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by Abigail Van Buren

New Feelings for Longtime Friend Are Not Reciprocated

DEAR ABBY: My longtime friend "Bonnie" and I have been reconnecting during COVID, mostly via text and video chatting. She's recently moved back to my area (she's in the military), so we spent a weekend together helping her move in. It was exhausting and stressful, and her drinking concerned me. I know drinking is prevalent in the military, and as a relatively high-ranking officer, she's under a lot of pressure all the time. I'm more aware of it because my sister is a recovering addict.

I'm a queer lady. Bonnie is gay, and over the last couple months I've been nursing a crush on her. She's very supportive of my artwork, and over the years has been the one doing the work to keep our friendship alive despite our lives going in different directions.

I told her I had a crush on her during the stressful moving weekend and asked her to please not tell me about all the girls she texts. She responded that she does not return those feelings for me. But we talk on the phone for hours at night, and she calls me "Baby" sometimes. She also tells me I'm sexually magnetic. Our lives are intertwined enough that both our parents think we're dating, and Bonnie frequently says things like, "My neighbor thinks we're dating."

How do I keep both our friendship and my sanity? -- CRUSHING IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR CRUSHING: Regardless of what others might think, you and Bonnie are not dating, and she has told you plainly that she's not physically attracted to you. She was honest with you, I'll give her marks for that. Whether she's being completely honest with herself, however, is anyone's guess.

My advice is to stop allowing her to monopolize as much of your time as she has been. It isn't good for you because it keeps you from looking for a companion who can reciprocate your feelings. If you continue as things are, you will only subject yourself to more of the confusion you are feeling now.

Read more in: Love & Dating | Friends & Neighbors