Gay/Lesbian/Bi Teens/I'm concerned for my straight crush
QUESTION: Hi there,
My name is Harry, Im 17, gay, and I have a little problem when dealing with certain emotions involving my straight crush (I know it isnt beneficial).
So this guy, named Kevin (my crush) is actually a really nice guy, he often has this external body guard type attitude in part because of his father (as he has told me) and actually has many friends who he talks with a lot.
I started to develop feelings for Kevin since I was in 9th grade and ever since Ive been talking to him casually, even though he has a "select" group of friends.
Now, things get a little serious.
Kevin has been experiencing a lot of changes in his life, his mom is currently unemployed and his dad works full time.
The problem that involves me is how I see the change in the personality of someone who was so happy and social become shy and retracted because of these changes (and others that I dont know about) and to be honest, Im scared for him since I care about him, a lot. For me, its heartbreaking when I hear him talking to another person and starts tearing up and hugging the person and Im just starring at a distance not being able to help. This affects me emotionally and gets me deppressed thinking about what could his problem be (not a main problem but rather multiple problems ). I want him to know that I can be a person of trust and that he can talk to me. My issue is that I feel guilt because maybe Im doing it to satisfy my need to know about him and how hes doing (almost in a "mom" way). But on the other side Im seriously concerned about him and cant get too personal because Ill be basically indicating my feelings for him. My main concern is him having deppression, since I know how it feels like, I dont want the same for him (much less from such a social and once happy person)or for anyone. He says he doesnt like a lot if physical, intimate talking with a guy since that makes him uncomfortable, which also limits me from helping him and that gives me an emotional burden since I worry about him. He also has a specific friend to talk to (theyve been friends longer) about these issues but how Im seeing things, and because things arent better, I think he needs someone that can actually help him filter out these feelings (since he is so reserved) to listen and be there for him and, to be honest, i dont know if im that person but my concerns and feelings keep me attached to him. How can I deal with this situation without having emotional baggage or how can I help him in any way ?
ANSWER: Hi There Harry, it's nice to hear from you. My apologies in advance for the length of time it took to reply back to you.
It seems to me that Kevin's a private person and doesn't want a lot of people knowing his business. From what you said it sounds like he has a good support group and has people who care about him in his life. If he's tearing up and hugging someone, it's because he must be very close with them and trusts them a lot.
If you want to do something, I suggest you tell him that your there for him and if he ever feels like chatting you'll be willing to lend an ear, and leave it at that. I suggest that's all you do with him. You’re not going to have much luck forcing or tricking him into telling you what's going on with him. Also, to be fair it's not likely any of your business either, so he deserves to decide whom to tell and whom not to tell.
As a side note, it's great that you’re his friend; but it'd be a good idea if you weren't so attached to him. I know it's easier said than done (and I did the same thing during your age), but you'd get a whole lot more happiness if you were to find a guy that your more compatible with and deserves the energy that your putting into Kevin.
As hard as it may be, move on from your straight crush and find a gay/bi one instead who is capable of reciprocating your feelings back to you!
Keep me posted with how everything goes.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hi again
First of all, thank you for your response.
I contacted Kevin recently and told him that I could be there for him (since I thought he felt really bad) by writing him a small letter. The thing Im concerned about now is if I delivered the message correctly. As it turns out, he was really sad because of some argument in his house. Also, some information that I might have left out is that outside of the feelings I have for him (Im trying to detatch but it isnt easy), we have some things in common: we're the only child of each of our families, reserved personalities, among other things, so I thought that I could give him some insight (using my own experience as an example) into what would happen if he reserved those feelings for way to long (this is where I included my previous suicude attempts and self harming as a way of coping) and what options does he have in case no one wanted to listen (therapy). (By the way, I am going to see a psychologist in the very near future to deal with these issues with my parents and such). His response was (maybe obviously) shock, since no one knows I tried suicide and could be capable of such a thing. He was basically the first person to know. He also said that he can also listen to me, whatever the problem may be. Now, Im filled with regret because I think I made the issue about myself instead of telling him Im a person of trust. Did I do the right thing?
Hi Harry, it's nice to hear from you again.
I think you told him enough. He knows he can count on you as a good friend and you stopped there (Good Job!). It's OK if you didn't tell him that you’re both the only child and have reserved personalities in your letter. That part doesn't matter a whole lot because anyone could go through what he is. If you talk to him in person, you could briefly mention it in passing then and go from there.
I think you’re doing really great with Kevin. I think you’re helping him but doing it in an indirect way which is really great because it comes off as less threatening and may help to build trust. Saying something like "I went through a hard time, I felt like this and doing this helped me. Maybe if you feel like that it can help you too" sounds a lot better than if you were to say "I've been watching you from a far and noticed you crying, I don't know what's going on with you but here's some numbers you can call." I would suggest you don't say anything about you noticing him tearing up in the hallway, since he has a reserved personality it's smart to play dumb and only talk about what he tells you and wants you to actually know about.
A small word of caution though...
You may want to hold back a bit with what you decide to tell Kevin. Word can get around the school easily (even unintentional) and lots of people could find out really fast. Only tell him what you have the confidence to own should everyone find out about it.
Keep me updated with how everything goes. It sounds like your doing everything right.