Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Email from a guy who's keen on his best friend

A few weeks ago, I got the following email from a new reader:

Dear GB,

I'm newly acquainted to your blog, but from what I've seen so far, your guidance and solutions are marvellous. That is why I'm seeking your help. You see, I have a typical story. I'm in love with my best friend. I'm 18, short, and a bit shy and feeble. He sees me more of a playful little brother. He's smart, sweet, clever, a bit devious, and caring, even to a point where he deals with my annoying antics. My friend has a girlfriend, and not to be rude, but she is completely wrong for him. First off she lied to him in the start for impersonating a guy. Then my friend worries about her to death. From drugs and alcohol to being jealous of her friends, and because of the distance he feels so helpless. The problems are all in his head, plus he's obsessed with her and can go on for hours in detail about her. I'm glad he can show such passion for this but how can I convince him that she's no good and that he'd be better off with me?

Sincerely, a smitten friend from afar.

When I first read the email, the reader's situation seemed quite clear, because it reminded me of the way I felt about some of my best male friends when I was his age. So it was clear to me that he was a young gay guy who had a crush on one of his straight friends. That's never a good idea, because those situations usually end badly, often with a loss of friendship.

However, the reader clearly wasn't thinking along those lines. To help him come to terms with the situation, I sent him an email in which I suggested that the title of this post should be "Email from a guy with a crush on his best friend". Within a couple of days he replied, saying that he wasn't sure yet what an appropriate title would be. The good thing about that comment is that he'd clearly started thinking about whether he did have a crush on his friend or not. I responded by saying that although I'd use the word "keen" rather than "crush", the original title might be closer to the truth. I went on to suggest that he should start thinking about how to find himself a nice boyfriend, in case the situation with his friend didn't work out.

The description that the reader gives of his friend, and especially the fact that his friend worries about his girlfriend, strongly suggests to me that his friend is straight. So the honest truth is that I see little hope that the reader and his friend might become boyfriends. However, although the reader doesn't mention it, my best guess is that the reader hasn't come out to his best friend yet. If the reader feels comfortable with his sexuality, then I think he should come out to his friend. The way the friend reacts should then guide the reader in terms of whether his friend really is straight or not. Then even if the friend is straight, with everything out in the open, it seems likely that at least the two of them will remain friends.

Does anyone else have any thoughts for this reader?