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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » Fallen Head Over Heels for my Homophobic, Straight Best Friend

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Author Topic: Fallen Head Over Heels for my Homophobic, Straight Best Friend
Sans
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I am in a real bind because I am in love with my best friend who is not only straight but also homophobic....I have had feelings for her for about 5 years now.

What do you think I should do? Recently it has become more difficult than ever to suppress my feelings. I cannot seem to think of her as just a friend anymore, and I am not sure if I ever can again. Pretty soon it will probably begin to affect our friendship.

I do not wish to impose my feelings on her by any means. But, then, how should I fix my gradual slip of control?

Last night, in a fit of frustration, I thought that it might be good for me to confess to her. I am positive that she will react negatively to my coming out (this assumption is based on her averse reactions to various hints I dropped here and there regarding homosexuality). I think, afterwards, it might be advisable to end our friendship. She most likely will not want a relationship with me; in any case, I want to respect her feelings. Due to the fact that I cannot see her as just a friend anymore and I am having trouble hiding it, our "friendship" cannot literally continue. In this case, I think that it might be the best for the both of us if we are no longer friends. She will not have to feel uncomfortable around me, and I, after hearing her rejection verbalized, can finally commence to get over this infatuation.

I don't know what to do with myself. Is there a way to get over these troublesome feelings without having to resort to extreme means as described above? Heather stated, in another post, that feelings of infatuation eventually go away. But is it really advisable to wait in this situation? There is no way for me to determine exactly how long they will last. And, also, my friend will eventually start dating someone (she plans to sometime), which will complicate things for me even further. I don't think that I can handle the emotional turmoil and awkwardness in the event of such a thing happening without making my unwanted, unreciprocated feelings obvious.

Also, one last thing to consider; some may point out that, since we are best friends, the loss of our friendship will cause her pain and therefore is not a considerate course of action to take. I believe differently, however; I believe (again, such an assumption is backed by her reactions to various hints I dropped) that once she learns of my attraction to women (and to her, which, in the event of us continuing to be friends, is inevitable), that she will either, firstly, not want to be friends with me anymore, or secondly, attempt to convert me to the heterosexual orientation which will only cause more emotional distress for both of us. Taken in this context, I believe that confessing and then ending the friendship is the most painless and emotionally sound choice out of all the ones that I've thought of.

I sound quite ridiculous, even to me. Please help me. I am at my wits' end.

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kachina
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When you ask what should you do, I'm confused why you think you need to DO anything? And what do you mean by "slip of control"? Are you saying you are not able to control doing something to her or saying something, or what? Not being able to control our actions is an entirely different problem than infatuation. Liking someone romantically does not make us not have control of our bodies.

If your friend does not have the same feelings for you as you do for her, there really isn't anything you can do about that. It doesn't mean you need to not be friends, although you could do that if you wanted to. I've had crushes on friends that weren't interested in me before, and I just did nothing except have the crush. Crushing on someone doesn't need to mean you have to do anything with them... Eventually my feelings passed.

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~Kat
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Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

Posts: 876 | From: Seattle | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sans
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Hmmmm....I do hope that this infatuation eventually passes.

And by "slip of control", it does not have anything to do with my body. What I mean by that is I cannot seem to help dropping hints, even though I never planned to in the first place. I never planned to pursue a relationship with her. However, recently, I find myself wishing that she would give, if not us, then the concept of homosexual and LGBTQ in general a second thought. When I hear her comment on homosexuality as being "unnatural", "weird", etc. and cover her eyes when seeing someone crossdressing, it hurts me, partly because I have feelings for her and she'd most likely think that I'm "weird" and "unnatural" if she knew. But she is my best friend; given the nature of our friendship, isn't it better for her to know of my orientation and then decide from there if she still want to be friends or not? I'm getting rather tired of hiding this from her because, the fact is, she might have a completely different opinon of me once she knows, and my sexuality is an important part of myself and part of my identity.

Please excuse my rather unorganized thoughts....I am still getting them together [Smile]

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Heather
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You know, I'd say that it sounds like this friendship has got to be pretty uncomfortable for you right now JUST on the basis of her homophobia and the way she's talking and behaving.

So, it sounds to me like, yes, it might be better to just come out (if you feel safe doing that with her, and I'd certainly get if you didn't, especially emotionally) and let the chips fall where they may. Because just around a friendship alone, you obviously can't be or get very close if you have to hide where you are and if you're feeling so -- validly -- stung by her attitudes so much. So, if she really isn't going to be able to deal, continuing to invest a lot of energy into this friendship, and keeping yourself around all of this, strikes me as something that probably isn't very healthy for you and also isn't a sound investment.

