I really don't know how to start this off, seeing as this is the first time I had absolutely no idea what to do in my life. Let me just start with this, right now I am with someone and we are ... well let's say a little distant right now. I try my best to talk to him as much as I can, trying to make sure I can be there for him, you know. The problem is, he just doesn't seem into it anymore, and I don't know if I am either. I can't say if I still have the feelings now that I did for him when I first met him. This isn't the only thing that is wrong with this relationship, though. On more than one occasion, I have caught him in a kiss, or doing something with another guy. He keeps telling me that he wants us to have an open relationship as well, and I don't if that means I just can't satisfy him anymore or what. I am too scared to break it off just yet, I honestly don't want to be alone. Unfortunately though, there is another part to this problem.
This is sort of related to the last problem, but not really. You see, I have this close friend, who is really like a brother to me in all honesty. I am starting to have some really strong feelings for him, and I don't know if he feels the same way. I am honestly just too scared to ask him. I don't want to lose him or have him hate me. This seems like one of the most standard problems ever, being that you like someone and you think they don't like you back. I know this is probably asked a lot, but I still haven't found an answer that works. He means the world to me but I just don't know if I should take a leap of faith and break it off with my current mate and try with my close friend. Please help, anything is appreciated.
* * *
Papabear receives letters like yours from time to time, and they are basically looking for the same thing: some reassurance and a little dash of courage to do what they already know in their hearts needs to be done. They just need to hear it from someone else first.
Your quandary is mostly driven by fear: fear of being alone; fear of turning off someone who is a friend and losing them, too. Fear is the worst decision-maker.
Regarding the former, you and I both know that your current relationship is pretty much done and over. You don’t feel much love for your mate anymore and (actually this makes it much easier) he isn’t feeling it for you, either. That’s okay. Sometimes a relationship that starts out hot and heavy fizzles out for one or more of many reasons. It happens. Let him down gently and tell him he can now be as open as he wants because you’re not his mate anymore. If possible, keep the friendship alive. Good friends are hard to find.
The second problem is more difficult. I’ll assume this “brotherly” guy is single, so you wouldn’t have to break up a relationship to have him. It is plausible that he hasn’t made a move on you out of respect for your current matehood. So, here’s what you do:
Try it out. Remember, the best mates are not only your lover but also your best friend.
Wishing You Love,
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.