I’m bisexual and I came out two years ago. I thought once I’d come out that I’d suddenly stop having straight girl crushes and meet lots of nice gay girls but that hasn’t happened. I moved in to a house with my straight friend and we became so close that we spent every day together, crawl into each other’s beds on weekend mornings, and spend all of our time together (unless we are at work.) I didn’t even notice my feelings develop until we went traveling for a few weeks together in the summer. When we moved back to our house I didn’t read our closeness as a sign of her being gay. I stopped myself from hoping she could like me back.
I know she is straight, she tells me all the time. Instead, I started to resent her. I resented her for enjoying our friendship without feeling the horrible ache that I had every time we were together. Worst of all, I resented her when she wasn’t around because I knew she wouldn’t miss me. Soon my resentment started to affect our friendship. I finally told her I was developing feelings for her. She wasn’t creeped out but she confirmed she was straight to make sure there were no blurred lines. She asked me what I wanted to do.
Then she said something very hurtful. She said that she really wasn’t bothered if we spent lots of time apart. Her friendship is so important to me that I don’t want to lose it but I can’t believe it means so little to her. I’ve been trying to be really nice to her and to stop resenting her. I know it isn’t her fault that she doesn’t like me in the same way and I understand but it hurts so much. It hurts to be near her and to be reminded constantly that she doesn’t feel the same. I’ve cried more times than I care to admit lately. I’m trying to get out and to meet new people but it is almost impossible when we live together and have the same group of friends.
I don’t want to lose her but it clearly isn’t healthy for me to live like this. I keep hoping she’ll change her mind! I can’t move out until October when I move to London and start my new career. I know things will be easier for me there, there are plenty of gay girls to fall in love with but I can’t sit around and wait for things to change. How can I stop my heart from breaking, stay her friend and move on when I live with this girl? —So Confused
Anna Says: Dear Confused, since it’s now November I may be late to the game here, but in the slim chance you didn’t move away from this girl, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you to do so, like, immediately. Don’t walk, Segway scoot to the nearest moving truck facility. She is your friend yes, but right now she’s not. Right now, she’s a drug, and it’s hurting you to be around her all the time when she doesn’t share the same feelings you have. So please go as far away from her as you can. London seems great, since you mention it. Rain, Bridget Jones’ Diary, urban gheys, tea—you need all of that (well, maybe not the rain).
Try to remember, too, that right now your feelings are shrouded in hurt, and that can make other seemingly rational, easy decisions far more difficult than they would be otherwise. For instance, your friend suggesting you spend less time together. This is a good idea! It’s not a slight or an insult, but the quickest way to help mend your heart (and eventually your friendship). Try not to take her words or actions as a personal affront right now and focus on healing yourself (have you bought that plane ticket yet? Oh, you’re still reading. Maybe go get it anyway. I’ll wait).
If you haven’t moved or can’t move for whatever reason, then create boundaries to help yourself process in the meantime (no more bed hopping, if you’re still doing that), and spend as much time away from her as you can. Tell your crush that you are her friend, but need time to deal, and would appreciate her keeping her distance. Lean on other friends, throw yourself into work and your other social circles, and throw yourself into activities you love.
You can’t mend a friendship when deep-seated resentment (which I can’t help but note was a paragraph long in your unedited question!) and pain are gurgling just beneath the surface. You also need to stop lying to yourself and treat your agony like the agony that it is. “I stopped myself from hoping she could like me back,” you said, but you didn’t and you haven’t. It’s time to take the necessary steps to kick the habit of this girl. Admit to yourself that she is straight and likes you, but only in a platonic, snuggly kind of way. Tell yourself that you are awesome and this girl just isn’t the one for you. And then believe it—that’s the hardest part about getting over someone.
Heartache, like joy and sorrow, are temporary. Take comfort in the fact that what you’re feeling will pass. And as for the crying, here’s some wisdom from my mom: “You don’t have to be brave all the time. Just wear big sunglasses, and no one will know.”