Michele O'Mara

Best Friend Turned Potential Lover

Filed By Michele O'Mara | June 04, 2010 8:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: gay advice, lesbian advice column, lesbian love advice

I asked out my best friend last night. She said yes and we kissed for the first time. We only have a week and a half left of school and we live in different states. How do the two of us make the most out of our limited time? How do I convince her to take it a little bit faster?

~ Nellie

Whoah Nellie!

I can certainly appreciate your eagerness to make the most of your remaining week and a half together with your best-friend-turned-potential-lover. However, your need for her to be ready for that which she is not may just backfire on you. There is a reason she needs to take things slowly. Your best bet is to be patient, appreciate your time together for what it is, express your desires, and listen to her response with respect and compassion.

If you have been friends for a while it is common for one of the parties (if not both) to have concerns that crossing intimate boundaries could change the friendship. Perhaps she needs to be sure that crossing the friendship line is worth the risk.

Find out what's going on with her - and show interest in what she wants, how she is feeling, and what she would like to see happen during the week and a half you have left. Let her know that how she feels matters. Explain what you would like to see happen in a way that informs, not pressures, her.

If your friendship is going to morph into a full-blown intimate relationship then you'll want to take special care to build a very safe and solid foundation on which to build your relationship.

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I love what you say about expressing desires and then respecting the other person's wishes. So often people are either afraid to speak of their desires, leaving only frustration, or it's only their own desires that count, and the other person be damned.

Yeah... life's long, and she'll have lots more weeks-and-a-half to get some play. Although you've gotta admire her gumption.

Lots of missing information here that might let people give better advice -- Was the best friend already identifying as queer? Were there any recent breakups of relationships for either person? What finally let the questioner to speak her desire? What level of "school" is this? If you think your relationship isn't going to survive a summer apart, what's going on that would crush the flame?

I'd been gay and out for several years when a dear friend I'd thought was straight finally spoke up and said what she really wanted. It was a wild combination of "Wow, I've known and cared about this person for ages and I wouldn't have to continue searching for someone who loved me as I am" and "Didn't I promise myself NEVER to be someone's first lesbian relationship ever again?" Was I really what she wanted, or was I the safest option? Was _I_ choosing something immediate rather than something that would last? Would us together really be the best thing for each of us?

We gave each other lots of space, and still came to the conclusion we belonged together. But I still think taking our time about it was wise -- I never wanted to have her say I'd pressured her into some thing she regretted.

Years of complicated, wonderful love later, we have no regrets. Not about the time we took, and certainly not about our life together!

Rushing things is for flings that flame out, not for courting your best friend. If you want something to last, take your time, do it right [or a little to the left, if that's more fun...]!