After Brandon and Sarah got married, my friendships with them obviously changed. But they did not end! They regularly invited me to their home for dinner, and they continued to attend my church.
Although I never talked to Sarah alone anymore, Brandon and I still shared in depth about our struggles, hopes, and dreams. Our heartfelt male friendship continued!
Now, over a decade later, I am watching their four children grow up. They have a very happy marriage. Brandon still greets me with a warm hug, confides in me, and surprisingly even asks me for parenting advice!
What did I learn from all this? It took me years of thinking through all the events in my friendships with Brandon and Sarah before I finally understood the life-transforming lessons God wanted me to learn.
First of all, it is very desirable and even possible for me to have a decades-long friendship with a straight guy.
I’ve found a satisfying emotional bond and a two-way friendship with him even though my straight friend is married and I am not.
Even though I felt initially betrayed when Sarah broke up with me and eventually married Brandon, they did not actually betray me. They just made decisions that were painful for me at the time though ultimately best for me!
It took years, but I finally got what Sarah was trying to tell me about not hiding my feelings. She did NOT mean that I should give in to my feelings of same-sex attraction. She meant that I should never be tough and emotionally numb.
Instead, I should have my heart and emotions engaged in whatever I am doing, especially when relating to people.
I have taken my ex-girlfriend’s advice, and I am much happier because of it! As a Myers-Briggs personality type INFJ, it is natural to hide my feelings for fear that people won’t understand those feelings.
The reality is that putting my heart behind my words and actions will enable me to accomplish what really matters in life and, in the process, will give me more genuine friends than I thought possible!
I am also taking Sarah’s advice in one other vital way. I have decided not to start dating a woman unless my heart is fully in it.
Unless I have the kind of love for her that I think will sustain a marriage, I will not date a woman. Simply wanting to look normal and fit into society are NOT good enough reasons for me to date.
A “coincidence” happened about a year ago, though I wouldn’t quite call it that because I believe God arranged it. While fellow YOB author, Tom was wandering around the continent, he stopped by my town and we hung out at Starbucks. While we were talking, Sarah happened to walk in and order a drink. I introduced her to Tom, but she couldn’t stay to talk.
After she left, I told Tom our story, and he encouraged me to tell it some day. Well, I took Tom’s advice and these latest posts are the result!
Have you had a long-term friendship with a straight guy? How has this helped or hurt you? What have you learned from a difficult breakup with a woman?
* Photo courtesy joinash, Creative Commons.