In love with my best friend, but he's gay

Originally Published: November 21, 2003 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: February 25, 2009
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Alice,

My best buddy is a gay male. I am a straight female. We get along so well, soul mates, so to speak. My problem is that I truly believe I am in love with him. I miss him terribly when we are apart and am very turned on by him. I can't explain it. Do I keep on as is because I can't risk losing him or do I try to see if he has bisexual interests?

Dear Reader,

It's great that you've found a friend with whom you identify so closely, and it's perfectly natural to love those special friends in our lives. Things can begin to get complicated once that deep connection starts turning into something more — like sexual desire.

You offer yourself two seemingly opposed options in your question: to leave things as they are and keep him as a friend, or to investigate whether he may be interested in women and, perhaps, gain a lover. Those choices aren't as clear-cut as you make out. There's no guarantee in life — you could never mention your attraction and your friendship could still end some day, or you could talk about your desire for something more from your friend and still maintain your friendship if that doesn't work out.

While you could preserve your relationship as it exists now by just ignoring your attraction toward him, not addressing your feelings could, over time, create a tension in your friendship. Healthy, strong relationships are built on trust and communication, even communicating about and through sometimes difficult topics. If you can honestly give up your attraction and be happy with the strong platonic friendship you already have with your soul mate, then you could decide to keep your feelings to yourself. If they won't go away or they may lead to unhappiness, however, then you owe it to yourself and to your friendship to be open and honest about them. That frank communication, though, has to happen with the understanding that the feelings may very well not be reciprocated, and that there may be a period of awkwardness in your relationship as your friend deals with this information himself.

Maybe you want to bring up bisexuality in a conversation and see what your friend's thoughts are. Perhaps you'll learn something about him you don't yet know. On the other hand, be prepared to find him asking what your sudden interest in his sexual feelings towards women is all about. He might, in fact, already have suspected that you're attracted to him, as those emotions are sometimes difficult to hide.

It might make sense to ask yourself some questions, and see how you would answer them in your imagination as him. How might he take the information that you are attracted to him and want more than just a friendship? What is more important to you at this point? Having your friend remain your friend may be more important than possibly changing that relationship into a romantic one. Or, you may decide that you two could reasonably stay friends if something romantic didn't work out.

Life decisions, and smaller ones, too, involve risk, and it's up to you to choose how much risk is worth taking. There are a myriad of possibilities, but you need to make your own decision based on your priorities. It doesn't matter what decision you make, as long as you feel confident that you've thought it out and made one that feels right to you. Sometimes the outcome won't be what you planned, but that's the risk that forms an exciting, and sometimes challenging, aspect to our lives.

Alice

February 21, 2008

21422

To the reader:

I have to say that I have been in this situation before and it's a very difficult one to deal with. I actually started having sexual intercourse with him and he was confused...

To the reader:

I have to say that I have been in this situation before and it's a very difficult one to deal with. I actually started having sexual intercourse with him and he was confused about his sexuality because of it and ended things. It's one of the most difficult times I have been through, I thought it was something I had done. We are trying to stay friends but it is really rocky right now, I am hoping we can maintain our friendship that we had.

I think you should tell him how you feel because you need to let those feelings out, but make sure he knows that it is okay the way he feels about others and not act like you are forcing anything on him. I also would say that it would be best not to be romantic with him because he could change his mind and that will hurt you more than anything. I hope you the best.

March 28, 2007

21220

Dear Reader,

I too am familiar with this situation and thought I would comment.

I hope this will help some as I know the situation from another angle. I'm a straight female, and a...

Dear Reader,

I too am familiar with this situation and thought I would comment.

I hope this will help some as I know the situation from another angle. I'm a straight female, and a year or two ago my male best friend told me he was gay. I was shocked and, if I am to be honest, disappointed.

I loved him to bits and I still do. I guess in some ways if he did change his mind, I'd jump at the opportunity. But in other ways, I'm glad we never got the chance to risk losing everything we have.

I think he knows I used to love him that way, and I think that's why he was so gentle around the subject of his boyfriends, even though it was still natural for us to talk about stuff to do with boyfriends, etc.

Perhaps if your friend knows, he will confront you, like that guy above, but I know me and my best friend just formed an understanding.

He still tells me he loves me all the time, and it's allowed me to move on with everything. Because I know at the end of the day he does love me and he constantly reminds me of that. We hug, kiss (on the cheek) hang around in our incredibly close fashion and remind each other how we feel, but it's not in a sexual way. He's gay — that's just the way things are.

I hope my little ramblings have helped in some way. My advice is give him enough clues to catch on without chatting him up. And remember, just because he is gay doesn't mean he doesn't love you. Keep that thought with you and move on.

Cheers.

December 5, 2003

20519
Alice, I just thought I would comment on this because I am very familiar with this situation. I am a gay male, and my best friend is a straight female. A couple of months back, I started suspecting...
Alice, I just thought I would comment on this because I am very familiar with this situation. I am a gay male, and my best friend is a straight female. A couple of months back, I started suspecting that she is feeling attracted to me. This went on for some time, until she started getting jealous of my dates, and would start acting weird around them or would pick all sorts of faults in them. I really valued her friendship and did not want to end it. So, I just confronted her one day, and asked her if there's something I should know. In the ensuing discussion, it all came out, and she felt really embarrassed. I just explained to her that it was ok to have these feelings, but because of my sexuality, it would not be possible. Though she tried to get out of the discussion quickly, I went ahead and thoroughly discussed everything, just because if things were left unsaid, it would have made the relationship really awkward. Today, I feel great saying that we are still best friends, and I am glad everything came out in the open and we were able to work things out in a mature fashion. Thanks.