Tuesday, January 24, 2012

College Student Has A Special Kind Of Crush

Dear Tazi:

Semester holiday is ending and college classes will be starting again soon. You probably get a ton of letters from people who hate their roommate, but my problem is the exact opposite: I love my roommate. And therein lies my problem - I really love my roommate, and not in a platonic sense.

"Shelly" is an all-around amazing person. I never considered myself a lesbian, but I can see why I fell in love with her. It's hard not to, what with her combination of beauty, brains, and personality; everybody loves her! People tell me all the time how lucky I am to have her as a roommate, and if Shelly overhears them she tells them that she lucked out in getting me as a roommate, too!

So far, I think I have been able to hide my feelings from her - people think I have a friendly crush on her, like I look up to her as a best friend. I am okay with this, but I am afraid that the truth will come out and I will lose Shelly's friendship, which would be unbearable! Shelly and I are both single, and have never dated (her parents would not allow it; I never got asked) so we are both inexperienced with boys. Could my feelings for Shelly just be a fantasy-type crush; or could I really be a lesbian?

In Between My Feelings

Dear In Between My Feelings:

The radical behaviorist B.F. Skinner theorized that human beings fall somewhere along a spectrum of gender and sexuality, with most of us choosing one sex over the other but at some point in our lives feeling an attraction for someone of the same sex. He argues that operant conditioning teaches us that we must choose one gender identity and live by that identity exclusively. This can lead to frustration and guilt.

You say that you "never considered [yourself] a lesbian". Have you ever had crushes or outright sexual interest in boys/men? Do you find other girls/women appealing in the way you find this one particular person appealing? If the answer to the first question is "yes" and the second question "no", than I would say it is a safe assumption that you are not a lesbian; you are simply experiencing a normal human reaction to a person who embodies traits that you find attractive. Your inexperience with the opposite sex - at a time when there is pressure to "hook up" and have casual encounters - could also be feeding your desire for one who is unattainable; one who provides an easy excuse not to engage in sexual relations that you are not ready to have, but fear you may be pressured into having nonetheless.

My advice to you is two-fold. First, I suggest you speak with one of your school's mental health counselors - they have heard everything under the sun, and this will not be anything new to them, nor will they judge you; rather, they will assist you through the confusion you are experiencing and help you to figure out why it is that you feel as you feel towards this one particular woman. Second, I suggest that you cherish your friendship with Shelly. A close girlfriend is a precious gift, one that is not easily found. A platonic friendship between the two of you can lead to great personal fulfillment, if only you let it!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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