July 2, 2012

What To Do When You Fall In Love With Your Best Friend

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What is the issue?

I used to think that falling in love with your best friend was only something that happened on TV shows or in the movies. Does it really happen in real life? Do people really just wake up one day and realize that the person who has never given them boners is actually their soulmate?

Yes. Yes they do.

In gay relationships, it’s easy for the line between friend and lover to get all smudgy. Like, I’ve thought about sleeping with most of my gay male friends at some point and sometimes I actually do. But there’s a difference between wanting to see one of your friends naked and actually thinking that you could fall in love with them. What I’m talking about here are the friends you could fall in love with, the ones you see and just want to hug and kiss and lay in bed with, long after the orgasm fades. The ones that actually cause you pain because you can’t just run up to them and start making out.

Recently, my friend asked me for some advice. She thinks she’s falling in love with her best friend but is too afraid to act on it. The fear of being rejected and subsequently losing the friendship seems like too much of a price to pay for her feelings. She couldn’t fathom losing him as a friend. He means too much to her.

Here’s what I say to that: Screw it. Screw the friendship and just go for it. If you’re developing strong feelings for a friend, you’re probably in constant misery anyway. Think about it. Realistically, can you do this forever? Can you actually deal with this pain and this longing for an indefinite period of time? You can if you’re a glutton for punishment. Otherwise, the answer would be no. Face it, you like this person too much to just be their friend. It’s not fair to either of you if you’re not being honest.

I once said something along those same lines, years ago, when I found myself falling for my best friend. I told him that I liked him and he responded, “I think I like you too but I really don’t want to sacrifice the friendship.” I said back, “Look, I’ll be real. I can’t be your friend. I like you so much that being your friend feels like torture so I have to do this. I have to either try dating you and see if it works or not be your friend at all.”

It seems like a “way harsh, Tai” response, right? I’m being selfish. There’s no doubt about that. But here’s how I look at it: There are so few people you really connect with in this world. There are so few people with whom it really makes sense, so you can’t let your fear get in the way of going after someone you love. Don’t let your fear cockblock you from experiencing something that could be potentially great.

If your feelings aren’t reciprocated and the friendship falls apart, well, of course that’s devastating. But you need to understand that it would’ve been devastating either way. If you hadn’t said anything, it would’ve felt terrible. You probably wouldn’t have tried to date or look for anybody else. Why would you when you’re already spending all your time with someone you love? At least now you know and you can start to move on. You can push your life forward. You no longer have to be stagnant and wait for something that’s not going to come.

If I have feelings for someone who’s not interested in me or is already taken, I can’t really be around them. Again, I know this sounds selfish but the alternative feels worse. I was hanging out with this guy awhile ago and started to develop a huge crush on him. Oh my gosh, he was just so cute and funny and smart! Then, just as we were starting to get to know each other, he tells me that he has a boyfriend. I was soooo “high school” bummed out about it and I knew immediately that this meant I couldn’t pursue a friendship with this dude. I had a crush on him the second we met. I didn’t want to be his friend. I wanted to date him! Why would I want to settle for anything less? I had to cut it off for the sake of my own emotional well-being.

If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation of falling for a close friend, my advice is to always just tell them. Yes, you’re risking a lot but you owe it to yourself to take those risks. In order for anything good to happen in your life, you have to be the one to propel it forward. You have to take care of yourself and not worry so much about what other people will say or think. You know what happens to people who never took chances or were always frozen in fear? They become a cat lady with a Xanax prescription. AVOID THIS FATE BY GROWING A PAIR OF BALLS AND JUST TELLING YOUR BFF YOU ARE IN LOVE WITH THEM! TC Mark

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