Welcome to Ask Poppy! I’m Poppy, your go-to girl for all of life’s woes. And when I say ALL, I MEAN IT. I’m not an expert on anything except maybe for being me, which makes me totally qualified to do this.
I live in New York and have a straight best friend. We’ve known each other for over a year—we met at work and even if we transferred companies, we remained close. So close that we would always hang out in his place (overnight, even) twice a week until 3 a.m. Sometimes when I leave early, he’d always ask me to stay longer. We would watch movies in his bedroom and sleep on his bed. He would joke that he’s not my boyfriend even if we’re together all the time.
He has a girlfriend of two years, and he knows my gender preference but he somehow does not care and just dismisses it. His girlfriend studies in upstate New York and they seldom see each other.
I’m so involved and so in love but I’m afraid to tell him because I don’t want to lose him as my best friend. He’s the only one I talk to about personal matters, dreams and frustrations in life. What do I do?
P.S. We will go on a short vacation to Manila and Davao this coming January.
How are things in New York? Are you holding up even with the bigotry running rampant across the States? I hope it’s not as cold as I thought it would be. As I’m typing this, my friends are spending their Friday night out on the streets, not to party, but to fight for what they believe in. As you may have heard, some d*ck of a dictator was given a hero’s burial along with the men who actually fought for country and not ruined it.
They’re out there, chanting, praying, sharing what they know, caring for others and fighting for what is right. I think that’s pretty f*cking amazing and that I have made the right decision staying friends with these folks.
There are beliefs that are worth fighting for. It’s worth fighting for when you’re knowledgeable about the truth, like the fact that in our history, there exists a dictator who had thousands of our fellow Filipinos killed and tortured; that there was a douche of a family who stole money from each and every one of us, and it got so bad that even my future grandchildren are already in debt even though they’re years away from being born out of my ovaries.
And then there are beliefs like your straight best friend falling in love with you, someone who is not straight, and as much as I would like to commend you, I’d just like to say that you’re probably fooling yourself. You know, like how 16 million people thought that one man can change everything by waging a war on drugs? Or, like, how white people helped elect a raging sexist, racist, bigot?
When Dante reached the Sun in Paradiso, he met the souls of the wise—twelve bright lights dancing around him and Beatrice each one representing a soul of an intellectual. One of those bright lights was Saint Thomas Aquinas who articulated the idea of confirmation bias to Dante: “Opinion—hasty—often can incline to the wrong side, and then affection for one’s own opinion binds, confines the mind.”
Anthony, in your head, you’re probably already making babies with your best friend, but you’re discrediting one simple fact: the dude has a girlfriend. One does not simply walk into a straight man’s life and will him to be gay.
It’s only right for you to be afraid, Anthony. It’s because you’re practically going to be begging for him to love you if you share your feelings and fate can always f*ck you up. You will end up hurt and you might ruin that beautiful friendship that you’ve held on for almost two blissful years of hanging out and watching films.
I remembered this scene from one of my favorite New York-set movies, The Last Days of Disco. In the film, the odd coupling of Alice (Chloë Sevigny) and Charlotte (Kate Beckinsale) serves as the backdrop for Whit Stillman to further examine the dynamics of friendships. Charlotte always wants to be in control whereas Alice is a more rational being, always needing to question and examine, creating a push and pull between the two as they spend their nights dancing around discos and their days working their shitty dead-end jobs. “I think it’s much better to wait until things happen naturally,” Alice said. “Forcing things never works.” To which Charlotte replied: “That’s not true. Forcing things usually works beautifully.”
Based on your situation, Anthony, I would suggest staying true to Alice’s belief that it’s better to wait than to force things. I mean, sure, you may be getting gay vibes from your best friend, but that alone is not a valid reason for you to force yourself into a two-year relationship. I mean, don’t be a d*ck and be respectful of other people’s choices naman, diba? If he decides to hide out in his closet, cold and shivering with his fake girlfriend who lives far away and hang out with you until three in the morning, then that’s his life, man. You’re a part of it because he chose you to be in it. I really think that you shouldn’t give him any reason to turn this beautiful hohol into a messed up nightmare.
Because what if he’s not gay, Anthony? What if he really loves his girlfriend and you’re just a friend? You’re the one who’s going to end up friend-less and heartbroken. Like is it really important for you to take a heaping pile of sh*t on someone who cares for you and invites you to his place to hang out? His girlfriend lives far away and he needs company, it’s not necessarily an invitation for you to get into his pants and unleash his potentially latent homosexuality.
It’s really just your head telling you to go for it, but then you’re blinded by the signs that are telling you to YIELD. Like, back the f*ck up, Anthony. You’re not Josh Charles in that terrible 90s film, Threesome. And also think about the fact that you’re not just potentially ruining your friendship with your best friend, you’re also on the verge of ruining a relationship should fate side with you. And how about your little vacation back in the Motherland this January? Do you honestly think that things will remain the same after you’ve blurted out your feelings and your best friend tramples them? Hell, naw, sis.
I don’t know, gurl. Like, I’m not really a fan of those na nakiki-apid. You can easily go off and get a gay guy naman in New York, diba? I know you might think na may something between you and your best friend, and you may be right, pero baka naman you’re being really stupid? You can’t keep wishing na Baka Bukas,ma-fall na siya sa ganda mo, because you’re not even sure if he’s gay enough!
Anthony, I just really think that you should wait—wait for him for to come out of his shell or wait for someone else to fall in love with. For now, choose what’s wise and choose yourself.
Got a question for Poppy? From love and relationships to weird questions you dare not ask even your psychologist, Poppy is ready to answer them all. Send in your questions to [email protected] post your question over Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #AskPoppy, and you just might get the answer you are looking for.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.