When we fall in love, we fall hard, and it seems to do something to our brains. We start out as reasonable, sensible people who act accordingly, and then all of a sudden we get hypnotized by this other person, and all reason and sense gets thrown away. Next thing we know, we’re bending our values and boundaries around to accommodate what we think this other person wants us to be, and then at some point when the dust of reconstruction settles, we’re left wondering which dumpster it was where we discarded ourselves.
While it’s interesting to sit and wonder, you’re probably busy trying to get back some of your freedom, so that you can take a step toward the future where you can feel good about who you are and find a good relationship. Instead of waiting for all that to happen then, here’s some advice to start living that greater tomorrow now.
“Should I just give up on him? My best friend and I have always been close. We always opened up to each other, and the way we act towards each other is, well, different. But there’s one catch–he’s gay. I decided to tell him how I felt, anyways. And guess what! He loves me too, ‘so much,’ and he couldn’t imagine never talking to me ever again. I’m his best friend.
So I realized he didn’t understand that much yet, and I decided to wait. But then one night came and something happened, he felt like no one loved or cared about him, so I opened up fully to him. I guess my friend talked to him, too, since he told me that she said we should both be together. I replied back telling him whatever he wants to do, it’s his choice. His answer was, ‘But I have a boyfriend.’
As long as he’s happy, I guess I’m happy too, right? I don’t want to be selfish. I always helped them whenever they had troubles, and not once did I ever tell his boyfriend what he did (he cheats).
Now I don’t know anymore. Like I said, he was gay. But later on, he said he’s getting to the point where it seems like gender doesn’t matter anymore. Today, he told me about this girl. And how he felt like he caused her brain cancer, and that he loved her. I didn’t know what to say, I wanted to help but I was too depressed. Lately I’ve been having no feelings whatsoever. If I smile, it only lasts for a couple of minutes. I barely laugh anymore. The only emotions I receive are depression and anger.
I just don’t really know what to do anymore. At times he would say the sweetest things, like how most guys would tell the girls they love most? But then later it’s as if that never happened. I’m starting to believe he doesn’t understand, and he doesn’t feel the same exact way. And me holding onto him is just hurting me even more. I don’t know what to do anymore.
– Julie (15, Denton, Texas, USA)
I think you made a very astute observation: “me holding onto him is just hurting me even more.” I think you should definitely take your own advice on this one, put a stop to the fruitless waiting right now, today, and start getting on with healing yourself and preparing yourself to be ready for a healthy relationship with someone who can love you back in the way you love them. You already know that your best friend is never going to be what you want him to be (i.e. a straight man), and so every moment that you continue to wait for the impossible to happen is just one more step into self-delusion. Keeping yourself trapped in a dead end also prevents you from being emotionally available to explore other things, like loving yourself and finding out who you really are.
Letting go is painful, but that pain is temporary, unlike the endless pain you’re suffering now by hanging onto him. When you allow yourself to let go, you’re also opening yourself up to love again. And it will happen, but the great thing is that next time you’ll be able to choose someone who can love you back equally, in a situation where both of you are able to celebrate your true selves.