We met for the first time at the airport some years ago. We met through a friend he just met in one of his travels. I also met that friend in one of my travels. How we met is a series of coincidence or serendipity, to make it romantic.

Recognizing him was a breeze even in the midst of hundreds of people at the busy airport. Tall, chiseled jawline, deep-set eyes, enough facial hair to make him look manly but not too much to make him look rugged. To simply put it, he is too good looking  not to be noticed.

He introduced himself,  he leaned to give me a beso (cheek to cheek kiss). When I thought greeting someone I just met with a beso was awkward, he moved his  head to the other side. And so our other cheeks touched.  I kept my cool even if  my heart was beating so fast. I could not spend time with someone  as  good looking, nice, and manly as this person.  I did not have a choice, I already commit to  accompany him in his visit as he continues his quest  in finding God’s plan for him (which makes him even more attractive).

He stayed  in the city for about a week. I showed him my world, introduced him to my friends and shared with him my stories with the hope that  in doing so, I can help him in his “wandering”.  I could not understand how comfortable I was in being vulnerable to him. Maybe because he was a stranger and I knew that when he leaves, I’m never gonna see him again. Or maybe he’s  naturally a good person that I don’t need to doubt whether I can trust him or not. I put my guards down. I allowed myself to get to know him, I allowed him to get to know me.

It was just a couple of days but enough to make me remember a lot of memories. Our conversations at sunset, how  I tried to be cool when our eyes met, how I  tried not to laugh while watching him struggled with whatever  I made him experience.  As the days passed, he was  more than just a pretty face. We  share same values, faith, and passion. More than that, his  desire to seek God’s plan for him touches my heart in a way that he challenged me to proactively  seek God’s plan for my life too.

We met at a time when my heart is ready. On those days that I was with him, I felt my heart again. I felt  familiar feelings  I dread to feel for years. I felt my heart again but I was  at peace, I did not feel threatened. There’s something in him that made me feel comfortable and secure. Although I was scared, I was at peace. He did not lead me on, he just allowed me to get to know him and in getting to know him,  I’ve grown to like him.

We continued messaging each other months and years after. When we met again, it was as if we’ve known each other for so long and it was  as if  we met as often.

I remember how much I asked God that he will be the “one” but as time passed, my prayer changed. I found myself begging  God that He will lead him to what He has planned for him.

A few years after we met, he sent me a photo. It was an answered prayer, I could not thank God enough.

He sent me his wedding photo. He finally met the woman He has been praying  and seeking for. I could not be  happier for my very good friend.

Our story is almost like a fairytale rom-com movie only that, we  are not meant to be together. We are meant to lead each other to where God desired us to be so we can live happily ever after.

Some prince charming is meant to be our friends. The guy who would qualify to be  Disney’s Prince Charming is meant to be my friend. He made me feel my heart again. He made me realize that I am ready to love again that I am no longer scared. But more than that, He made me recognize that I can love genuinely.  A love that does not  demand nor expect to be loved back – only hopes.  He made me understand what real love is, to love is to will for the good of the other even if it means I must stop hoping to be loved with the kind of love I was hoping for. I could not remember how or when I stopped hoping. I just woke up  one day, grateful to God that the Prince Charming I met at the airport has become my good friend amid distance and silence.

My story with my Prince Charming friend was not a  tale of Friend Zone – it is far from one. He just happens to be a very good person who I’ve grown to  love as I get to know him more. To consider our story as a “tale from the friend zoned” cheapens our friendship.

Sensationalizing friend zone devalues friendship. It’s like we are saying that the relationship between a man and a woman will only reach its fullness when they will be in a romantic relationship. When a friend falls in love with a friend, it’s not a phenomenon we label as “friend zone”, but it’s a consequence of our nature to be attracted to beauty and goodness. The more we spend time with other people, the more we discover their goodness and beauty.

Friendship is a love shared between two friends. It is a genuine and pure form of love where we demand nothing in return, we just choose to be there for our friend. Not all love is romantic. But all love desires for the good of the other.

Some Prince Charming is meant to be our friends. Not “just a friend” but a friend you genuinely love and who genuinely loves you  with a  kind of love that does not demand to be loved back but rather hopes for the best for one’s friend.

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

When I chose to die to myself through hoping for what’s best for my friend, I knew I chose the greater love.

Our story may not end how every fairy tale story ends  but our story is one of my favorite stories. Ours is a love story of two people who met in their pursuit to love and honor God. Our story would have been a story of serendipity had it end in romance but ours is a story that proves that even friendship is part of God’s plan. God wills us to meet so we can lead each other to where God desires us to be.

Not all love story is romantic.   Some Prince Charming is meant to be a good friend  of a Princess.

Let us stop sensationalizing friendzone but let’s start normalizing holy friendship, a kind of friendship that always seeks for the good of the other.

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“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

-St. Catherine of Siena

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