Should You Tell Your Straight Friend You’re Attracted to Him?

If you’re a gay man, then it’s probably pretty safe to say you’ve had your share of crushes on straight guys before and with good reason. To begin, with there are a lot of straight guys out there, so we spend our fair share of time around them at work, as friends, or as acquaintances. It’s all too easy and natural for an attraction to eventually develop as you get to know someone. Plus, more than a few of us have fantasized about being the one to bring out a straight guys naughtier side.

Even so, it’s one thing to have feelings for a straight friend and entertain the occasional sexual fantasy now and then. It’s another to actually bring those feelings out into the open. Is it something you should ever consider doing? If you decide you do want to go for it, how do you do it? Here we’ll go over everything you need to know to make the right decision for you.

Why Do We Crush on Straight Men So Often?

Part of the answer really just boils down to simple statistics. It’s estimated that about 10% of the entire population out there is gay. That means for every gay guy you’ll meet there are nine other straight ones out there. It only makes sense that you’d develop your fair share of crushes on guys that probably aren’t even into other guys, let alone into you in particular.

Straight guys can be even more irresistible to those of us that like the idea of tasting forbidden fruit. The idea only becomes more tempting if we think we see signs that our crush might actually be gay or bi without knowing it. We can’t help but fantasize about being the one that opens them up to an entirely new set of possibilities they’ve never considered before.

Naturally, it’s important to make sure you’re not simply jumping to conclusions. There are plenty of hetero guys out there with laughs that don’t necessarily “sound” straight or that otherwise fail to fit society’s picture of what a heterosexual male is like. Plus, assuming is just plain rude, not to mention potentially dangerous.

4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Tell Him

If you’re crushing on your straight friend and thinking of coming clean, you’ve probably had people ask you why you’d even want to consider it. The fact of the matter is it’s about a lot more than simply hoping your friend isn’t as straight as people think. Some people don’t actually expect anything to come of it. They just want to be honest with their friend and feel less awkward around them. Others find getting those feelings off their chest helps them move on. Ultimately, only you know what’s right for you. However, you’ll definitely want to ask yourself the following questions first.

1. Does he actually know you’re into guys?

Naturally, not every non-heterosexual man lives his life with the same degree of openness as every other. If you’re very private about your love life or haven’t known your friend long, there’s always the chance he’s not actually aware you’re gay or bi. It’s a good idea to make sure he knows that first.

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If you’ve been out and open around them for a while now, consider whether or not they’ve ever said anything to you about their own sexuality. If they haven’t, the chances are pretty good that they’re definitely straight and you’ll want to take that into consideration.

2. Would knowing about your attraction freak him out?

Gay or straight, not everyone reacts the same way to finding out one of their friends is into them on another level. Some people take it in stride or even find it flattering even if they don’t return the feelings. Others get really weirded out and uncomfortable no matter what.

If your friend’s the second type, you’ll definitely want to ask yourself whether this is worth risking your friendship. However, if they’re the first type, there’s actually a chance that telling them could make your friendship stronger (even without leading to anything romantic). Ultimately, you know your friend best.

3. Has he expressed interest in same sex relationships in the past?

Some guys are straight as arrows while others are a little more flexible as far as how they define their sexuality. If your friend is the same, there’s a good chance he’s expressed this in some way, especially if he already knows you’re gay and open to hearing about such things. So maybe proposing him a gay dating experience would turn him on.

Has he ever had a romantic or sexual encounter of any kind with another guy in the past? Some guys have even if they consider themselves straight. If so, how did he feel about the experience? If not, has he ever wondered out loud what it might be like or otherwise expressed interest in how live gay men have sex, or connect with one another? If so (and you’re willing to put your friendship on the line), bringing it up for discussion might at least stop you from wondering “what if”.

4. Are your expectations realistic?

Before you definitively decide “yay or nay”, make sure you’re grounded in reality first. Are you expecting your friend to not only come out to you as gay or bi, but confess that they have feelings for you too? If so, keep in mind that there’s actually very little chance of that actually happening.

You can’t control what your friend is going to think or feel. You’re not going to be able to convince a straight guy to “just give it a chance” either. Make sure you’re not clinging to either of those possibilities before you decide to risk your friendship.

5 Tips for Coming Clean

So you’ve weighed the possibilities. You’ve definitely considered the consequences and you’ve decided once and for all that you’re going to tell him. What now? How do you make sure the whole process doesn’t turn into a disaster? Keeping the following tips in mind can help.

1. Try telling a mutual friend first.

At the end of the day, there’s only so much insight you’ll be able to get from the internet. Consider approaching a mutual friend or acquaintance first, telling them about your plans, and seeing what they say. Ask what they would do in your shoes. Just make sure it’s someone you can trust to keep what you’ve said to themselves. Your friend deserves to hear what you have to say from you, not from someone else or through the grapevine.

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2. Prepare for the worst possible outcome.

You know what they say. Expect the best, but prepare for the worst, right? Make sure you’ve considered what the worst possible scenario would be in confessing your feelings to this particular person (i.e. gossip, disgust, or a lost friendship). Then consider how you’d handle it if you wound up facing that exact situation. Lots of people decide the relief of coming clean and knowing one way or the other is worth the risk, but it’s totally OK if you ultimately decide it isn’t for you.

3. Choose the circumstances carefully.

This isn’t really the type of information you want to casually blurt out anywhere and anytime. Instead, choose when and where with care. Make sure the two of you will be able to talk in private and that you’ll have time to enter into a deeper discussion if needed or desired. Resist the temptation to get drunk or high first, as your friend may not take what you’re saying seriously. Last but not least, try to do it in person instead of over the phone, over chat, or via text.

4. Be clear and thorough when expressing your feelings.

Start by emphasizing how much their friendship means to you and underscoring its importance in your life. Then clearly share your feelings using whatever language you prefer (i.e. “I have feelings for you”, “I’m in love with you”, et cetera). Acknowledge the possibility that this might be weird or awkward for them, but also express the desire to be honest with them. Maybe at some point they were looking for local gay men to experience with but they had no idea you were so close!

5. Be patient with your friend, no matter what their response.

It’s perfectly understandable if your friend really doesn’t know how to react at first. Make sure they know it’s all right if they’d rather not say anything right away and just think about it for a while. You’ll also want to be prepared for however they eventually do respond, even if that’s with no response at all. Your friend may be confused, unsure, or just plain uncomfortable because of what you’ve said. If that turns out to be the case, be prepared to let it go.

At the end of the day, confessing your feelings to a straight friend doesn’t have to end with the two of you coming together to be worthwhile. If nothing else, getting your feelings off your chest can be therapeutic and make it easier to move on to other opportunities. However, it’s also perfectly alright to decide your friendship is too valuable to risk. Ultimately you’re the one that knows best what’s right for you. Just make sure you don’t act desperately while looking for a gay hookup, it surely wouldn’t help you to do it especially when it comes to dealing with your old friends.

Rob West

Rob West

I worked with Matt to build several hookup apps for gay men, including Guyhop.

I've been in the scene for several years now. Eternally single until I find "him".

My background is in marketing and psychology, which gives me a unique perspective on the LGBTQ dating and hookup scene.