I actually have a gay best friend, as cliché as it seems, and we have actually been friends for five years now and are as close as can be.
We work on many work-related projects with one another. We spend Friday nights together. We go out and pick-up guys. And, we share every low and high time together. So, when he told me that he had been in love with me for three years you can imagine my shock.
He was leaving for an internship in Arizona for five months and in light of this event we had dinner to exchange, gifts, thoughts, and goodbyes. The card I read, and it is not something I can ever forget, “I waited because I didn’t know how you would react, but “Cindy” I love you.”
My entire existence turned 180 degrees. In shock, I didn’t say anything. I just cried and exchanged hugs. On the way to the airport I could no longer contain myself and I asked him if he meant it like that. Of course he did and we discussed what it meant for the two of us. He had loved me for three years now, and he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. He said he would never risk hurting me, and couldn’t lose me as a best friend and if we got there as a life-long partner. What it came down to was, “I’m attracted to men, but I’m in love with a woman.”
So, he didn’t really love me, he just had a deep affection for me (?)
We arrived at the airport, and he kissed me, took his luggage, and left for Arizona. I got in my car with the anger of all the lands in my eyes. How could he tell me this and then leave? Send the world shattering then make me pick up the pieces? Tell me he wants me for life than say maybe not? I am so angry at him for copping out. I’m so angry with him for not having a solution, and I am so angry at him for saying, “maybe not.”
Because I do believe he loves me. In fact, he is not the first person to tell me that my gay best friend has gone straight for me. After discussing this with a close friend, and if the things he told me are true, then it must also be true that there is some sort of attraction. When I fall asleep he holds my hands and yanks them away before I wake-up. He drops everything for me. He told me that the only secret he ever kept from me could destroy our relationship. He told me that he got involved with men at a young, confusing, depressive stage in his life and it may have given him solace when he really needed it. But, also it may have led him to believe he was a homosexual.
Even more, he has never enjoyed any of his sexual encounters. At a time in his life when everything was changing, his sexuality in what he had as a stabilizer. The close friend even believes that his recent streak of promiscuity was probably in an effort to assure himself that he was gay. Moreover, he just said he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. That he’s been in love with me for three years. So, while it’s possible that he does not love me, and that he’s merely confused, I do believe that he is in fact in love with me.
Yet, he had no plan, no solution, and he didn’t know what he wants to do. He would have to stop seeing guys, he would have to date me, and he would have to be open to heterosexual attraction. However, these are conclusions I have come to after he has left, after it has been left up to him. Moreover, these are conclusions I have come to, not him.
So I’m sure you are going to ask, “Do you love him?” Well, I don’t know, but I think I may. I’ve never felt that way about him, but I have a very tight reign on my emotions, so it would be natural that I would never open up that door to a gay man. I felt in those thirty seconds my world shift. Something I’ve never felt before. I think I do love him, but I don’t want to say that if he doesn’t love me.
In the meantime, he is gone. I am angry. I am confused. I don’t know what to do. I need him to be my best friend. I need him to figure this out too. – Confused Gay/Straight Love
Dear Ms. Confused Gay/Straight Love,
I guess I’m at a loss as well. I mean, your gay best friend, the man you pick up guys with, spend lots of quality together, and have been there through thick and thin, confesses his undying love for you and then jets off to another state. And, you’re wondering if you love him, and if he could “really” love you because for all you know he is gay. Also, you want to know how to move forward, and where do you put your feelings and emotions because he has left you hanging.
Well, let’s see here: He is gay. He is and has been in intimate relationships with men. As far as you know he’s never been with a woman, and told you that he is attracted to men. Therefore, he is gay.
He shared with you that when he was young, he went through a confusing and depressive stage and as a result he found solace in being with men. Hmmm, so, he found solace by sleeping with men? Or, was he confused and depressive because he was fighting his desires, and knew he was gay, but because he was young and it was hard for him to accept his sexuality. He desperately wanted to resist his desires, and he probably really wanted to be like his friends, and desire women. But, he knew he was different.
