Ask Amy: Gay man set straight about friend-flirting

January 25, 2013

DEAR AMY: I would like some advice on a situation that’s been bothering me for quite some time. I have two best guy friends. Both of them are straight. I am gay. They are pretty open-minded about having a gay best friend. However, both of them allow me to flirt with them insistently. Things even went to another level with one of them.

I don’t know if they are playing mind games with me because they are in denial about their sexuality, or if they think my feelings are just a joke — you know, the whole “ha-ha, my gay best friend likes me” thing.

I would like to have a relationship with one of them, but at this point, if they can’t be comfortable with themselves, what is the point? -- Confused But Not Really

DEAR CONFUSED: I see your situation as being analogous to one where a straight man says, “My best women friends let me come on to them and yet won’t have a sexual relationship! How dare they toy with me!”

I don’t really see sexuality as being the primary factor. This is more about honesty — yours and theirs.

Do you have no responsibility for your own behavior? Is “insistent flirting” the only way you know to relate to men you care about? You seem to be toying with your friends as much as you think they are “playing” you. It is possible that your behavior toward your friends is as confusing for them as their reaction is baffling for you.

If you want to have a sexual relationship with your one friend, you should do something more challenging than flirting with him and passively hoping he’ll reciprocate (making you angry when he doesn’t) — you should be brave enough to talk to him.

DEAR AMY: I’m a junior in high school, and one of my close friends recently invited me to follow her blog. After reading her blog for a few weeks, I’ve come to realize that she’s posting more and more about being fat (she’s not, at all) and about starving herself.

I’m so worried about her. She just told me that she has clinical depression, which makes me think that this really might be serious. I really love her and try to tell her that as often as possible, but aside from that I have no idea what to do. I hate seeing my friend do this to herself. -- Very Worried

DEAR WORRIED: I share your concern. Your friend’s blog is at least semipublic and she is using it (I believe) as a cry for help. If she has developed an eating disorder, the sooner she gets treatment the better her chance for recovery.

I urge you to notify responsible adults at school (your school nurse and the school counselor) and your parents about what you are reading on your friend’s blog. She needs adult help and intervention. You are a very good friend to care so much and for being willing to act on your concerns.

DEAR AMY: The letter from “Cranky Dad” made me mad. He “can’t stand it when kids, teenagers, young adults and older male adults wear baseball caps into homes, restaurants and other buildings.”

May I suggest that some who do so do it not because they are unaware of the accepted custom of removing their hats, nor are they trying to flout societal rules.

Would Cranky insist that someone whose eyes are particularly sensitive to the glare of overhead lights get his permission before being allowed to protect them with a billed cap? Or patients undergoing chemotherapy? Or those with disfiguring scars on their heads that they prefer to hide?

Of course Cranky should be allowed to dress in a way that he feels is appropriate for the situation, but to impose his tastes on others across the board is insensitive. -- Bernice

DEAR BERNICE: Readers are beating up “Cranky Dad” with testimonials similar to yours, but to be fair to him, he seemed mainly concerned by the males in his own household, over whom he evidently has no authority.

Write to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribune.com or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

by the Chicago Tribune

Distributed by Tribune Media Services

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