Shayne on You: Forbidden desire

Dear Maggie,

I have two best friends, letís call them Mark and Sally. Sallyís been my best friend since high school and Mark since college. Anyway, the four of us, my boyfriend and I and the two of them, have been like the four musketeers for like, ten years now. That is, we were, until my boyfriend dumped me.

I was pretty devastated. Iíd have never been able to get over it if it hadnít been for Mark and Sally. They spent tons of time with me, took me out, got me to get off the couch and comb my hair and actually do something. They saved my life.

Now theyíre engaged, and Iím Sallyís maid of honor. So again, Iíve been spending lots of time with them Ė more with Mark than Sally, as sheís so busy making wedding plans and running around. And Iíve found that my feelings for Mark are changing. I feel more than friendship for him. Sometimes thoughts slip into my mind that have no business being there and sometimes I have romantic, sexual dreams about him.



I would never ever act on any of these feelings. But itís hard being involved in their wedding plans, being around them all the time, and keeping my feelings hidden. Besides, even after the wedding, I donít want to lose their friendship. How do I manage to stay friends with both of them, resist these feelings and make them go away while never ever revealing them to either of my friends?

By the way, Mark has never even hinted that he feels anything like this for me. Heís totally in love with Sally.

Anyway, thanks for any help you can give me.

Sincerely,

Forbidden Desire

Dear Forbidden,

The way you signed your note says a lot. ďForbiddenĒ fruit is always tempting. Not to mention that youíre seeing your friends living out what you probably want for yourself, so your psyche is associating Mark with that happily-ever-after notion we all want for ourselves. You see him making Sally happy. You want that for yourself, and thatís natural. So first, donít beat yourself up too much. This attraction has a ton of stuff tied to it that goes way beyond the real feelings between you and Mark. Youíre doing the right thing by vowing never to act on it, and deciding to get over it. Good for you. Sallyís lucky to have you as her best friend.

What you need is a distraction. You need to start dating someone else, lots of someone elses. Maybe you wonít fall madly in love right off the bat, but thatís OK. You need to seek out and allow yourself to find chemistry and spark and excitement with someone else. And you have the perfect opportunity right now Ė this wedding is going to be a great time to meet available, attractive men who are also friends of Mark and Sally, or to take a second look at the ones you might already know.

Itís hard to shift your attraction from one guy to another, but since nothing has happened between you, itís a lot easier than it could be, and itís way easier now than it will be later on. The longer you let this go on, the harder it will be.

So, yes, vow to banish these feelings, be loyal to your friends, never reveal this secret to anyone, and start going out Ė a lot Ė until you find someone else with whom you feel chemistry. And you will. I promise, you will. All will be well!

Best,

Maggie

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