I once read a book that changed my life. In that book, author Arundhati Roy talked about love. She talked about how we have sectioned off love and thus made it limited.
She talked about the “love laws” and how the love laws laid down who should be loved and how and by how much. Even today, I believe we are guilty of doing the same thing. And so, I think we need to change the language with which we talk about friendships. I think we need to change the definition we have given love and reclaim it as an important part of friendship.
To say that my friends have been everything to me would be an understatement. To say that they are the people to whom I owe my life would be an understatement. Because to this day, I cannot adequately express how grateful I am to have people I can call home even when home is far away.
There is something undeniably beautiful about friendship. It’s this shared connection, this mutual decision that yes. Yes, this is the person I want to stay up at night with; yes this is the person I want to discuss life with; yes this is the person I want to gross out by describing my bowel movements with. Yes, yes and yes. A thousand times yes. Because yes, I love my friends, and yes, I am in love with my friends.
I find it so incredibly strange that platonic love is not considered to be “in love” — it’s not considered an event, it’s not considered a life decision. There are no anniversaries for the date of my friendships, there are no balloons, hearts and dinners. It’s like friendship is thought of as secondary, as an afterthought, as something that is not as important — if not more important than relationships.
For me, friendship has been all this and so much more. It is till death do us part, it is in sickness and in health, it is a vow and a promise to be there for each other, to share your grief, your happiness and your life.
So today, I no longer want to differentiate between friendships and relationships. I no longer want to have love laws which tell me how much love I should give my significant other and how much love I should give my friends. Because the love laws cannot divide and section and cut up the love I can have.
This love is important, these promises are important and these bonds are also important — as serious as a relationship with as much gravitas as a relationship as well — so it should be given the same importance.
My friends have taught me so much. It has been a journey. I have grown up with them, found ways to resolve conflicts with them, learned their pet peeves, discovered their habits with them and so, so much more.
It is with them that I have realized that it can be 1 a.m. and I might be failing three classes, but I can still find a reason to smile. It could be a terrible week, but with them I know that it can still be salvaged with some Honeygrow and spicy garlic sauce. It can be a disastrous month, but there are always tiny pockets of happiness because of these precious moments. It is because of them that I can find beauty within disaster and calm within storms.
They are the water that quenches my rage, they are the fire that inspires me when I’m too beaten down to move. They are my world and so, so much more.
It is so weird to me that we don’t give friendships the same important language that we do relationships. I don’t understand why the day I found my best friend isn’t celebrated with red chocolate hearts and cookies. I cannot fathom why my best friend can’t be my soulmate and my other half. The creation of this institution, this monopoly on romantic love, this idea that our lives are considered incomplete without romantic companionship is insulting to my bond with my friends.
So for Amman who is my soul mate, for Ayla who is my rock, for Kavya who is my literal twin, for Alizay who is my inspiration and for Humza who is a leechy, leechy lovable bug: Today, I proudly declare that I am in love with all of you.
And you can quote me on that.