Friend as lover?

I'm in love with my best friend, but he doesn't think we work as a romantic couple. Should I just kiss him?

By Cary Tennis
Published November 15, 2002 10:45PM (UTC)
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Dear Cary,

So I am in love with my best friend. I am a college senior and surrounded by the college scene, which consists of random hook-ups and sex with three girls in one week. Yeah, I bet it sounds like a dream come true, but for those of us who don't play that game, it is hard. Especially to hear and see the one you love play that game. He is conflicted, though, and doesn't know what he wants. This new side of him has only been around for a few months; he was never like this before.


So I am the one he goes to for advice and we hang out almost every day, yet he just doesn't see that we could really work. I mean it can't be that he isn't attracted to me, because I am an attractive person. I don't have any major character flaws, except falling in love with people who don't feel the same way (this has happened more than I can count). I don't know what to do. Should I just fuck it and kiss him and see what happens, or should I continue to be there for him and wait until he matures enough to see straight?

His Best Friend

Dear Friend Not Lover,


You're in a spot. Whatever you do, it's going to hurt. If you kiss him, you invoke the ineluctable logic of undressing that leads to prickly, tender nakedness and the consummation of dreams, and then the short delicious sleep followed by the awkward awakening, coffee in the afternoon, wearing each other's slippers, him on your side of the bed or you on his, and then you'll glimpse an article of weekend clothing left in his dorm room by a guest, and you won't like it very much. And if you don't kiss him, you'll suffer watching as he gives himself to women whose beauty and character don't begin to justify his attentions, and you'll always wonder what would have happened if you'd just taken his head between your hands and put your lips on his.

Either way, you're probably fucked. But you're young and you'll live through it. Emotions never killed anyone; neither did crying, or a lack of sleep, or throwing fine stationery across the room. Besides, maybe I'm just an old sourpuss whose worldweariness has blinded me to the magic in the world. There is a chance that he is your one true love. It happens, it really does.

So what to do? I lean toward the kiss. I favor those who favor fire. I trust those who trust their instincts. I think whatever happens will be tender and true, even if it feels like a bee sting.


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Want more advice from Cary? Read yesterday's column.

Cary Tennis

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