Cultivating and growing friendship, after all, is something that takes the kind of time and energy and investment any relationships does, so we always want to think about what we're investing in and if it's really right for us.

That said, I do think telling her about your romantic feelings would be pretty fruitless and she might react very hurtfully, so THAT really doesn't seem like an emotionally safe thing for you to do to me, at all.

Lastly, it sounds like what you probably want to do right now is decide if just leaving the friendship is best for you, like you talked about in your first post, or if you want to tell her about your orientation and see how that goes. I'd say that most likely a lot of that choice will hinge on how safe you feel, including if you will be able to get emotional support from anyone else you're close to if she reacts badly, which does seem likely.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bump on a log
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quote:
Originally posted by SansNom:
Is there a way to get over these troublesome feelings without having to resort to extreme means as described above? Heather stated, in another post, that feelings of infatuation eventually go away. But is it really advisable to wait in this situation? There is no way for me to determine exactly how long they will last.

You're right in what you say in that last sentence. If you have had feelings for her for five years and you still do, well, your feelings may not be about to go away any time soon. But it's also possible that they may. I can't say.

quote:
Originally posted by SansNom:
And, also, my friend will eventually start dating someone (she plans to sometime), which will complicate things for me even further. I don't think that I can handle the emotional turmoil and awkwardness in the event of such a thing happening without making my unwanted, unreciprocated feelings obvious.

Maybe not. On the other hand, you might be surprised. People can often bear more than they think they can. When I was in those shoes, minus the homophobia element, I hated the guy she was dating's guts until I met him and then I rather liked him. She never knew that I was also murderously jealous, even when I was living under the same roof as the pair of them. On the other other hand, I'm a socially awkward person and everyone can see it, so I have what is probably an unusual amount of leeway around acting odd. On the third hand, if she's homophobic she may be unusually unwilling to consider the possibility that her same-sex best friend has feelings for her.

quote:
Originally posted by SansNom:
some may point out that, since we are best friends, the loss of our friendship will cause her pain and therefore is not a considerate course of action to take.

I don't know what you think of considering this from a utilitarian point of view, but that's what I'd be inclined to do. What kind of relationships does she have with her other friends? Are you the only one she's really close to, or does she have a couple of other pretty close friends, even though you're her best friend? Do you think that the situation as it is is causing you more pain than the loss of your friendship would cause her?

quote:
Originally posted by SansNom:
Taken in this context, I believe that confessing and then ending the friendship is the most painless and emotionally sound choice out of all the ones that I've thought of.

Then do that. You know yourself, her and the situation best.

quote:
Originally posted by SansNom:
I sound quite ridiculous, even to me.

You don't to me. This is a very common, very powerful, very difficult experience. Some famous people who went through it: Stephen Fry, A. E. Housman, W. H. Auden, Thomas Mann, Alan Turing, Alan Bennett, Siegfried Sassoon, T. H. White, Hans Christian Andersen, Lindsay Anderson. I went through it and it was the central emotional experience of my life, and that, as I said, was without the homophobia added. The homophobia must make everything a heck of a lot more difficult for you.

Forgot to say: I like your username. [Smile]

[ 01-27-2012, 02:40 PM: Message edited by: bump on a log ]

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Sans
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Thank you all SO much for your replies! XD

I was feeling quite alone in my situation, and didn't have anyone to talk to about this because..wellll.....I haven't come out to anyone outside of family yet, since the majority of my friends go to the same school as me, the very same, generally homophobic school...I guess that the reason why I'm blabbing like this is because I'm so happy that I have Scarleteen to come to when I have these issues...^_^

Btw, thank you, bump on a log. *Takes a bow* I got the idea for my username because one of my friends uses it as his email, and I thought that it was extremely cool so I adopted it. [Smile]

*ahem* Back to the topic. I thought a great deal about what you stated, Heather, regarding the fact that she may handle it badly if I tell her of my orientation, and that I should make sure first to have emotional support from someone I'm close to. *sweatdrop* Well, my mother reacted to my coming out by advising me not to tell anyone that I am also attracted to women. My best friend's mother and my mother are friends, so it is quite likely that my mother might end up hearing of this, and I'm not sure how she will take it.....my best friend tells her mother everything (and not just her mother, but also her pastor and spiritual leaders), including things about me that she was "concerned" about in the past, and it was passed onto my mother promptly, and I was ultimately sat down and talked to.....

So, long story short, I'm not quite sure about the whole emotional support thing....if this turns out badly my mother might just state that it is a lesson to be learnt for the future and that it's not a good idea to tell others about my orientation.

