Ask Rene: I Think I’m In Love With My Best Friend

Dear Rene:

I’m in a situation that I’m not quite sure how to get out of. I just turned 22-years-old and am engaged  to my boyfriend of four years. I love Tom very much as he saved me from an abusive situation with my stepfather. So what’s the problem? I think I’m in love with my best friend Leslie.

Leslie and I have known each other and been close since the second grade. About three weeks ago after a night of partying, she and I ended up in my dorm room and before we knew what was happening, we were making out! We stopped before it got too heated and neither she nor I have brought it up since then.

The question is what to do now? I have deep feelings for Tom but think I’m in love with Leslie. I’m not sure what I should do. Should I marry Tom and hope what I feel for Leslie will go away? And am I straight or gay?  HELP!

 Sign me,

Lots of questions and no good answers

 

Dear Questions:

Yep, those ARE some big questions. In reading this, there are a couple of things that come to mind. So here’s what I would do if I were you, first of which is not to panic. Read on..

HUMAN SEXUALITY IS COMPLEX: Not everyone will agree with me on this but personally I believe that human sexuality is more shades of gray than black and white. And because you’re young, you’re still working through what you feel. I’m not sure it’s necessary for you to label yourself one way or the other right now; ultimately you will figure out whether you are more comfortable with men or women and you can build your life from there.

DON’T GET MARRIED! I say this for a couple of reasons, only part of it having to do with your feelings for Leslie. 22-years-old is very young to be getting married. That’s not to say people don’t do it, obviously they do, but you still have a whole lot of living to do. Once you get married you can’t be selfish anymore (and putting yourself first is not a bad thing) and all your decisions will be made with someone else in mind. Can you say you are truly ready for that? If you can’t, then don’t do it.

EXAMINE YOUR TRUE FEELINGS FOR TOM: Time for some soul-searching. Do you really love Tom or is what you feel more an extreme sense of gratitude for him saving you from an abusive situation? Gratitude is nice and it is important and all but it is a poor foundation for a marriage. Make sure you’re clear on that before you say, “I do”.

You have quite a bit to think about here but you don’t have to make a decision by tomorrow. Take your time to sort it out in your head and heart.

Good luck to you!

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 More of Ask Rene:

My Daughter Is Planning To Have Sex!

Do I Have To Be Friendly With My Half-Siblings?

I’m Worried He’ll Outgrow Me!

Rene Syler is a wife, mother, breast cancer advocate and television personality whose burning desire to tell the truth about modern motherhood led her to create GoodEnoughMother.com. When not spending time with her family or burning something for dinner, Rene travels the country as host of Sweet Retreats on The Live Well Network and Exhale on Aspire.

3 Comments

  1. Will Jones

    January 31, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Great advice, Rene!

    I’m no shrink, but it could be that “falling in love” with Tom is what saved her from being trapped with her step-father and now, “falling in love” with Leslie may save her from feeling like she’s trapped in a relationship with Tom.

    It also sounds like she doesn’t know who she is, and how can you know if anyone or anything is right for you if you don’t know who you are? It’s time for some alone time and some REALLY honest answers. She needs to really get to know herself. What are the things about Tom that make her happy? What are the things about Leslie?

    The big tell-all for me was, after I met my wife, I couldn’t see my future without her next to me. Even when I would daydream of wonderful things for myself, I would turn, and she’d be right there to celebrate them with me. I never could shake that feeling… and I still haven’t.

    The sexuality stuff will figure itself out, and like Rene says, don’t bother looking for a name for it until you have it straightened out for yourself (I agree about the “shades of gray” thing only I usually say it’s percentages… and I don’t think anyone is 100% either way That will get some letters!!! LOL) .

    The love stuff is a lot harder though. Love is not who you can stand to be with, it’s who you can’t stand to be without. If you find the one you can’t be without, then you might as well marry that person, because you’ll never really let them go anyway. Trust me.

  2. Ella Rucker

    January 31, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    I agree with you both. Will, I hope your wife reads every word you write because that part about seeing her beside you when you daydream wonderful things for yourself…(deep Marsha Brady sigh) dreamy!

  3. Will Jones

    February 1, 2012 at 7:27 am

    LOL@ “…deep Marsha Brady sigh…”!

    After nearly nineteen years of marriage, my wife is completely immune to the powers of my writing! LOL

    She’d probably say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah… whatever. You still need to clean out the basement, and when are you gonna get those hedges trimmed?”

    (She’s such a hopeless romantic. ) :-)

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