Two Sense: I'm In Love with My Gay Best Friend
I know this sounds like an awful Jennifer Aniston movie, but here goes. I’m a straight woman, 28, in love with my gay best friend, who is 26. We’ve been pals since college and now we live across the hall from each other in Noe Valley. It's wonderful, from shopping to movies to hitting the bars, both gay and non-gay. One of our favorite things to is open a bottle of wine and Netflix a movie. He's everything a girl or a guy would want: smart, sensitive, cute, and considerate. We've even made out after a night of drinking or fallen to sleep, cuddling, after an evening on his couch. The problem, of course, is that while he's having the time of his life (no, really, I can hear him through his front door with an endless procession of hotties), I’m pining for him. He grumbles occasionally about not having a boyfriend, but I can only think about him. Guys call, but I’m not interested. I know, I’m crazy, right?
He Said: On one level, this sounds like a very healthy friendship for two people in their twenties. The problem is you are sexually discordant, and that’s not your fault or his. You should do anything you can to preserve this special friendship. On another level, it may have become unhealthy for you. I'd start with boundaries. Confess your feelings to him, and set some boundaries about physical intimacy—no kissing or cuddling—because the bliss become painful for you and perhaps even for him. He will totally respect that you told him the truth, and be eager to make it right. Remind yourself that your strong attraction to him may in fact be heightened by his complete unavailability.
If that doesn't work, try therapy. It's really important that you diversify your friendship and dating life so you are not dependent on one guy, not matter how great he may be.
She Said: Yes, it’s kind of crazy to go chasing after a gay man, Brokeback Mountain style, in 2012, all while living about five blocks from the Castro. As you already know, there’s no happy Hollywood ending for this one. Imagine the best-case scenario: You confess your feelings and he says, “Wow! Me too! I’ve been banging all these guys just to try to forget about my love for you.” You two up the cuddling to sex, and—surprise!—it’s fantastic. Who knew a gay man could love missionary sex so much? Two years down the road, you’re in a spendy Vera Wang number, walking down the aisle on the arm of your proud father toward … your gay husband. Turns out the neo-cons and evangelicals were right. There is a cure for gayness after all: crazy, adorable you.
I’m not trying to be mean, just wake you up a little. You are suffering a huge crush on your male best friend. That’s painful but manageable—it would be much worse if he were straight. Here’s what to do. (1) Start calling it a crush and stop calling it “in love.” (2) Confess your feelings toward him right away and ask him to help you get over it. Gay men have an arsenal of tricks for channeling their fag hags’ sexual yearnings, from playing wing man at a straight bar to setting you up with straight friends. (3) Keep hanging out with him, and openly talk about your crush in a light way, even if it’s painful, until the feelings abate. They will. All crushes pass. (4) Cuddle with him while watching a movie if you want—go ahead, get your fill—but stop sleeping over. (5) Call back the guys who ask you out. (6) Buy ear plugs. Good luck, sweetie.
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