Happy Monday. There's confusion in Mudville. See below.
Q: Dear Meredith, I sincerely hope that you choose to answer my question, as I cannot ask anyone else to help me find the answer; not even the person whom the issue revolves around.
Almost a year ago, I met a very special individual with whom I had an instant connection. Let's call this person "Casey." I felt a palpable draw before we had even shared a conversation. Eventually, we gravitated towards each other and became inseparable. I trust Casey more than anyone in the world and I cannot picture my life without them. I am never happier than when we are sitting in the same room, even if it's in silence amongst friends. The truth is, Casey changed me; I am a better person because of them and when I am with them. As time has gone on, however, I feel an emotion which I am terribly afraid to confess -- love. We are talking selfless love here, not the sappy, shallow kind you find in teen movies. I believe that Casey is absolutely incredible, imperfections and all, because that is what makes Casey well, Casey.
Of course, anyone in their right mind (myself included!) would typically say, "Tell this person how you feel!" The problem? Not so fast. This person is not a member of the opposite sex.
I have been in love before -- with a member of the opposite sex. I have never been the kind of individual to even pretend to have such strong feelings for someone. Furthermore, homosexual tendencies are NOT common for me. Trust me, I would absolutely not be ashamed to admit it if that were the case.
The problem is, at times this feeling seems mutual. There are little instances that range from prolonged eye contact, to waking up to find Casey cozying up to me subconsciously while in a deep sleep.
As close friends do, we talk about members of the opposite sex and I know neither of us are faking it. My question is, however, could Casey possibly feel this same foreign confusion and emotion towards me?
My dilemma is that I hate keeping it locked up inside, yet I truly do not want to risk losing our friendship, for it means the world to me and I cannot picture my future without this person. The one thing I cannot figure out, however, is how exactly I would have that future if I were granted a wish to will it whatever way I desired. Would I choose to be vacationing with our separate families someday and cracking jokes about our respective spouses, or walking down the beach hand-in-hand? I honestly cannot figure it out.
As vague a question as this may seem -- what should I do?
-- Content but Curious
A: CBC, you win the prize for pronoun ambiguity. Well done.
Casey digs you and trusts you. He/she -- or “they,” as you put it -- is even sleeping in the same bed with you, apparently.
You say homosexual tendencies aren’t common for you, but “not common” is certainly not never. You want more from your same-sex friend. That’s OK. It happens.
I can’t say whether Casey reciprocates these feelings -- but I can say that he/she/they should be able to deal with the truth -- maybe not within minutes of you spilling the beans, but eventually. If it turns out that Casey feels the same way, you can navigate the weirdness together. If it turns out that Casey likes you as a pal, he/she/they will probably want to set new boundaries -- but that's probably what’s best for you, too. You signed your letter “Content,” but you’ve also said that “As time has gone on, however, I feel an emotion which I am terribly afraid to confess -- love.” I'm not so sure you're content at the moment.
Your friendship is bound to change, but all friendships do. I’m for disclosure. I’m for honesty. I’m for saying, “This might make you horribly uncomfortable, Casey, but sometimes I like you more than friends and I don't know what to do about it.” I’m giving Casey the benefit of the doubt. I’m hoping that if he/she/they is as wonderful as you say he/she/they is, you’ll either take a step forward romantically or figure out how to maintain the platonic friendship in a way that doesn’t mess with your head.