Secret Love

20 Jun

Letterbalm Secret LoveDear LetterBalm: I’m carrying around a big burden, and it’s driving me crazy. I’m a 24-year-old woman in love with my best friend from childhood, a guy my age. We met when both of us were in kindergarten, and we’ve been close ever since, even though we went to different colleges. I realized my feelings for him when I got sick with a bad flu last year, and he dropped in every day to bring me soup and check on me – even when I looked like hell. I started feeling deep emotions for him that I haven’t felt for anyone, and these feelings have grown. It’s complicated because he recently told me he really likes the woman he’s dating now. (I’ve met her, and she’s very nice.) Nobody knows how I feel. I’m moody and angry and I can’t even bring myself to tell my best girlfriend because I don’t want it to get out and ruin everything. I don’t know what to do and even if I should tell him.


You are enmeshed in one of life’s serious sorrows. Cue Doris Day singing “Secret Love,” a 1950s song as poignant now as it was then (but it had a happy ending). Presumably, you have thoroughly weighed the pros and cons of telling your friend that you love him. And, presumably, he knows you so well that your uncharacteristic moodiness and anger have him wondering what is wrong with you. Ms. L.B. counsels a gentle, yet honest approach – after all, you don’t want to shock the poor guy to death. Who knows? He may have loved you for years. It’s worth it for both of you to find out where you stand, honestly and respectfully. Have a quiet dinner in a place where both of you are accustomed and say something like this:

Leo, you’ve probably noticed that recently I’ve been moody and getting angry for no reason, which isn’t like me. You and I have been best friends for so long, we can practically read each other’s mind. This is a good and bad thing, as I’m sure you know. I want to ask you a question, and I know you’ll give me a straight answer because you’re the most honest person I know. Have you ever considered the two of us dating romantically? The truth is, I have, and it’s tearing me up inside. I think that we have to decide together the next step for our friendship, which is one of the most valuable things each of us has.


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