4 août 2010

I don't want to stay lovesick but I don't know how to avoid it

I am desperately, passionately in love with my female best friend. Sadly, she’s hetero and was scared away from any interest in women by a bully coming on to her in grade school. I don’t know what to do, but can’t continue this way (which is to say lovesick). What course of action do you recommend? I know I can try to control it but it’s hard. Thanks in advance for your understanding.

Sue York

Hi Elaine,

Once I had a huge crush on a heterosexual friend and I still think about her years after. I understand what you feel the inability to “continue this way”. It is torturous when you keep such a strong emotion to yourself or when your love feelings are not reciprocated. However, you might worry that your friendship might be at risk if you tell her how you feel, given her current hetero state and her bullied experience in the past. You might feel in limbo because these two instant answers do not seem to be right. Indeed, things have to be changed because it is not a comfortable position you are in right now.

Here are my questions: how do you want the situation to be changed? Do you want to stay close to your best friend but somehow feel less love sick? Or do you want to keep a certain distance from her as a way to give yourself some breathing room or moments of reflection? Does she know your sexual orientation? Is your friendship solid enough if you open up to her?

On the one hand, if you incline to be close to her, you might consider a different way of thinking. You might want to tell yourself that this is someone impossible (at least for now) to be with romantically, but it is still fortunate to be close, to grow together, and to share experiences. Loving her, in this sense, involves respecting her sexual orientation, because love cannot be forced upon someone. On the other hand, if you think keeping some distance from her might make you feel less love sick, do it gently. This is not to ask her to ‘get lost’ or to scare her away. Rather, it is an opportunity to find the right balance and distance between you two while protecting yourself.

Falling in love is not something we can control as if we were involuntarily thrown into a situation. Having the moments of space is thus important for you since you might feel drowned in strong emotions. Either way, take this caught-in-between awkwardness as an opportunity to learn more about love and relationships. Most importantly, be patient, listen to what your heart and her heart tell you. You will come up with the best decision.

Feel free to come back if you have more questions.

Best Luck!

Y. for AlterHéros