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Thread: In love with my straight best friend and losing her to the dating world

  1. #1
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    In love with my straight best friend and losing her to the dating world

    Hey there. I've been trying to deal with my feelings for probably a year or so now, and even though I've finally been able to admit them to myself a new turn of events just shattered my heart and I really just don't know what to do. This is kind of long so I apologize but here's the gist:

    I'm a 24 year old female and I've been in the closet pretty much forever. No one knows that I'm actually gay, although I have told a lot of people that I'm bisexual because it just seems to be more accepted (and I'm not ready to come out just yet I guess). A few years ago I met this girl in college and we got thrown together a lot because of a mutual classes and our similar involvement in the arts. I liked her right away and we became really fast friends and really fast BEST friends. It turns out that at this point in her life she was struggling a LOT with depression and anxiety, plus roommate/best friend issues. She often told me that she didn't have any friends and I always thought she was just kind of being dramatic but the more I got to know her the more I realize she really didn't have friends. Maria (let's call her that) was a super sweet, kind, fun to be around person so I didn't get why she didn't have any friends, so I befriended her. Due to her anxiety and abandonment issues this definitely wasn't the easiest thing to do, but I made myself available and we spent a lot of nights hanging out where she ended up sobbing on my shoulder about how horrible she was feeling. We became really close, and she became really clingy, but I didn't really mind because it was nice having someone who wanted to talk to me and hang out with me all the time. For awhile I thought she was romantically interested in me because of how absurdly close, cuddly, and touchy she was, but the longer our friendship went on the more I got to know her and realized that when she said she was straight she was really certain of it. She just craved human contact because I made her feel like she was worth something, which her depression wouldn't let her feel when she was alone. Even though I knew and accepted this I still fell head over heels in love with her.

    Fast forward a year or so and we decided to get an apartment together because we were in the same situation with finishing up school and it just made sense. I was excited to see her all the time and hang out all the time (because I was in love with her) and for awhile everything was great. Then, it wasn't. We started fighting a lot. She never cleaned so we had arguments about the cleanliness of the apartment, and whereas before when we didn't live together and still spent all of our time together we would go do things or watch movies or whatever, now she would just lay on the couch and take naps or scroll through social media and barely talk to me unless she was having some personal crises. I started to realize that I was putting much more effort into our relationship than she was (because I was in love with her) and it started to eat me up inside. I tried putting some distance between us in a way that wasn't friendship ending or cruel, but every time I do she has a panic attack or starts crying because she's so afraid of me leaving her. That breaks my heart so even if I am angry beyond belief, she manages to lure me right back in so that I can comfort her. Everything is always about Maria, no matter the situation, and I'm a pretty selfless person so I didn't mind. I know that depression and anxiety are awful and that she's going through a ton and sometimes couldn't help her moods or thoughts, but it got to the point where if I even breathed a little to loud she would have a meltdown of sorts because she thought I was mad at her. Living with her made me realize that I could never date her, we would probably kill each other, but I still can't shake those feelings. We moved out but remained close friends and that's where my current problem comes in.

    Maria downloaded a dating app and is talking to this boy who she really seems to like, who likes her too. They haven't gone on any dates yet but have one set. I know that as her best friend I should be thrilled for her but the idea of her dating someone is eating me up inside. I'm single and all of my friends seem to be in relationships (except for Maria) and now that it feels like I'm losing the only other person I have that gets it, it really hurts. Not to mention the huge fact that I am emotionally still in love with her. Even though I logically know it could never, ever work because she's straight and we aren't compatible.

    I guess I'm just scared that she's going to start dating this boy and isn't going to need me anymore. She won't make time to be my friend and she'll have someone else to go to with all of her problems. She isn't an easy person to be friends with because of her emotional issues but I still love her and I don't want to lose her or that connection that I have with someone, which is borderline dating without the physical stuff. I'm a mess right now because I don't even know what my problem is. I've thought about just cutting our friendship off and moving on with my life because she's generally just been dragging me down with her constant negativity but I can't bring myself to do that because I love her. Even though I'd get over the broken heart, a huge part of me is afraid that she would go to drastic lengths if she lost her closest/only friend and end up falling into a horrendous depression or even think about suicide...but the other part of me knows that if she starts actually dating this boy everything I've ever done will be forgotten as she drops me and latches on to him (only to come running back to me the second things go sour). I just don't know what to do right now except cry over everything so I am grateful for any advice or hope you guys can give me. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Your life will be a lot happier when you are able to be honest with yourself and others. You should also join some LGBT groups/clubs on or around campus for support and dating apps to find relationships. Trying to "covert" straight people is not being fair to yourself. It's also not fair to yourself to be secretly in love with someone who is straight then get upset that she treats it as a friendship, which it is because you are not honest with yourself or about yourself.
    Originally Posted by asdfjkl82
    I'm a 24 year old female and I've been in the closet pretty much forever. No one knows that I'm actually gay, although I have told a lot of people that I'm bisexual because it just seems to be more accepted and I'm not ready to come out just yet I guess.

