Love for Male Friends, or, Why My Heart Hurts
Hello, everyone. Longtime reader, first-time poster.
Over the past few years, I've gone through a lot of self-questioning and doubt with regards to my sexual orientation identity, preferred relationship style, etc. After a long and harrowing journey my fiancee and I opened up our relationship last year. (This was not my first poly relationship but it is his. My first was as a secondary to a married woman when I was younger.)
My heart hurts currently. I have two male friends I care for very deeply. I had a crazy crush on one for well over a year. Currently we are distant. Before that, we had a very intense friendship consisting of lots of innuendo, deep conversations, and one drunken episode of hand-holding/being close/him telling me he loved me. He used to buy me tons of presents, shower me with attention, etc. At the time he insulted my fiancee b/c I am the breadwinner in the relationship. He called him a name (which I won't repeat) so I stopped talking about my personal life with him. He doesn't know we're poly, he has no idea about the woman I dated last year, and he has no idea he contributed to friction, both between me and her and me and my fiancee. I am in awe of/in love with/frightened by him, as great as the times we had together were. We have a lot in common, but at the same time, he doesn't know me anymore. I don't hang out with him much anymore. I'm afraid to, it seems. However, as I recall he initiated the being distant thing, likely because he sensed he would get hurt if we got any closer or had any more tension without anything happening. He's also been dealing with family problems, and likely some money problems. He's not necessarily in a good place.
He needs a friend. I'd like it to be me.
I have a second friend I was trying to keep at a distance. However, more recently, I've been letting him get closer to me. He has basically come out and said without saying it that he's attracted to me. I had a fleeting romantic crush on him, but it dissipated. Basically b/c I thought it through, and also, my fiancee and I talked about how I don't have any friends, really, and how it'd be really good and healthy for me to actually make some instead of thinking about the relationship/secondary potential in every man and woman I meet. He's right, I don't really have many friends. I threw myself into work, let that define me. It was convenient. I was looking for a new identity, having grown tired of the infighting within the GLBTQ community, and felt in a sense that I was "transitioning" from queer-identified to career-identified (corny as that sounds).
At this point, I know it'd be bad to get involved with either of these men, and when I think about it, I don't want to. The first has made my heart heart on so many occasions because I (thought that I) loved him so much. But I want to move past that. I miss his friendship. We had many moments as well when we acted like two guys palling around. He does know about my sexual orientation (does not know I date outside the gender binary, does know I like women, calls me a lesbian as a joke, but it's affectionate). I also want to be friends with the second guy. In the case of the first, I'd like to somehow overcome our past to recreate a friendship. In the case of the second, I'd like to make it clear it will not go past friendship.
And then, there is the problem that, well, I still DO have pangs of romantic love for the first guy. It's getting easier to ignore, it's really faded with time. But I act strange around him sometimes, and we both know there was tension in the past. I want to have two good friendships. I'd prefer to seek my secondaries elsewhere (aka outside of this group of friends). But it seems difficult because of the emotional complications. My fiancee says that what I'm feeling is friendship, and it's something foreign to me because I haven't had "real" friends for years. It could very well be true.
Has anyone else been in a similar situation? What did you do? What did you learn?
Last edited by X-User7150; 02-11-2011 at 05:32 AM.
Reason: Clarify my thoughts