To bump on a log: your points really hit it home, especially the one regarding the fact that the situation might be causing me more pain than it will for her, since she might have more friends. My answer? You are absolutely right. [Smile] She does have tons of friends, whereas I am distant and reluctant to let other get close to me. (Her friends even compete for the title of her "most closest friend" O.o). That's why her opinion touches me so near, actually....it's not just the homophobia in the situation, it's also the fact that she's my only friend that I talk to and hang out with outside of class time.....so I'm feeling quite conflicted. [Frown]

On one hand, I could talk to her, end the friendship, and possibly risk the issue getting through to her parents, her church (which I sometimes attend), and my mother, or I could remain in this situation as is. Neither of them are appealing in the least. [Frown]

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moonlight bouncing off water
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You mother telling you to not tell anyone about your orientation sounds very unsupportive and homophobic to me. To be sure, there will be people who react badly if you come out to them, but there will also be people who react in a positive fashion. While some people may choose to hide their orientation their whole lives, that is a very stressful route.

As Heather suggested, I would also suggest that if you decide to come out to your friend, it would be better to not also tell her about your feelings for her at that time.

I'd say as per the friendship, it is probably something you could figure out after coming out to her (whether to maintain the friendship or not)should you choose to do so.

So, do you want to come out to her?

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~moonlight

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Posts: 864 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sans
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To: Moonlight

For sure, I'd like to come out to my friend, but there are many things that could go awry. I don't know if I made it clear enough on my previous post, but my friend tends to tell her mother everything. This is a cause for concern because 1) her family is homophobic/biphobic etc., you get the idea and 2) her family is friends with mine, and my family is also homophobic to some degree. So it is likely that if I do come out, this WILL get to her family and back to mine. Being of a particular religious sect that advocates speaking out bluntly against whatever they see as being wrong (no offense to anyone reading this who is religious), her family might attempt to persuade my mother to get me "help".

You make a really good point in stating that there will be people who react positively, and others who will be negative and critical. Thus, as I gather, it is best to live for who you really are. You're undoubtlessly right. But I don't know if I'm brave enough, at this point, to live up to that. I don't know if I will be able to assert my identity confidently even when full-blown criticism and derision (maybe even insults) are hurled at me. I suppose that I care too much about what people say. But I don't think that I will ever get to a point where those sharp comments cease to hurt, especially when they could be coming from my closest friends. Therein my dilemma.

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Oh of course those comments will hurt! It's really painful to have some one insult you, especially when they full heatedly believe every insult they throw. And of course it is even more painful for that to come from close friends, these are the people who are supposed to support you.

I'm no stranger to the 'small town = close minded ' issue. I'm really lucky to have a group of friends who's worst fault in terms of homophobia is believing to some extent in stereotypes. They're all perfectly fine with my bisexuality and don't treat me even a bit different for it. But outside of my circle of friends the close minded homophobia is over bearing. My family isn't super homophobic, so I'm lucky in that respect too, although I haven't been able to permanently come out to them (it's a long story). So what's the point of the above rambling? Coming out is hard, and scary and I understand if you don't want to.

You need to decide if the hurt you will likely experience after coming out to her, and the ramifications that you will likely experience within your family, are worth dealing with. What I mean is: is it more important to you, right now, to be honest about your sexuality, or to be free from the pain coming out to her might cause.

As per your friend's family convincing yours to "get you 'help'", do you think that this is something your family would likely do? As you're aware, that is just an awful thing for anyone to do to anyone else, and I'm certain that it is something that you want to avoid happening. Perhaps you could let your parents know that you are thinking of coming out to your friend and see how they react?

In a situation like this you could be better off to wait until you aren't dependent on your parents anymore. Do you get the sense that your parents would do anything crazy, like refuse to help you pay for post secondary education, if you came out to your friend? (of course the getting you "help" thing is horrible enough as it is).

Ultimately, would you feel safe is you came out to your friend? Is it more worth it to you to be honest about your identity, or to be protected from your community's homophobia?

--------------------
~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Sans
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No, I do not think that my mom will do anything crazy, but she might be upset at me.

And no, ultimately, I do not feel safe coming out to my friend, even though it is important to me to be honest about my identity. I think that she will also be upset, and will most probably engage me in an argument about the "despicable nature" of homo-/bi-sexuality.

Why do I come to such conclusions? Because, as I mentioned before, she couldn't even bear to allow herself to look at a crossdressing individual on television. Also, she constantly argues with her atheist friends, trying to persuade them that her particular religion is the "only true one" (again, no offense to any religious friends out there). If she will do that for religion, how much more for the matter of queer sexuality, which she claims goes against not only religion, but also her personal self?

Thank you for helping me sort out this issue. I realized that my previous desire to come out to her is, ultimately, considered from all points of view, not a good choice (at least for now).

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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