Karenna Colcroft here again to share my thoughts on what seems to be one of the more popular romance tropes: Friends to lovers.
I think many of us in real life have had one friend who was so close we could tell them anything. Someone we trusted with all our secrets and shared things with that we would never have dreamed of sharing with anyone else.
Someone we maybe loved, at least a little bit.
I’ve had two friends like that over the years, one through high school and college, and the other toward the end of my first marriage. Both were guys. Both were people who encouraged, supported, and protected me through times when I really needed it and didn’t have anyone else.
Both were guys I wished I could spend the rest of my life with, because I was completely in love with them, but I had no idea whether they felt the same. Even after I asked.
The guy I became friends with in high school is still occasionally in touch with me. In fact, he and I’ve been talking the past couple of days about having lunch as he passes through my state on the way to his new home. We’ve known each other for 29 years, and he still knows more about me than anyone else. Even though in those nearly three decades, we’ve gone through a couple stretches of several years each when we didn’t communicate at all. He’s divorced now, so in theory is available…but I’m not.
The other guy stopped speaking to me a few months after I left my first husband, after only two years of friendship. He didn’t “approve” of some decisions I made about my life once that marriage ended. That was back in 2007. I haven’t heard from him since, but recently discovered through social media that he’s married to a woman he was friends with for years before he and I met, and he and his wife have started the yoga/healing/meditation center he and I always talked about establishing someday. I’m happy for him, and I’m glad I found this out because it gave me closure after seven years of wondering how and what he was doing.
In romance fiction, the rush of a first meeting and love at first sight is exciting. But the slow build of two long-time friends who finally realize they’re in love and belong together can be even better, in my opinion. And that’s the trope I built my male/male contemporary novel Love Like Vampires on. Shane McCarthy and Thaniel Robichaud have been best friends since elementary school. Because of a crappy home life, Shane practically grew up at Thaniel’s house. But Shane always assumed Thaniel was straight, and Thaniel was too protective of Shane to admit he had feelings for him. Until one night after a show, Shane blurts it out…and both realize they’ve been in love with each other all that time.