Our elder has some words of wisdom for a letter writer who is still attracted to his married best friend.
I sometimes find myself confused. I lack the answer to the thing that made me confused. Paul and I are best friends. Yes, we are both male, but I am bisexual. We have been best friends for four years. Before he became my best friend, I fell in love with him. I confessed, but things didn’t work out. He’s married and has two children. I already moved on. However now, at times I find myself still admiring him. Like, the best man. Am I really falling in love and still into him? I knew we’re best friends – a great best friend, and we have a stronger friendship, but I can’t help myself sometimes but stare at his beautiful lips. He’s the man I never had as a lover perhaps. What should I do? Thanks.
I’m so glad you found us and wrote about your feelings. I get to choose which letters I respond to and I chose yours because I can relate on a number of levels.
Thank you for your honesty. I appreciate that. I also admire that you confessed your feelings to Paul and I’m sorry that things didn’t work out. He is married, has two children and you have already moved on. For you the attraction is clearly still there. He is still your best friend, I take it. I ask only because you wrote “I knew (instead of ‘know’) we’re best friends.” He has beautiful lips and probably more than that! Your feelings of attraction did not disappear just by him not responding to you in kind. Why would they? You care for each other deeply. You’ve always wanted more. Those feelings of attraction stick around. There are people, and I include myself in this category, that are especially drawn to physical beauty. What are we to do when the person does not want to be involved physically? Is your attraction getting in the way of being friends? Is the attraction growing stronger and stronger so that it’s hard to push it away in your mind? If that’s the case, you might have to see Paul less. If you can accept that you are very drawn to his physical beauty while being close friends, then enjoy and appreciate, as you have been, the close bond. In other words, don’t judge yourself for being so attracted to him. The tricky part for you is to let both exist at the same time: friends only despite your desire to be lovers. That is not easy. There’s no answer for that. You’ll have to see how it plays out. You can stare at his beautiful lips but if that makes him uncomfortable then it’s important to honor him. You’ll find out.
One option would be to tell him that he is your “great best friend” and that you accept that he has moved on and made other decisions to marry and have two children and yet you are still attracted to him. There’s a risk in that as there always is in revealing our deepest feelings to another. You’ll have to decide if you want to reveal that to him. If you do, he might accept that gracefully and say “it’s ok as long as you understand that I won’t be getting involved with you sexually” and that might make you feel relieved.
I do not judge you for being attracted to him. I, myself, am very drawn to physical beauty. And I’ve had my share of bisexual relationships. The thing about being open (which is how I describe being on a certain spot of the sexuality spectrum) is that many more options exist. There are more people to be drawn to. And sometimes that comes with difficulty because, of course, not everyone will respond or be available.
I’m very sorry in your case that you cannot have it all with Paul who sounds very special. What about making a decision to pivot and being open to others who are available for a sexual relationship? That way you could take the pressure off, continue to appreciate the special friendship you have with Paul that you wish to maintain and not threaten, and you could get your sexual needs met by someone who is available. You deserve that. Paul has given you a gift by offering what he can and having a clear boundary around what he can’t. Why not make it a priority to find someone available? There are many gorgeous men out there!
Thank you again for trusting me with your feelings. All best wishes. And most of all, enjoy your sexuality. It is a precious aspect of life. No one tells us in detail how it feels as the body’s hormones and libido wane with age. Sensation decreases. Opportunities to connect decrease. Even with hormone replacement the body is not the same so it’s important and satisfying, at least for me, to look back and know that I truly lived and enjoyed mine.
Article #: 499139