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    Yeah, this isn't an uncommon situation. We've had other women post similar stories here. They have done the same thing as you -- became roommates and hoped for months, sometimes years, for the other person to fall in love with them. In a way, it's a bit predatory because you're hoping in a moment of weakness Maria might make a move on you. But it hardly ever happens, or it's only a one-shot thing and never happens again.

    Anyways, you have an emotional dependency on Maria, and in a way, she has one on you. But you know it's not healthy and your love is not being returned. Maria has depression and she needs to seek help. And you need to move on and find someone to have a real relationship with. You will not be able to develop fully as a person until you're able to find and express yourself fully. Right now, you're isolating yourself just as Maria is isolated. Let her live her life and you have to live yours. You're really only enabling her behavior, and not really helping her. It's time for both of you to spread your wings and fly.

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    You two did not have a very healthy friendship, and I think you now know why she has trouble keeping friends. She is emotionally very needy and dependent, and as you experienced yourself, it becomes absolutely exhausting to support someone like this.

    I don't doubt you care about each other, but this space between you will end up being the best thing for you both. You, so you can emotionally detach (in the romantic sense). Her, so she can learn to depend more on herself to soothe her fear and anxiety (though this will in all likelihood be transferred to the guy she winds up with)

    In my opinion, it isn't yet necessary to cut her off completely. There is obviously some basis for a friendship here, but I would first see if it can survive with a greater balance. You will naturally experience some distancing now that you don't live together and she is looking to date. This might be what actually saves the friendship, in the end. However, you will need to maintain enough of a boundary so that she doesn't drag you down with her problems, and so that you can move past and eventually get over your romantic feelings. If you see that it is still too dramatic and codependent, you will need to to consider ending the friendship.

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    Have you considered councilling?

    The reason I suggest this is two-fold. It sounds like you are struggling a little bit with coming out (which is completely normal) but it might be helpful to talk to someone who can help arm you with the tools to be a strong, confident woman fully comfortable in your skin.

    Also, though, this friendship dynamic was very unhealthy. I know that for you it came from a place of love - but - while we can all say that she is very needy, it takes two to tango. There is something that YOU were getting from the relationship. Maybe you need to feel needed - or that feeling of someone needing you so bad squished some of your own insecurities. Either way, if someone is crying on your shoulder on a regular basis, the more common reaction is to be annoyed and to ask them to seek help - not to fall in love. I think that exploring this situation and what you got out of it with someone would also be helpful. Otherwise, I fear, you may continue to seek out unhealthy situations and relationships.

    A lot of people go to councilling from time to time or to help them get over the jump of a difficult situation. I dunno... I think this would be helpful for you, rather than trying to navigate these waters alone.

    Just my 2 cents.

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    I'm a 24 year old female and I've been in the closet pretty much forever. No one knows that I'm actually gay, although I have told a lot of people that I'm bisexual because it just seems to be more accepted (and I'm not ready to come out just yet I guess).


    I've been there, you are still young, come out of the closet. It will be the most liberating, healthy, loving thing you can do for yourself.

    I'm 45, chose to repress myself, married a man for 15 years, fell in love and had a relationship with my best friend who ultimately left me for a guy (they are now married). I came out later in life, 40, and now dealing with everything at midlife.

    You are still young, the best thing you can do is be honest with yourself....NOW. I know it's scary, but the scariest part is the first step. It gets easier from there. Don't spend years repressing yourself and living a dishonest life. Society and people are very accepting these days...very different from when I was your age. The more honest and accepting you are with yourself, the happier you'll ultimately be.


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