A Tricky Question
“Hey Shay, I’ve been reading your column for a while now and I love it. In any case I have a pretty tough question for you. I’ve found that I’m only attracted to people I know very well. Just recently I’ve realized that I’ve become attracted to my best friend, who also happens to be a guy. I know he’s into some specific m/m stuff, but not a lot. I think I have a chance with him, but I can’t risk our friendship. I was hoping you could give me some advice on how to proceed with it if I decide I should take that risk. Keep up the good work.”
That does sound like a potentially tricky situation; but being attracted to a friend while not wanting to risk the friendship is a fairly common issue. So at least you can take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone.
Personally, with only a few exceptions, I’ve only ever dated guys that I’ve been friends with first and developed a mutual attraction. However, I was lucky/lazy enough in most cases to be able to rest on traditional gender roles and only had to wait for the guy to pick up on my signals and make the first big move.
It makes sense that we can become attracted to some of the people that we are good friends with; we do get to know them really well and know first-hand how wonderful they are.
If you do have a strong attraction for your friend and know that he would be up for m/m stuff, I think that you should risk your friendship to let him know how you feel. If you just hold your feelings inside, it could just become more and more painful to be around him and end up ruining to your friendship anyway.
If you feel too shy to just come right out and tell him that you’re interested in him, you might want to flirt a little to see how he reacts. Maybe throw a little innuendo into conversation, maybe casually massage his shoulders when you guys are hanging out, etc. If he’s interested he’ll respond to your signals, if he’s not he’ll probably let you know that he’s not comfortable by shutting down your advances (gently, we hope).
P.S. I just wanted to mention, for the benefit of the rest of my readers, that if circumstances were different and the object of interest hadn’t shown any past interest in m/m stuff (i.e. seemed totally straight), that the reader in question should procede with caution and consider giving up his infatuation, as it is an extremely rare straight man who will be interested in exploring with a gay male friend.