He was afraid of losing his friends, and loved ones. He didn’t want to be ostracized by those he loved, and he really and truly wanted to be accepted for who he was. However, he was unable to resist his desires and began sleeping with men. But, later, he regretted it because like most men who are struggling with their sexuality, they resent and regret the act afterward because they are uncomfortable and unhappy in their own skin. They hate that they give in to their urges, desire, and true nature. They fight, hoping and wishing it will go away, but it doesn’t. It grows stronger, and then they start developing feelings, emotions, and physical attractions. And, no matter how hard they don’t want to be gay, it’s just their DNA. It’s just who they are. But, this is just my assumption.
I have no doubt that he loves you. However, I feel that his love is not a romantic love, but a endearing love for a best friend, a confidante. He loves you because you allow him to feel comfortable in his skin and he can be himself without you casting any judgment and criticism on him. You accept him for who he is, and this gives him the freedom to be himself. Therefore, it explains his loyalty to you. He will do anything for you. He enjoys your company. He loves that he can share anything with you. You his open ear, shoulder to lean on, and comforter. And, he does not want to lose his best friend because you are the one person who loves him unconditionally.
Yet, these feelings and emotions he has for you can easily be misconstrued or confused with romantic love. You have given him the space and comfort to express a love that he truly desires to share with another man. But, he has been unsuccessful in his quest for romantic relationships with men. And, this is due to his fear of actually being in love with another man because he is not in love with himself. Until he learns to love himself, and love who he is, then he will continue to sabotage his relationships with men, and continue to struggle to have any requited love with another man. His promiscuity is his search for acceptance of himself. He is acting out sexually only because he refuses to allow himself to be his true authentic self – A gay man. You are the only source of stability he has, and therefore he loves the stability you give him.
His desires to be with men, his attraction to men, and his unsuccessful relationships with men has been and will continue to be his struggle unless he comes to terms with his sexuality, and accepts who he is.
So, with that, let’s address the fact that you mentioned that you are not sure if you love him, and you’ve never looked at him in that way and you’ve never felt that way about him. You also mentioned that because you’ve always known him to be gay, and you cannot open yourself up to be with a gay man. Then, I think you have your answer on where this is going, and what to do next.
I do agree that he should not have dumped this on you, and then left with no explanation, and no resolution. That was selfish, but then again he has led his life selfishly, particularly when it comes to his emotions and feelings. Notice the trail of men he has left behind, and how he has not had any successful relationships with men. And, now you’re in that mix. If you love someone you don’t do what he did to you by confessing his undying love for the past three years, and then leave in some dramatic fashion as he made his exit. That’s a drama queen!
But, again, and because he doesn’t know how to handle emotions, and other people’s feelings, especially his own, he did what he only knew best how to do. He ran, left you to pick up the pieces, and left you with unanswered questions. That’s what he has always done, and will continue to do until he gets help, into therapy and counseling, and deal with his sexuality head on.
He runs when things get too intense. He runs when it’s time to confront himself and his feelings. You don’t have time for this, and you should assess the situation for what it truly is: He is a gay man trying to find himself. He is running from his emotions, feelings, and true desires, and his love for you is not some romantic, physical, endearing love. It is a friend’s deep love who truly cares for, supports, and encourages another friend.
You can call him, and let him know you are there for him, and that he should get into therapy and counseling with a specialist in an LGBT center in Arizona. He can talk with someone who can help him redirect his feelings and emotions, and hopefully resolve his issues of fear and hatred of himself. And, you can also begin picking up the shattered pieces he left you with, and put your life and yourself back together. You love him, but you are not in love with him. This incident just stunned you, temporarily put you into a tailspin, and had you reconsidering some things between the two of you. You’ve been a good friend who supported, nurtured, and allowed him to be himself without any question. That’s what he needed, and you gave that to him. Now, it’s time to love yourself, be good to you, and provide yourself with the same unconditional love. – Terrance Dean
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