Gay / Straight Advice: Sleepover Secrets

A question from a reader:
So here's the deal, I do not have any gay friends and I am stuck in a really bad situation right now that is life changing. I do not have anyone to turn to. That's why I am writing because, as you will see later, it could make it worse if I tell someone else in my circle, based on this experience alone.

I am a 28-year-old guy who just came out to a really good straight guy friend while drunk last weekend. I've had girlfriends in the past, that's why my friends don't even suspect me of being gay. This friend even told me that it never crossed his mind.

He told me that he is comfortable with it and that he respects me more for telling him. I've known my friend (27) for about three years. We were really good friends.

My mistake: I told him my true feelings about him, even though I knew he was straight and has a girlfriend. I wish I had never done this because, knowing this great guy, he would have accepted me being gay. I think telling him that I liked him crossed the line. He constantly told me in the past that he can't have any "girl-friends" because these girls end up wanting to be his girlfriend.

I had a sleep-over at his place and before I went to bed, he told me not to feel embarrassed the next day or feel stupid after the alcohol is gone. He is totally comfortable with the whole thing and he now likes it better that it is clear. He thought something was weird when I was unusually nicer to him, like he was my girlfriend or something for many years.

The next day, everything was normal. Before I left, I told him that I felt awkward after my revelation last night.

He basically just reassured me that he is comfortable with the whole thing. He repeated everything that he said the last night, which makes me think that he was not that drunk. He told me that we are closer after that night.

His girlfriend arrived a couple hours later from the Caribbean.

It's only been three days and I noticed a shift in his approach to me. He is clearly avoiding me.

Is the relationship salvageable? I can't lose a really good friend. I don't know what to do...

GAY GUY RESPONDS:

I feel for you, I really do. Unrequited loves sucks. That's a universal truth about the human condition. Regarding your specific situation, you need to get out of your self for a while. And turn down the volume on the drama.

Here's how I hear what happened. First of all, your friend sounds great. I can see why you have intense feelings for him. He's sensitive, thoughtful, aware of your feelings, and capable of true friendship. What's not to like? No, he can't love you in the way you want him to. But he didn't push you away, he tells you he's glad it came out into the open, he told you that's he's comfortable, and that you are even closer now that the truth is out there. Trust me, this is as good as gets when you come out --both with your sexual identity and with your feelings--to someone who isn't in the same place that you are.

You say you "were" friends. No --you ARE friends. At least if YOU want to be friends. You ask if the friendship is salvageable. Salvageable? What's broken? As you describe the story, you're the one making it hard. Definitely on yourself, maybe on him, too? I just don't hear "unsalvageable" from his actions. You seem to be basing your fears on the fact that he's not been so available in the three days that his girlfriend is back in town. I think he's been, shall we say, catching up with her. I know if my sugar plum was back from va-cay I'd be making up for lost time. I doubt he's avoiding you, I think he's busy.

All this is to say that you desperately need to turn down the interior drama. If you don't, you are going to kill the friendship. It's all on you, my friend. He's not putting you in a bad situation, you are putting your self in one. He's done a great job of showing up. Can you show up and be happy with what he has to offer, which, can I repeat for the 20th time, sounds like a lot.

You already know what to do -- you put it out there in the first sentence. You need some gay friends and outlets. Please, please go online or open a phone book and look for some gay resources. I recommend a discussion or support group. I'm not suggesting you stop having feelings for him, you just need to settle down so you don't blow a good friendship.


STRAIGHT GUY RESPONDS:

There are two issues here. First, you came out for the first time and are nervous. That's OK, good for you. Sounds like you trust this friend, so good decision. (Follow GG's advice on the coming out issues.)

But, whoops, you also told him that he's the guy for you. You made a late-night move while his girlfriend was out of town. That's a little skanky, dude. Were you hoping against hope that he was in the same bind, just waiting to also come out? Any signals to that effect? Doesn't really matter, because this part isn't really a gay issue. You're in love with someone who can't love you back. That happens to just about everyone, gay or straight, at some point. Rejection hurts, and it's not easy for the person who has to do it, either.

Will it be awkward for a while? Probably.

Can the long-term friendship be salvaged? Yes, but only if BOTH of you get back into a comfort zone. Of course you'll keep liking him, but you need to get to a place where you aren't constantly pining for him. He needs to see you in that light, too. So, if you still have a tiny hope for something more (I have a feeling), get over it. Try to do something with a group and get back to normal.

Give it time and take it easy on yourself. "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional."

I love the detail where the girlfriend flies back from the Caribbean. Who does that entitled bee-yatch think she is, anyway? I hate her, too.

Hang in there.

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