Don't Do It

Dear Dr. Darcy

I'm going to start off with: I'm a dense person. My best friend recently came out of the closet to me about three months ago. It took me awhile to actually register that she was a lesbian even though she came out. She said it indirectly and I was just confused.

Ever since I came back to my hometown two of my best friends... came out to me. I don't want to lose them and I thought about whether or not I could be in a relationship with one of them, but then I'm always worried about how the other will perceive me. I have a problem with wanting to please everyone. I don't want to hurt one of them if I get together with them. Then there's also a chance that I'll actually hurt my best friend in the process if I try out a relationship with them.

I don't know exactly what I am, and to be honest I've been terrified of relationships because of a complicated past and abuse from both genders. In the end I just don't want to lose my friends but I want to try and support them as much as possible and make both of them happy. I understand the discrimination and fear they felt since the few people I told about being asexual doesn't even think it's a real thing and that "I'll snap out of it."

Since I have no sexual preference (even though I lean towards men) should I "experiment" with my friend and risk hurting her? I don't understand love and I wish it wasn't this complicated.

ANSWER

I don’t hear anything in your question that implies that you even have intimate feelings, beyond friendship, for your friend.  That said, I’m not sure why you would contemplate having a relationship with her.  Being a lesbian does not preclude one from having friends who are not lesbian.  Most of my friends are straight.  I never contemplated switching teams to keep them in my life.

If you want to lose your friend, a good way to do it is by engaging in a sexual relationship with her when, A) you identify as asexual and she does not, B) you’re fuzzy about your own sexual preferences regarding gender, and C) you have two best friends and would be picking one over the other.  Since you’ve identified as being dense, I’ll underscore my opinion here:  Don’t Do It. I understand fully that you want to support them - do it by being a good friend - not through a relationship.

I don’t know if you’ve been in therapy, but I strongly suggest that you go so that you can work through the abuse and figure out who you are.  If you don’t, you’re going to figure out who you are through failed relationships and there will be casualties in your wake.  The true test of your love for your friends will be whether you can resist the temptation to experiment on them.  If you’re not careful, you’ll wind up dense, confused and also without friends.

Writer's Stats: Female, Asexual.