Should I [18M] confess having feelings for my best friend [18M]?
Hi there. This is a burner account because my friends are poisonously online these days. But I wanted somewhere to talk through my feelings on an issue I’ve been having: I’m in love with my best friend, and I sometimes feel like he might feel the same way, but neither of us have ever discussed liking guys before.
After some trouble in my hometown (it’s a long story that would take over 100 hours to reach closure on), I ended up moving to a new city and school for a year, and here I met my new friend, we’ll call him Ryuji Ryan. He didn’t have many friends, and I being the new kid certainly didn’t have any. We were angsty teenagers mad at the world, so we just clicked pretty quickly. As time went on, we met a handful of other friends and we spent a ton of time together as a group. But I eventually realized that I was feeling more than friendship with Ryan, and there were always subtle hints that he might like me too.
To clarify, he’s never outright said he likes guys, and I’ve never told him that I do either. In fact, he is pretty fervent that he likes women, despite never having had a girlfriend. But there are times when our friendship feels like more and that we’re both dropping hints about how strongly we feel about one another, but I get too nervous to ever say anything. We live in a…not outwardly homophobic area, but definitely a heteronormative one. Even my caregiver in this new city was constantly making jokes about me trying to get with women, to which I would always respond with indifference. So even when there are moments where it feels like Ryan’s trying to confess, I get scared to say anything because what if I’m reading the whole thing wrong?
The thing is, Ryan has had a tough life, including some family abuse and I sometimes worry that has affected his ability to not fall into some toxic headspaces regarding masculinity. And he also at one point had a bad experience with some gay men, so it’s a touchy subject. I won’t get into details of these things for his sake, but having lived in places where homophobia is rampant, I know how tough it can be to be yourself. I’m saying this as a person who has had a group of great friends in this new city and still haven’t told them I’m gay. That kind of upbringing can make acknowledging that out loud very difficult.
But he and I have spent a lot of time alone together, helping each other through some really hard times, and that meant doing a lot of what felt like dates, including dinners, trips to various events with just the two of us, movies, we even danced together a few times. And we could have had other friends in our group join us for most of these things, but he was often insistent on it being just us. One time we were out to dinner and he told me that, after everything that’s happened to him, he felt like I’d given him a place in the world and my heart practically leapt out of my chest.
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On Valentine’s Day, we were both (obviously) single, and he came to visit me and we kinda sat in silence for a bit. Then he gave me some chocolate, saying if we weren’t going to get some Valentine’s presents from any girls we might as well trade some between each other. I jokingly asked if it was a confession, to which he immediately got defensive. I played it off as a joke, but something about it didn’t sit right with me.
Right now we’re on a road trip together with our friends, and along the way I’ve been trying to drop hints and work my way up to a conversation, but something always interrupts or he doesn’t get it. We were at a bathhouse and I complimented his physique and it went right over his head. I asked him to go on a Ferris Wheel with me and another friend invited himself. While we were up there, Ryan asked me if I would rather be on it with someone I’m “into.” At that point, I just wanted to grab him by his shoulders and shake him. How obvious can I be?
I could list off plenty of other examples, but all of these small hints toward him feeling something for me have been adding up to where they don’t feel so small anymore. I’ve tried to hint at how I feel when I can, but maybe my hints aren’t enough anymore? Ryuji Ryan is not the brightest sometimes and needs things spelled out for him. So maybe it’s time I just say how I’m feeling? There’s enough reason for me to suspect he feels the same way, but I’m nervous about opening the box. But after all this time and all these extremely unsubtle moments of clear romantic tension, I think I’m gonna lose my mind if I don’t get some closure here.
tl;dr I’m gay and I think my best friend might have feelings for me but we’re both too nervous to tell each other how we feel. Should I just confess?