You Need Help: Is It a Crush Or Am I Just Lonely in Quarantine?


So not too long ago i figured out I’m bisexual. I came out to one of my best friends (she’s gay, it was all cool) and I’m planning to come out to the rest of my (super gay) friend group ~once the pandemic ends~ but in the meantime, I think i have a crush on my other best friend??? I haven’t seen her since January but she shows up in my dreams constantly and it’s always like I’m trying to kiss her or we’re in a relationship or something (she’s gay btw). In real life, yeah she’s gorgeous and single and i think it would be fun to date her, but how do I know this isn’t some quarantine induced haze and I’m just projecting my feelings of loneliness onto her?


First of all, congrats on the bisexuality! Second of all, congrats on very swiftly completing the queer rite of passage of developing a crush on your best friend! You want to know if it’s a crush or if you’re just lonely, and to that I say: It’s probably both!

Everyone I know has experienced crushing loneliness over the past year in one way or another. And it makes sense to me that crushing loneliness might intensify crushes. I’m no dream expert, but the fact that you’re having romantic dreams about your best friend seems like a pretty straightforward way of your brain simultaneously processing the fact that you miss her and the fact that you just came out.

Honestly, you’re probably just going to have to assess how you feel when you see your friend again. There’s a chance that when you reunite you’ll be like “oh, the dreams were just dreams and I don’t have a crush on her irl,” but I think that chance is small. The fact that you’ve already thought that it would be fun to date her makes it clear to me that you have a crush! Could that crush be somewhat influenced by your loneliness and by being apart from the friend? Maybe! But that doesn’t actually make the feelings any less valid.

In some ways, I actually think that isolation has provided a lot of clarity for folks when it comes to their relationships and friendships. Lots of people are breaking up, because underlying relationship issues have become more evident under the intense stakes of quarantining with a partner. In a similar way, I’ve heard of a lot of people developing feelings for friends or roommates at this time, because seismic events as life-altering as the pandemic have a tendency to sharpen latent feelings and challenge us to examine our relationships.

But even with the pandemic aside, crushes are not really logical or clear-headed states of mind. Crushes activate chemical responses as well as fantasy and imagination. And then those things probably feel especially good right now. It’s also perfectly fine to just have a crush and not necessarily move forward with pursuing a relationship with someone.

We get so many questions here at Autostraddle from people who are panicking about crushing on a friend because they’re scared of ruining the friendship, so I thought that was where this letter was headed, but it sounds like you actually aren’t panicking at all, which is great! It sounds like you mostly just want to be told that your crush is a crush. To me, it sounds very much like a crush! And if it IS just a projection, you’re going to figure that out pretty quickly once you’re able to be around your friend again. Obviously be prepared for the reality that she might not want to date you, but just be honest about your feelings and see what happens. But if you really do want to date your friend, then shoot your shot!

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 860 articles for us.


  1. I crush on all my friends. It’s what I do. Haven’t scared anyone off yet tho, I must be in some kinda vortex? They never even seem that surprised for some reason ;) You just gotta have the right friends…and good boundaries?

  2. It really must be a right of passage to crush on a friend because so many of us has been there. Spending time in person with someone typically makes my feelings clear because the reality and not the fantasy is in front of me.

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