I am in love with my best friend.
I know that that’s something that eventually happens to a lot of LGBT people…I’ve read about it before when I tried to find advice after the feelings first started to surface..a few years ago. It was usually the same answers..how we eventually get over them and move on. I think I’m just realizing that the time in which it takes to get over someone is different for each person. Which is why, years later, I still have these feelings. What I didn’t count on, is how much it actually HURTS. And the thing is, I don’t expect her to suddenly get feelings for me. I know it doesn’t work that way. And she is in a long-term relationship with a great guy, and she’s so happy. Which makes me feel worse about my feelings. Selfish. Because even though I am genuinely happy that she’s happy, I still can’t help the feeling that I get when they start doing the “couple-y” things when we’re all hanging out (or worse, when he’s staying over at our house and I accidentally overhear them through the incredibly thin walls). It’s like someone is punching me in the chest and twisting, and I feel like crying. I used to think “heartbreak” was just a dramatic term, but…now I know. And I wish I didn’t. It sucks. And there would be long periods of time where I think I’m moving on, but then something always brings me back, or something would cause me to get that sinking, painful feeling in my chest again. I’m trying hard to push it away. And she does know that I have feelings for her. In fact, she even understands. And she made it clear that she doesn’t, and will never have those feelings for me. Which I understand as well. So if my head understands, why can’t my heart? And to put some things into context, we have also actually been physical before (due to her being curious and experimental. Several times. Also, this was before she was in a relationship with her current boyfriend). So while I fell for her long before that happened, it was definitely fuel to the fire. And to also be clear, we knew what it was, what it meant when we kissed: An experiment. Which usually involved alcohol. Sooo..yeah..not exactly romantic. But it still made my heart race every time, no matter how intoxicated I was, or what I told myself.
And the thing is, I don’t think she realizes that I am in actual Love with her, and have been for a good while. There are days when I REALLY just want to tell her. But I’m worried that I’ll regret it. Even though it’s tearing me up inside right now. I just don’t know what to do anymore.
Thank you very much for writing. Falling in love with your best friend and dealing with the feelings that come with a love that isn’t returned must be very hard for you. As you mentioned, you struggled for a long time with your feelings for her and having shared some intimate moments probably only makes it more difficult now. Unfortunately, she has a boyfriend now and her focus is on him. Your heart is breaking to think that you probably won’t be with her. The good news is that you are young and will still meet many wonderful people with whom you can someday share your life.
For now though, your strong feelings for her that are not returned in the same way can cause a sense of loss whether it was real or something you hoped for. People describe heartbreak as a sense of emptiness and sadness. When this is happening to you, it can feel like no one else in the world has ever felt the same way. I would encourage you to share your feelings with someone you trust. Think of an adult in your life that can keep this confident and consider talking to them about your feelings. This could be a close friend, family member, a teacher or counselor. You might consider talking to your friend as well and clear the air about the way you feel, but it sounds like you have already had many talks with her. It sounds like you are a great person and a good friend, but she just isn’t into you. That means you will just have to find someone who is very into you — and there are certainly people out there who will be if you give yourself some time to move past her and start thinking about your needs. It’s obviously easier said than done, but you can find good ways to stay busy as you work through this.
Consider constructive hobbies that can occupy your time as you give yourself time to heal and move forward. Do you like cooking or fixing things? Get a good cookbook and try a new recipe every day for a month! Do you like fixing things? Get a screwdriver and some WD-40 and fix the door handle, hinges and squeaks of every door in your house and every friends’ house you know! Have you considered joining a recreational team sport or spending more time getting in shape if you aren’t already? Look for flyers posted at grocery stores, recreation parks or local bars/restaurants that would tell you about adult leagues in Rock Hill or the Charlotte area that will be starting to look for new players this Spring. Exercise can be a great way to occupy your mind while also meeting new people who can help fill the void you may be feeling.
Some people find that living in the same house or even city with the person during this transitionary time can be very difficult. Consider what that might mean for you. Is a small or big move a way you might create more distance that can give you time to heal? It might be a goal for you to start saving money if this type of move isn’t immediately possible.
If you need support or just want to talk, The Trevor Project is here for you. If you need a safe place to talk there is always Trevor Lifeline 1-866-488-7386 available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You will find a trained volunteer who is ready to listen. You can always write back to Ask Trevor. Remember give yourself time to work through this and it’s best to occupy that time with constructive hobbies or staying active. The Trevor Project is always here for you.