Hi everyone, today the Fustany girls decided to share my story. I'm a woman in her late 20s, who is very business and career driven. People say I'm beautiful and I'm pretty confident in my own skin. Since I started working, I took my job very seriously where some might call me a workaholic, but I swear I'm not... I do admit that most of my life is spent at the office that I barely have time for myself or anyone else. But when I do find the time, I make sure to hang out with the people I'm most comfortable with. They give me that sense of familiarity that I crave and I can easily unwind when I'm with them. No need to keep my guard up or play mind games trying to understand them or figure out how I want them to perceive me, you know?

One day after working late I wanted to kill some time and just relax. I tried calling a couple of my friends to meet up, but they were busy. So I decided to just go to a nearby bar, it's a place I hang out at often and I feel comfortable there. It was actually game night that day so it was no surprise that I ran into a few familiar faces. One of them was a guy I went to school with, Amgad, and even though we aren't that close we have this very comfortable dynamic.

We bump into each other from time to time since both our social and work circles overlap and we have this unspoken rule that, if we're in a casual setting we don't bring up work. Which is why after a day like I had, he was the best choice to hang out with. I know it'll all be fun and games... perfect! He wasn't alone though, he introduced me to his friend Farid, who was giving me off putting vibes. We played some games, cracked jokes and were having a great time except for Farid... I don't know why he was being so cold towards me. Every time I tried to be nice and start up a conversation with him, he'd reply with off handed remarks such as "I'm not in the mood to talk about movies" or "Amgad, does your friend actually know how to play this game?". He wasn't necessarily mean, but definitely not inviting or friendly at all.

What was his problem? I didn't question myself too much as I barely interacted with him, and just decided to keep treating him as anyone else. I didn't want to start any drama since he was my friend's friend and I'll probably never see him again anyway. I still managed to enjoy myself chatting with Amgad for the rest of the night.

At that time, I had ended a few months back a very tough relationship that left me with a broken heart and I was not up for dating. I was just so over men and not willing to put myself out there again, at least for now. However, it does get a bit lonely and we all know how moms try to push you into meeting new guys for potential suitors. Then there's also the thought of not wanting to close yourself off completely and missing chances. I didn't want to just surrender to that feeling. So after a lot of thinking I decided to create an online dating account, what harm could it do?

It had the good, the bad and the weird, and in-between I found profiles of some familiar faces, which I automatically swiped left to. Why would I try online dating if I'm going to go for people I already know in real life, right? In the middle of it all, surprise, surprise, there was Farid's profile in front of me, and I found myself pausing instead of doing the exact same thing, as all those who I know personally that popped up on my screen: obviously swipe left... but I didn't. Was I actually interested in that guy who didn't bother to treat me decently? Or was I just being challenged since he was cold to me before? Wait, am I into the 'bad boy' vibes and never realized?

Whatever the reason, I kept staring at his profile that was waiting for me to either swipe right or left. I took a look at his bio and photos... I have to admit that he sounded a lot more interesting and kinder than I remember. So, I told myself that he won't match with me anyway since he obviously didn't like me that much when we met, and I swiped right, or was that still my competitive and challenging side talking? I'll never know. Within an hour or so I got a notification that he matched with me. I actually started laughing so hard, because that was the last thing I expected.

After I calmed down a bit, it was time to message him and see where this comedy is heading. He replied back and was very different than my first impression of him. He was nice and friendly, funny even at some point. We kept talking for a bit and he was eager to meet up and go on a real date. I was still reluctant, even telling him that I couldn't stand him that one time we met with Amgad, but he was insistent and asked me to give him a second chance.

It took us a bit of back and forth trying to set up a date because one of us would be busy when the other was free. Sometimes I'd just not be in the mood and ask him for a rain check. I thought he'd give up after a couple of tries but throughout that time he'd still show up every few days or weeks asking me to hang out. When I finally said yes, Farid told me: "You know what, let's try something different. You don't seem to be in the mood and I know you love fashion, so let's go on a shopping date. What do you say?" Honestly, that got me excited. I've never went shopping as a first date before, and I'm always up for new experiences.

We had such a good time together, I made fun of his typical fashion choices, and he got back at me for my over-the-top picks, not to mention how much we made fun of ourselves too. I never expected for us to click that well at all and it was clear that we had great chemistry together. After that we started hanging out more whether on our own or with other friends. We really got to appreciate each other and became close.

I did notice that later on he preferred to meet up in groups and not as much alone anymore. He also started being a lot more active on social media rather than stay MIA as he usually was. I don't know, I think I felt that he was interested in someone even before he came and told me about it. And turns out I was right... he did fall for another girl. I can't say that didn't make me upset, because it did. I took some time away from him because it felt like my old heartbreak was coming up to the surface again. During that time, I kept thinking about my emotions and how compatible we are. As I said before, we have chemistry, a lot of it... but the things that interested me about him were all things I'd love to have in a friend not a partner.

Farid is awesome but we were very different and it wouldn't work if we became a couple. I'm sure of it and I didn't want to lose him as a friend. So, I texted him saying that I'd love if we continue to talk as friends. It took him a while to reply, that he's trying to focus on the relationship with his girlfriend, and that she might not be very open with him talking to me, considering how we know each other. That felt like another blow, but I respected his honesty and decision. I wouldn't want to be the cause of drama between them anyway.

It did happen a few times that we ran into each other at the same bar or in social events with us having friends in common. We'd always be happy to see each other, but still kept our distance as we agreed.

A few months pass and I run into him again at a party, he's a lot friendlier than usual and I soon find out why... yup, he broke up with his girlfriend. Of course, that's not a reason for us to get together or anything, but at least we were interacting freely with each other. Over time whenever we saw each other we talked more, hung out more and there was a lot of times when I found him supporting me in any way he can.

It's been a few years now and I'm so happy and proud to say that Farid is now one of my closest friends who I can always rely on through thick or thin, and he also relies on me too. At one point we made a pact to never let our love lives come between our friendship ever again. We don't want to lose this precious bond. Most of the people we dated never got that connection we had as people who've dated and then turned into such close buddies. I don't regret matching with him or giving him a second chance because he's turned into an invaluable person in my life.