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Ask Dr. Norman Brown Your Own Question

Dr. Norman Brown
Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1168
Experience:  Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
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I think Im in love with my friend. Do i say something?

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I think I'm in love with my gay friend. Do i say something? HELP!

Dr. Norman Brown :

I understand how much of a dilemma this could put you in. You can probably feel that your gay friend has no inbred barriers against loving you AND having sexual contact with you--if you're the same sex that is. If you're NOT comfortable with the thought that you could be gay or bisexual, then you need to do some careful considering before you proceed with your feelings--because you could hurt one or both of you through your actions. A lot depends on your age and gender, your experience with romantic and (separately & together) sexual relationships, and your intentions for yourself as a romantic and sexual person. I could hold forth quite a bit in a general way, because I revised and published an entire chapter on gay, lesbian and bisexual relationships for my textbook Love & Intimate Relationships (publ. 2000), but I'd rather focus my comments more precisely on what you need for your own considerations.

Dr. Norman Brown :

This site is public, so others can read what you write, but they won't know who you are. I am straight but do not have prejudegments about whether gay, straight or bisexual is a morally better lifestyle, and I have reviewed ample research showing genetic, hormonal and childhood & adolescent development evidence for sexual orientation, as well as conscious choice. I've advised male college students who were experiencing Love with a straight male roommate, as well as straight young men who recalled sexual affairs with their best male friend during their adolescence (while Kinsey's 1950s research showed around 20% of young men admitted to that history) -- so there's a broad spectrum of experience for young men, and I'll approach yours with the respect you deserve. Your admittedly gay friend's feelings are also an important concern that I will keep in mind.

Customer:

Thank you for your input. I definitely don't want to ruin my friendship with my friend. FYI: My gay friend is a guy, and I'm a girl, so it's problematic.

Actually that's a little easier than if you were a guy. I'll go ask my daughter, who's 25, and hangs out with gay guys a lot because they're so safe for her to be around.

 

Well, this is what she said: Don't take the risk of exposing romantic feelings to him. When a guy exposes his romantic feelings to YOU and you like him only as a friend, you get all awkward because you don't want to lead him on and be responsible for hurting him with your inevitable rejection, so you start backing off, and your friendship suffers as a result. So the chances are very good that this gay guy would do that to you. So it would hurt your friendship, and neither you nor he would want that. So you need to just enjoy feeling romantic about him and not act on that while you wait for your feelings to subside.

 

He probably can feel how much warmth you have for him, so it's a very precious relationship for him as well as for you. That makes it a great Platonic friendship--where both of you can learn from each other, as long as you control your sexual/romantic urges so your feelings lead you to aspire to emulate each other's virtuous character traits--and thus you are "sublimating your love" for each other.

 

The other issue your feelings bring up is "what's going on with you and heterosexual guys?" I'm guessing your age is 21 or younger, and you might be repeatedly bruised emotionally by the immaturity of young teenage&twentysomething boys, because you're highly sensitive. Look up the Highly Sensitive Person self-test by Elaine Aron and read all about it, because that might help you understand if it's true that a gay guy with more prominent feminine personality characteristics is more comfortable for you than an immature male who's not able to empathize with your sensitivity.

 

Please feel free to respond and I'll discuss more if you want.

Dr. Norman Brown and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much! I'll definitely look up that personality test, but I think I am prone to more feminine guys. :) But anyway, thank you for your advice.

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