My best friend and I met on Tinder. I don't think either of us were really expecting to get anything out of being there, but we clicked and as soon as xe told me what xis Discord name was and I messaged xim there instead, we both left Tinder as quickly as possible. At first we were just talking, and just when I realized I really wanted to meet this lovely person, quarantine hit and it became impossible for us to visit each other because of travel restrictions.
We fell in love over the past year, and we were looking forward to do so many things together. We'd hang out, go on dates, I'd meet xis partner, we'd explore BDSM together - we're both switches and xe's the first person I've felt comfortable establishing a kinky relationship with. Xe has more hands on experience than me, but has never been able to submit, and I felt honored to get the chance to dominate xim and ease xim into letting go. I knew xe played with another partner as well, but only domming was going well for xim, and xis playmate/partner didn't know as much about kink as I do, which I recall xim feeling low about on occasion.
Months passed. Travel restrictions didn't ease up. We both missed each other desperately. Xe would send me messages, telling me things xe would like to do to me, or me to do to xim, and I'd respond. I'm grey-asexual with very limited experience but with xim I felt like it didn't matter, everything we'd do together would be on terms I was comfortable with, we'd set a pace that worked for us both.
In short, it was good.
Around new year's, xe got together with a crush xe had had for a long time, and I was so happy for xim. Xe told me that would close the door on any other romantic prospects until xe felt comfortable opening that door again, and I understood. It was lovely hearing about the two of them settling into their new relationship, and I didn't mind that xe was less affectionate with me, that we dropped the sexting and the planning for the time being.
About a month after that, my crush realized xe couldn't start dating me - we live too far away from each other (one country border and two hours by train) for xim, and xe doesn't have room in xis life for more partners. All very good reasons. Xe told me xe had only just realized, and that xe felt the need to "tank xis feelings out of fear". I told xim there was nothing to fear, I want to be with xim whatever shape that takes, and xe reassured me that xe loves me very much and that I'm xis best friend. Yeah, xe's my closest friend, too.
At first I was heartbroken, even though I think xe made the right choice. Feelings are hard sometimes. It's been months now, and I still get sad thinking about it. My best friend seems pretty fine whenever we talk about it, and I wish I could get over crushes as fast as xim.
Ever since we both realized we liked each other and started talking about kink, the latter has been a part of our conversations, and even now I'll send xim pictures of a restraint I like or mention a scenario I would like to try, and xe sometimes tells me what xe get up to with xis partners. Sometimes it's nice. Sometimes I get envious. I don't really know what things make me envious and what things are fine. I had promised I would tell xim if I got envious of xis partners, so this one time when xe sent pictures of the matching dog tags they had gotten, I did. Xe was understanding and removed the pictures, said xe wanted me to be comfortable and that it was no problem, but I feel awful for ruining xis joy with my pettiness.
The travel restrictions still haven't let up. I miss my best friend. We're looking forward to meeting, hopefully during the summer.
And I'm so confused. My feelings don't make sense to me. Sometimes I'm ridiculously happy for xim and xis partners (they're rad people, my best friend often tells them stuff I say and vice versa, so even though I've only spoken to one of them once while playing a game with my best friend and xis circle, I know I like them both and that we'd get along well) and sometimes I get hit with that cold feeling of "I wish I was part of that, too".
My friend was initially worried that I'd be envious of xis new partner since them getting together closed the door to our romantic prospects, but luckily that hasn't happened; I don't see them as having "taken my place" or such, my friend would have realized we can't be together either way. My envy is less "I wish that were me" and more "I wish I had that too".
Especially when xe tells me about xis continued trouble with submitting to a partner that's not firm enough, with xis partners' lack of knowledge and hesitation, I think "I could help with that, I could be the person who makes you submit".
Sometimes I still think "Maybe we can date in the future. Things change. What if one of us moves or xis mental health improves enough that xe has the spoons for another partner?" and I don't know if I want to think like that. I'm afraid that it will get in the way of our friendship, that continuing our relationship with thoughts like this might breed resentment. It doesn't help that once or twice, my friend has talked as though getting together is still on the table. I don't want to ask about it in case it's just me misinterpreting xim because of wishful thinking, but it feels dishonest when our communication is so good in all other areas. We have talked several times about our relationship since we first decided to just be friends, and xe has reassured me over and over that xe still loves me and that I'm dear to xim. Holy fuck I do love being best friends with xim, too.
I've been hoping that meeting xim in person, building up an in person relationship, and meeting xis partners will help with the envy and my confusion, but I'm afraid of the possibility that it won't. I want to be the best friend I could possibly be to xim, I don't want our relationship to be muddled with my dirty petty feelings.
I also fear that my sexual identity and kinky identity (which are rather separate) will be muddled by how much I discovered together with xim, and that I won't be able to find anyone else with whom I'd like to do sexual or kinky things. I already get crushes extremely seldom, I think I've had two or three this past decade.
Whoa, that was a long piece of text, and I'm still not sure what kind of response I'm expecting, so I'll ask some more concise questions here. How can I get over my feelings enough for them not to get in the way of our friendship? What do I do to learn what exactly causes my envy so that I can avoid them? Do I just need time? When is a good time to start looking for another romantic relationship after being rejected? How much do I tell my friend without making xim uncomfortable?