Once smitten, not shy

Joey Garcia

I am completely smitten with someone who I am relatively certain is gay. I have known this man for some time, although he is very guarded when it comes to divulging details about his personal life. At the end of the day, I want to be his friend above all else. I want him to feel that I am a woman trustworthy enough to confide in. My most perplexing issue is: “Why do I feel this way?” I don’t want a relationship right now. I am a complete and utter mess, emotionally. Yet all I think about is a man who I know could never really care for me, the way I do about him. Scarier still: What if he isn’t gay? Then I am simply rejected on my own merits, instead of my gender. I need to let him go. How do I do that?

Choose peace instead of emotional chaos. You don’t need to let this man go. You need to release the flurry of thoughts and fears you have about him, and about the meaning of intimacy. If you want to embody good friendship, extinguish your curiosity about his sexuality. The fact that he has not shared his sexual preference may mean that he has placed limits on the friendship. You may desire a more emotionally intimate connection but he is not offering that to you at this time. Respect his boundaries, but don’t imagine that his boundaries are signs that you are not valued or appreciated. He just hasn’t opted to include you in one part of his life. Maybe he will, eventually. Maybe he won’t, ever. Either way, knowing his sexual orientation will not give you clarity or freedom. That’s because our individual clarity or freedom is not based in other people’s lives. It comes from being honest, aware and responsive to reality.

Feeling emotionally messy is painful, but your suffering can be alleviated. Your first step is to become aware of thoughts arising in your mind about your friend’s sexuality or your hope of his interest in you. Then slay those thoughts. Replace every thought about your friend with invitations to your personal growth and self-care. Here’s how: When the thought “I wonder if he’s gay” pops into your head, kill it. Then ask yourself this question: “How can I become more emotionally honest?” Obsessing about your friend’s sexuality and his availability disrupts your investment in healing yourself. Right now, you’re in a spin as you try to convince yourself that the problem is your friend. Well, honey, if we strip away the obsession, we’re left with you. That means this situation isn’t really about sexual orientation or rejection. This is about you awakening to what you need to heal in yourself: self-acceptance. When you believe that you are loved and loveable, you will be free, clear and a good friend to yourself.

I am dating someone special and we hang out a lot, but she keeps things from me. If I ask a lot of questions about what she’s been doing and who she’s been with, she answers them. But I feel like if I don’t ask, I won’t know. It makes me nervous that I might forget to ask something and lose her to someone else before we really connect. Suggestions?

Stop worrying! Be grateful that she answers your questions honestly. When she does, tell her how much you appreciate hearing about her life. In fact, consider it a privilege when she shares with you. But be careful not to believe that knowing her daily schedule will protect you against getting hurt. Relationships don’t work that way. Be certain that you are not interrogating her, either. Allow your conversations to flow naturally and nurture the connection that already exists.

Meditation of the week
“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance,” wrote George Bernard Shaw. Are you willing to replace shame, regret, embarrassment and fear of disgrace with laughter and joy as you embrace the imperfection of being human?

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