Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Email from a guy with feelings for a male friend

About three weeks ago, a reader sent me the following email:

Dear GB,

I need some advice! In short I am wondering if I should tell my friend of 6 years I have feelings for him, or if I should stay quiet and remain friends.

We have been friends since high school and now we go to different universities. I came out to him last year. It wasn't a big deal and we didn't talk much about it, but the topic came up again recently. I visited him at his frat last weekend and we ended up drinking quite a bit. He told me that he is bisexual, or thinks he may be. It was a large step for him to say that, and he is just starting to come to terms with it. Later that night we end up in the same bed and we kiss. He told me he wasn't ready to go any further, and things ended there. The next morning we don't say much about it. We could easy blame it on the alcohol and pretend it didn't happen. He is on a short trip now so we haven't talked since.

When I see him next I don't know to say. I have feelings for him and I think he feels the same way. I'm afraid he won't be happy to hear what I have to say, since he is only started to deal with his sexuality. We've been friends for quite a while and it wouldn't bother me to keep things the same. At the same time, I do want him to know how I feel, but it could end up ruining our friendship too.

What should I do!?

When I read this email, it reminded me that for a while I thought that perhaps I was bisexual. I think a lot of gay guys go through the same thing. When we realise that we're not heterosexual, our upbringing make us want to be 'almost' heterosexual, so we go through a phase when we think we're bisexual even if we've never been particularly attracted to girls! So it could well be that this reader's friend is on the same path and that eventually he'll realise that he's actually gay. Indeed, it can sometimes turn out that two friends who've known each for a while both end up being gay, because even if the two guys haven't come out yet they're likely to have similar attitudes that make the friendship work.

Since the reader seems to have no problem being gay, hopefully he'll be able to help his friend accept his sexuality, whatever it turns out to be. However, an admission of Big Love isn't likely to help this process. It may even be harmful if it shocks the guy, because one can be quite emotionally fragile during this period.

A much better idea would be for the reader to take small, baby steps towards his goal, which is presumably some type of relationship with this guy. Given that they're at different universities they're unlikely to meet unless they travel to see each other, so perhaps the reader should occasionally contact the guy and say that it would be nice to meet up again. And when they do meet up, perhaps try and get him into bed again and go a bit further :-). Even if they just kiss and cuddle a bit, spending the whole night in the same bed would be good, because waking up together would make it difficult to pretend that it didn't happen!

Does anyone else have any thoughts for this reader?


Anonymous said...

I fully agree with the GB that the story of the Big Love should be better left for some later time.

Equally so, pushing the envelope to far will be far less productive than doing the 'baby steps' as recommended by the GB.

If possible, I would try to impress upon the reader's friend two points:

First off, it may be useful to put the things into a bit broader prospective. The sun still rises every morning, and sets every evening, too. Adopting a healthy dose of personal humility by recognizing that the whole universe does not turn around me and my self-discoveries may be very helpful. It may reduce the amount of dramatic suffering many people experience largely as an inappropriately high price for being raised to be very self-centered.

Second off, being gay within the context of western European and north American urban cultures these days happens to be an issue of minimal gravity at its best. No one above the spiritual age of ten sees this as matter worth of any serious concern whatsoever.

Putting it in the proverbial nutshell:

"Dude, you are bi- or gay or whatever? No one really cares, we all wish you good luck, so feel free to cut off the drama, and move on."


Anonymous said...

Did you have 'feelings' other than friendship for him before the night together or is this something new?

My perspective is going to be totally unhelpful, I'm afraid.

If he's just coming to terms with being gay/bi then the chances are he'll either want to experiment with it now or later. As such, I doubt he's a good prospect for a long term relationship at this point, unless you want it to be an open one, which might freak him out.

If I were The Reader I'd force myself to hang back and take it easy. Be supportive and communicate. Hell, even fool around with him if it feels right, but certainly don't push for anything more at this point in his development.

Now, what if he pushes for a relationship? Well, tread carefully and go into it with your eyes open.

Having said that, I had a friend at Uni who was totally hot and who I would whack off thinking about (while he was banging his girlfriends in the next room). After school we got together and he told me he thought he might be gay because he didn't have much luck sticking with one girl. He laid the opportunity to screw his brains out right there in front of me and I passed because a) I had just started dating someone and b) I knew he was straight and c) I didn't want to risk our friendship.

In hindsight, I so should have taken the shot :-)


Fuel Mix said...

For an alternative take on this Str8/gay thing check out my gay blog

In the Search field at the top of the blog, type in "Yeah I'm Straight" for the posting that I wrote on it.

Antony said...

I completely agree with all of GB's comments.


Pesto Sauce said...

Been here first time...

Being bi-curious myself I adore guys are really creative