Wednesday 20 September 2017

Dear Mary: I really don't want to be lesbian, but I think I love my best friend

A female reader is in love with her best friend, who is a girl
A female reader is in love with her best friend, who is a girl

Mary O'Connor

I think that I am in love with my best friend who is also a girl. I do not know if the term is really in love at all, because up until now I've never ever had a romantic relationship. My status is NBSB - no boyfriend since birth. I just really believe that true love waits, so am not in a rush. I'm a 24-year-old professional whose career is going strong, I have a wonderful family, I serve the Lord every Sunday and I only have very selected friends.

My friend and I went to the same university and took the same degree course. During our college years, I developed this likeness of her being around me because I was attracted to her simplicity and humour. She was a very good friend to me during college.

After we graduated my interest and our friendship got deeper. I used to visit her most of the time since we live in the same village. I slept over at her house many times, I did favours for her and I honestly admit that I care for her a lot. I also think that she's trying her best to return any favour that I've asked for. We feel at home with each other's presence.

Of course, my mind is battling against my feelings. My intellect says the reason why I am like this is because she's the only person I can cling to after my family. But my feelings tell me differently.

We have a lot in common. We share the same NBSB status, we are both religious, conservative, and also share other life ideologies.

I did not have this sort of confusion before but I am now wondering if I have a lesbian orientation. I even introduced her as my "girlfriend" which she just laughed at, and I understand. If I were a boy I would marry her. If I will be with one person for the rest of my life, I want it to be a male version of her.

So am I in love with my best friend considering these things? Or is it that just because she is available to me that I am into her?

Or could it be that I can't find a man who is up to my own standards and so I settle for her companionship? Do I have to consider myself as a lesbian?

As of now, my plan is to distance myself from her because the more time that I am with her the more I want to be with her. I don't hate those who are lesbian but I do not like this orientation either.

Sorry to say, but I even thought of having a "boyfriend" just to alleviate my attention from her and to see if it feels good to have one.

I grew up in a God-fearing environment so I know what is supposed to be done. Yes, the Church never condemns the LGBT community but I do not want to be one in any case.

Mary replies: I really don't think that you have had enough life experience to honestly be able to answer yourself as to what your sexual orientation is.

You haven't ever had a boyfriend, you have a small selection of friends who share your values, and one girl in particular means an awful lot to you.

Women have best friends all through their lives. They may not see each other regularly, or they may meet up a couple of times a week, but they are always there for each other and can be counted on through the best and worst of times.

So far this is what you have with this girl, and as a result you have become very comfortable when you are with her. The big question is would you like to wake up next to her every morning?

We love lots of people in our lives. Our family, our friends, our hairdresser, our doctor, and each one is a different sort of love, but love nonetheless.

But with a partner there is a sexual component as well, and although I realise that you have zero sexual experience, would you like to be sexual with her? Only you can answer that question. What matters is that you stop worrying and get things sorted out in your head.

Your idea of having a boyfriend is a very good one, because until you try it you don't know if it is for you.

Naturally you will adhere to whatever teachings your Church lays down, and I'm not advocating that you do anything that is forbidden, but dating, kissing and all the fun stuff that is part of the dating process should be experienced by you with a guy before you can in any way definitively say that you are lesbian.

You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting www.dearmary.ie or email her at dearmary@independent.ie or write c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.

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