Monday, September 05, 2011

Email from a gay guy in love with a childhood friend

A couple of months ago, I received the following email from a loyal reader:

Dear GB,

I've been following your blog since the very start.

Now I decided to write to you because I've been so much appreciative of your wise replies.

I'm a European man, aged 30. I've known a guy since we both were 11.

He is gay but, at the time, neither of us knew it. We absolutely adored one another (and still do) so we were acting like boyfriends, although, of course, no sex was involved.

Subsequently he fell in love with someone else, and then, when he was 21, he moved to another city, where he found another partner with whom he now lives.

Still, we kept being friends, and I mean really close, really intimate friends, getting constantly in touch with each other through the Internet and in real life.

Nothing sexual ever happened between us since he is in a faithful relationship, but I know he likes me and it's not something just physical.

I think we both know we are, like, soul partners, but we now live so far away (500 miles) and moreover, like I said, he's got a b/f.

I just can't let it go. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Do you think that maybe one day we could end up together?

Having read this email, my initial thoughts were that the reader was wasting his life by pinning all his hopes for happiness on becoming boyfriends with his old childhood friend, which wasn't very likely. So I sent him an email, in which I suggested that his best course of action might involve finding himself his own boyfriend. Within a couple of says he'd sent me the following reply:

Hi GB,

I did find my own b/f throughout these years. I had a several year relationship which ended some years ago. I did love my b/f, at the time. But, as you can see, this occurrence did not tarnish my feelings for my friend; as soon as I was single again and the sadness for the ended relationship passed, I kept dreaming of him.

I don't rule out finding someone else - again. It's just that I still hope that something happens, one day, with my friend of a lifetime. It's my little, innocent dream. Something sexual? I wouldn't say no. A relationship? Yeah, I'd definitely give it a try. Even if it doesn't work, I know we'll always be in each other's lives.

My question to you was: do you think this may happen? After all, he finds me very attractive. :)

Thanks, GB. I'll be waiting for your reply ;)

At the time, there were a few other "Dear GB" emails to be posted before this reader's email, so I wasn't able to didn't get round to answering his queries immediately. A few weeks went by, and then I received another email from him which was as follows:

A quick update for you, G.B. - I really hope I'm not bothering too much.

My childhood friend, and his b/f almost split up a week ago. He didn't tell me anything but I got to know the news reading his blog (he doesn't know that I found it out!)

At that point, I noticed he started to share suggestive jokes with me and I'm sure he was about to move our friendship to another level; but, very soon after, they reconciled and he went back to his former friendly behaviour.

It wasn't much of a change but, you know, the timing with his private happenings was just perfect. So now I know, almost for sure, I must be his second choice. Wow!

Thanks for reading


In my reply, I warned him to be careful, because it's very hard for people in his position to be objective. In that kind of situation, whatever the news, people will often find a way of interpreting it so that they hear what they want to hear.

Thinking about his situation a bit more, I'm quite worried that the reader appears to be stalking his friend. The fact that he's worked out that his friend has a blog and is reading it behind his friend's back is strong evidence of this. With that state of mine, I feel that nothing good can come out of this state of affairs. So I think the first thing that the reader should do is to find a way of telling his friend that he knows about his blog. Close friends shouldn't keep those sorts of secrets from each other, and that's even truer of two boyfriends.

I also think the reader has made some dangerous assumptions about his friendship with this old friend. In particular, it's dangerous to assume that they would remain friends if they tried a relationship and it failed. When he reads that, no doubt the reader will say to himself that such a thing couldn't happen, because he wouldn't let the relationship fail and even if it did they couldn't possibly lose their friendship. But his love for his friend means that he can't be objective. Those things certainly are possible.

Even if his old friend does split up with his boyfriend again, it might be better to remain close friends instead of becoming boyfriends. Emotionally, the reader's life would be much richer if he has both this old friend of his to rely on as well as his own boyfriend to love. Pursuing a relationship with his old friend is dangerous in the sense that he's "putting all his eggs in one basket".

The reader needs to be careful in other ways too. He should certainly avoid being the cause of his a split between his friend and his friend's boyfriend, because if his friend then got back together with his boyfriend it might sour his old friendship. Something else which might cause their friendship to sour is if the friend discovers the reader's current obsession for him, and the fact that the reader has been reading his friend's blog.

Overall, it seems to me that the reader's current fixation on his friend is very unhealthy and could get worse. I think it makes a relationship between the two of them much more likely to fail, if it ever becomes possible. So I'm convinced that the reader's best course of action is to find a way of curing his obsession, so that he can get on with own life and try and find his own boyfriend. Telling his friend that he's found his blog would be a good start. Then if the reader is following his own path and his friend does become available for a relationship, the reader will be in a much better position to make it work if he chooses to go down that route. But it seems to me that ending this obsession and focusing on other guys is the thing to start doing right now.

Do any other readers have any thoughts about this situation?