Ask Adam & Tony: Closet Love
"Dear Adam & Tony, I wonder if there is any help on being in love with someone who is straight? I'm currently still in the closet, but I am truly in love with one of my best friends.
He's straight, or at least I think he is, and I don't know how to handle it. I don't want to lose him as a friend, but it's hard to keep pretending.
What can I do? -- Steve"
Best friend. Straight. In love. Closet. Steve, youâ€™re not making this easy on yourself, are you? But these feelings are real and intense, and you clearly need to know what he thinks. First, what about you? If you are his best friend, what are you prepared to risk in telling him how you feel about him? If heâ€™s your best friend, is he that good a friend that he will react positively to your being honest with him? And what if he rejects your approaches and honesty: can you take that? Think on these things first before you decide how to act.
Itâ€™s a painful delight to be in love with someone who is so unobtainable, isnâ€™t it? When he doesnâ€™t know, and your love for him is secret, the feelings are all the more intense. But sometimes the power these feelings have over us comes precisely from the fact that they are hidden. At the moment youâ€™re in the closet. Youâ€™re used to things being secret. I would urge you to take that first step, and if your friend is indeed your best friend, take the risk of telling him youâ€™re gay.
Choose the right space and time, and let him know gently you want to share something intimate and special about the friendship you have together. Tell him how much his friendship means to you, and because of that, you want, you need to tell him you are gay. His reaction will tell you everything about whether or not you should go on to tell him how you really feel about him. Take that easy, one step at a time. But, no matter what happens to your relationship with your friend, you WILL feel better about being open and honest about who you really are. He should be privileged to have such a friend.
If he reacts positively to the news that youâ€™re gay, good. It may be that he shares your feelings, and this will take your friendship on to a new level. If he doesnâ€™t react well, you may have to move on at least for a while; sometimes people need time to get used to news of this type, and given time, he may appreciate your honesty and integrity. Whatever happens, life is too short to waste precious months of your life with fantasy relationships. Take the risk of moving from fantasy to reality. And may the fruits be sweet.
(Photo: Getty Images)
Life partners for more than 20 years, Adam Clark and Tony Dines are the United Kingdom's leading life coaches specializing in the needs of gay men. They have a private practice in London and offer face-to-face, telephone and email coaching to men throughout the world. Check their website for information about private consultations.
Do you have a question about how to improve your life or your dating situation? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org