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Old 02-11-2011, 04:21 AM
X-User7150 X-User7150 is offline
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Default 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
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:21 AM
X-User7150 X-User7150 is offline
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I also wanted to add:

My relationship with my fiancee is very good. I might not have been clear on that in the initial post but I had a lot to say as it was.

Also, the first male in question isn't really an asshole. He is simply a very sensitive person and I think he could never be involved in a polyamorous relationship, putting aside the fact that he and I shouldn't embark on one (for reasons I won't get into, but we can't). I guess I am just looking for others' thoughts on how to move past sexual feelings, or potential ones, in friendships where the potential for "more" is known or possible.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:04 AM
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What do you do???? Geesh, there are so many options. Take the plunge or not. The choice seems to either "start," or go a different direction.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:45 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VelvetFedora View Post
I also wanted to add:

My relationship with my fiancee is very good. I might not have been clear on that in the initial post but I had a lot to say as it was.

Also, the first male in question isn't really an asshole. He is simply a very sensitive person and I think he could never be involved in a polyamorous relationship, putting aside the fact that he and I shouldn't embark on one (for reasons I won't get into, but we can't). I guess I am just looking for others' thoughts on how to move past sexual feelings, or potential ones, in friendships where the potential for "more" is known or possible.
I kinda know what you're talking about. I tend to oversexualize men. I have an idea it's because I come from a small family, no brothers, no cousins. No males to just bum around with as friends, where sexual contact is inappropriate.

So I was shy around boys in school til I found my sexual power, and then each guy became more like a sex object than a full human being.

This was obviously not fair to the men.

I've had a long road in this, but had good practice about 10 years ago when I got a gigantic crush on the guy across the street, who was only 27, single, looking for a mate. He also became a good friend and musical partner of my husband's. So, I yearned after him but doing anything about it wouldve been out of the question. (My h and I werent poly then. Well, I was in spirit but we werent practicing it.)

I'd just enjoy being close to this guy, talking, playing percussion when he played guitar at our house... I had a groupie crush on him. He sang like an angel. I'm helpless against good musicians. lol

Over the years as he met a woman, got married, had kids, my affection for him became more brother/sister. I stopped idealizing him and that released some of the sexual feeling.

So, even if you are poly, all men dont have to become potential sex partners. You can let that feeling come to the surface, enjoy the feeling, but then let it slide and focus on other aspects of the other person's totality.
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:21 PM
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MMMark MMMark is offline
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Fri. 11/02/11 11:22 EST
. post #10

Quote:
Originally Posted by VelvetFedora View Post
I guess I am just looking for others' thoughts on how to move past sexual feelings, or potential ones, in friendships where the potential for "more" is known or possible.
First of all, your composition is beautiful. Punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, all perfect. Do you write for a living? I found only one error, a typo:
Quote:
Originally Posted by VelvetFedora View Post
The first has made my heart heart [sic] on so many occasions...
I assume you meant "heart hurt"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VelvetFedora View Post
He needs a friend. I'd like it to be me.
But, would he like it to be you? Or, does he want "friendship with benefits"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VelvetFedora View Post
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.
This I understand, I think. He wants to have sex with you, which is not forthcoming. So, he is trying to "break his addiction" to you. It's no fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VelvetFedora View Post
He doesn't know we're poly, he has no idea about the woman I dated last year,...
Perhaps he feels that he must "compete" for you, and also feels that he cannot succeed at this game, which would partially explain his anger and frustration. Perhaps telling him you are poly might go a long way in dissipating the angst he feels towards your fiancee? On the other hand, doing this might re-ignite his "courtship confidence," a situation you might not be entirely comfortable with.

If you "had a crazy crush" on him, then you must have some (unrevealed) reason for not telling him you're poly and "following through." Are you afraid that revealing this will scare him away, or turn him off?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VelvetFedora View Post
I don't have any friends, really, and ... 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.
Hmmm, this confuses me a bit. You seem to imply here that someone can offer you either "friendship" or "relationship potential," but not both. This seems like a false dichotomy to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VelvetFedora View Post
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.
By "get involved," I take it you mean "sexually involved"? Is your reason for avoiding this type of involvement lack of sexual desire, or something else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VelvetFedora View Post
...I think (the first male in question) could never be involved in a polyamorous relationship, putting aside the fact that he and I shouldn't embark on one (for reasons I won't get into, but we can't).
Quote:
Originally Posted by VelvetFedora View Post
I still DO have pangs of romantic love for the first guy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VelvetFedora View Post
I had a fleeting romantic crush on (a second friend), but it dissipated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VelvetFedora View Post
In the case of the second, I'd like to make it clear it will not go past friendship.
So, the situation is:

You want a sexual and friend relationship with the first guy, but feel that you "shouldn't embark on one" and he "could never be involved in a polyamorous relationship."

You DON'T want a sexual relationship with the second guy, but you still want a friendship. He wants both.


I have no advice at this point, but I can offer a true story.

Recently, a friend of mine (let's call her X) was approached by an old friend of hers (let's call him Y). Y tells X he's always been attracted to her, and he would like to start a sexual relationship. X tells me she doesn't find Y sexually attractive, and has only ever regarded him as a friend. What should she do?

I tell X to give it a try. Tentanda Via.

So, she gives it a try.

After a week, they are in love and having the most wonderful relationship and the time of their lives. Sex is fantastic, laughter, travelling, dining and dancing, everything. And, they are still best friends, maybe even better than before.

True story.
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