‘I feel conned by university pal who says she fancies me’

Dear Coleen

Since starting university 18 months ago I’ve become really friendly with another girl in the halls of residence.

We’ve done everything together – cooking, studying, going out for drinks and to the cinema. I’ve considered her to be a really good friend and someone I could confide in, and couldn’t believe my luck I’d met someone I got on so well with in the very first week.

My dilemma is, we went out for drinks last week, got a bit tipsy and she ended up confessing that she’s always fancied me like crazy and would love to be my girlfriend.

I was shocked, as I had no idea she was bisexual (and don’t have a problem with that, obviously), but it left me feeling as if our friendship wasn’t real. Was it only based on the fact she fancied me and was she just biding her time to make a move?

I feel a bit conned and I don’t know what to do. I’m straight and she knew I had a boyfriend back home, but we split up before going to uni. I’ve really valued her friendship and can’t help feeling that she’s ruined things between us. Am I overreacting? Can we go back to being friends? We haven’t spoken since that night.

Coleen says

I think you are overreacting a bit. Take it as a compliment. I think she might be embarrassed she admitted how she feels, so why not take the initiative and just say, ‘look, I’m happily straight and I love our friendship, but it can never be more than that’.

If she can carry on being friends knowing that, then fine, but if she’ll find it too hard then maybe you need a bit of time apart from each other, and you can make a fresh start further down the line.

I get a lot of letters from the person on the other side of your dilemma, the one who wants to admit to a friend they have deeper feelings for them.

It takes a lot of guts to do that and once you’ve crossed that line and you’ve been rejected, it can be really hard to remain friends because you want more than the other person is willing to give.

Of course a confession like this can change a friendship, but if you’re honest with each other and she can accept you’ll never be lovers, then I don’t think it means you can’t still be good friends.

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