious and non confrontational, and I'm still proud of myself for doing that and clearing things up. He's still interested in another girl and I tell him I know, I don't care as long as he's happy.

Things are normal until around a year ago. I leave the country to go to school in the UK, which is where I'm originally from. There's a tearful parting and I'm off. By the time I leave, I'm fully in love with him and it hurts. The whole irony of it is, that, being a massive nerd like me, he love anime, and his favourite archetype is the rejected childhood best friend (ichigo, rem sort of type yknow) which was just----- ????????

Anyway, I'm now done with my first year of sixth form/ A Levels. The past year, I've really missed him, but he never really put in much effort. I was almost always first to text, and when we game, it's with a big group and we never get the chance to properly talk.

Around halfway through the year, he tells me he's got his first girlfriend. And guess who it was? The friend I confided in about my feelings for him all that time ago, and who exposed me. Now, this makes her sound really awful, but she's not. She's actually really sweet and was honestly a pretty good friend to me outside that incident. I was happy for them and gave them my approval, though it did feel a little weird. I was living a new life on the other side of the planet and things, well, still went on without me.

It was hard seeing him with just, other friends too. It's like hey! Back off! that's MY best friend! especially since he has a lot of female friends. not in a creepy way or anything, he's just a nice guy and he's not super boisterous or anything so I guess girls like him as a friend. But it kind of sucked knowing our lives were never going to be parallel again, and I had no idea if i'd ever matter to him anymore.

Here's when my insecurity of being second choice came in, big time. I actually wasn't jealous at all about them being in a romantic relationship, to my own surprise. I was mostly happy for them, but there was the issue I had with myself of being the "third one", especially, now, looking in from the outside, where I couldn't even know everything that was going on.

I got kind of p***** at him because he wouldn't send me updates on his relationship. I kept saying the point of a best friend was to tell her about all your ups and downs! I felt upset that he wouldn't tell me anything. It wasn't so much fear of missing out, it was more, fear that I wasn't missed.

Long story short, he emotionally cheats on her, still having the hots of the girl he used to have a crush on. His gf is devastated, and I really help her through this time. I'm mad at him because it's obviously a really s***** thing to do. I'm mad because he has good intentions, but is just a bit stupid, and very very inexperienced in love. But most of all, I'm mad because the whole situation could've been prevented if he had come to me for advice, and if was honest with me.

Fast forward, they're back together, great. She still doesn't trust him, which is understandable, but they're working through it, and I'm supporting them both emotionally.

He came to visit me around a month ago. We had a nice time, gaming and baking, and luckily, I found all my romantic feelings for him had gone. We were, however, the most physically intimate we've been ever. It was super nice, because he's home to me, and everything felt okay for just that one day.

I'm reading "I'll give you the Sun", and I noticed in the similarities of behaviour we have with the twins near the beginning of the novel. It's kinda strange.

I'm not sure why I'm writing this. I know nobody will read it, and, if you have, thank you. it's pretty long. I guess I need to get this out of my head and clarify everything.

I need him as a best friend and brother, and maybe I've been lying to myself and he doesn't care about me as much I want him to. maybe i'm not first choice at all, maybe I never will be. maybe it was never love, maybe it was obsession and i need to stop putting him on a pedestal and start living my life, not through the lens of him.

it's hard though. I'm not sure where else to find security, and i know all my internal issues and insecurities will get in the way of future friendships and relationships. He is not the person I want him to be, and that's okay and I just have to learn to accept it. Even if I am not his, he will always be my soft spot

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