Gay/Straight Advice: Crushing on Best Friend

Question from a reader:
My best friend and I (he's straight, I am gay, and we're both 21) have been friends for about 7 years, during those years we've spent a lot of time together.We've hung out pretty much every day and for the one year that we were roommates we were together pretty much every waking hour.

There's nothing sexual about it, we just have a lot in common, we'd watch hockey games, play video games and indulge in reality TV mostly. I am the gay one, I only recently came out to him and he was cool with it (which slightly surprised me considering I remember him being quite homophobic throughout our youth).

However there's one thing I can't tell him, that I have pretty much fallen head over heels in love with him. I really don't know what to do, he's straight -- very straight -- so there's obviously no chance for me, but how do I...I don't know...stop being in love with him? I've been told to distance myself from him, to find new friends and build new healthy gay relationships but I could never do that. He's my best friend and I don't want that to end. I still want to hang out and do the crap we always do.

It just hurts being with him and knowing that I have such strong feelings for this guy and he will never feel the same. I can't even imagine how much of a wreck I'll be when he finds a girlfriend, it hurts just thinking about it. I know, he's my best friend and I should want him to be happy (and I do). It just sucks that his happiness goes hand in hand with my heartbreak. Sure there are plenty of other fish in the sea, but Ijust can't imagine myself with anyone else, I don't see how it could be the same. I mean I've formed a strong connection with this person for the past 7 years, how could I hope to recreate that with some guy I meet at a bar? I am sure you guys have heard this a thousand times before, the gay guy falls for his straight friend, but I really just don't know what to do. It's the worst feeling: loving someone who will never love you. I would really appreciate hearing your take on this, thanks guys.

GAY GUY RESPONDS:

Thanks for writing in.

Loving someone who can't respond in the way that you so very much want is hard and painful, I know. (Trust me, I really, really know.)

Sounds like your friendship has a lot going for it and that you are both invested in it, especially that he's been supportive of you and still comfortable in his close friendship with you since you've come out to him.

And it sounds like you have some good friends who are offering you good advice. But, I don't think it is an either/or situation. I agree that you should make some new gay friends and build some healthy relationships (which don't have to be romantic or sexual, they can be friendships, too). That doesn't necessarily mean you have to "break up" with your friend or can't be close to him, or that you need to distance yourself from him. Of course you want to still hang out and do all the things you enjoy doing. Makes perfect sense. But, I think you would benefit from adding some other dimensions and people to your life. You don't have to make him less important, just make yourself and new chances equally important.

It's good that you are thinking about preparing yourself for his finding a romantic relationship. I don't have any great advice there, except that best friends want the best for each other, and so you need to think about how you can deal with that.

You have the ability to form a long lasting friendship -- that's no small feat. I can say that over time I appreciate more and more my good friendships (that's you, Straight Guy!).

Most of all, please give a gay guy a chance. We aren't just 'fish in the sea' or 'some guy in a bar.' We're people. No, you won't recreate your relationship with your friend, but you'll make a new one that's unique and special.

Sounds like your friendship might need some more air. Clean up a river, volunteer at a soup kitchen, tutor a kid. It will help, believe me.

Let us know how it turns out over time.

Over to you Straight Guy. . .. .

STRAIGHT GUY RESPONDS:

"His happiness goes hand in hand with my heartbreak." Ug. More drama.

Count yourself as lucky. You came out to your long-time friend and he stood by you. Let the high school homophobia go. Many nice guys have grown out of that (maybe me?). Some eventualy come out themselves.

It hurts, but you seem sure that he's straight. If so, you have to let it go. Stay friends if you can. Keep playing video games and watching trash TV. Your crush doesn't have to ruin everything, but it will if you talk about it too much or take it too seriously. It's not really a gay/straight thing, people fall in love with others they can't have all the time. That's universal heartbreak, right?

I shouldn't have to say this. But you're 21, probably haven't been out very long, so your options are NOT limited to choosing between your straight best friend and gay bar pickups. If your friend has never had a girlfriend and you've never had a boyfriend in seven years, then you both need to expand your social circles. Seriously. You'll stop being in love with him when you're in love with someone else. And you better start hoping he gets some soon, too. That's what friends do. You probably know more straight women than he does (and have better communication skills, too). So hook him up immediately so that the "moving on" can begin.

Too bad he probably can't return the favor (his gay contacts are probably limited to you alone). But, still, give him credit for being a good, long-term, low-drama, friend who you can trust with the truth (most of it). That's pretty hard to find.

--Straight Guy

2 comments:

Kathryn said...

I don't believe that unrequited love is a gay/straight thing...it's a part of life. No-one has had their feelings reciprocated 100% of the time. That said, I'm sorry for your pain. I know that right now it feels like it's the end of the world, but you'd be surprised how theraputic time can be...I'm with GG...you need some serious distraction for a while. Believe it or not, you WILL be happy with someone...someday.

Anonymous said...

My advice, don't do it. You will regret it like I did. I have a guy friend who I know is very straight but I thought he could be sharing the same feelings as I do. I just got drunk with him last weekend and revealed that I may be gay and I have a thing for him.

He told me he is very comfortable with me being gay. He also told me that he respects me more.

The mistake that I have is telling him that I have a thing for him. It's only been 3 days since this revelation and I noticed that he is staying away from me. I completely understand what he's feeling right now.

I screwed up and I feel like my world is crashing down. I destroyed a good friendship. I should have known that he is straight because he has a girlfriend.

I made a mistake. Any advice how I move forward? I don't want to lose a really good friend.

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