Dear Angelo,

I am in love with my friend but he doesn't feel the same way about me. In fact, he's very self-absorbed. All he cares about is himself. He doesn't even treat me good, but he's all I think about. I can't imagine my life without him. I need him. I wish he could just see that I'm what he's been looking for. I find myself really lonely, doubting myself and questioning things. I'm miserable, thinking of hurting myself, knowing I'll never be able to be with him. I wonder if things will ever improve for me. I'm so confused right now. I don't want to end up old and alone surrounded by cats and dogs.

Signed, Sinking Ship


Dear Sinking Ship,

I'm sorry you're suffering through this awful situation. The pain of unrequited love can be excruciating and the ensuing grief can seem unbearable. I'm so glad you sent out this S.O.S. ! And you know what? Your use of humor ("surrounded by cats and dogs") tells me you're going to be okay.

In the movie Titanic, Rose has to let go of Jack's frozen hand (allowing him to sink underwater) to get rescued. The lesson is that sometimes we have to let go of something we love to save ourselves. It's better to let him go and suffer the relatively short-term emotional pain rather than drawing out the misery of not having him. Anything less is masochistic.

As painful as it is, every time you think of him say, "I release you and wish you well." Then ask yourself, "what do I need to do to take care of myself right now?" Then do that. You must believe that you're trading this relationship in for a better one. The Universe is already directing the right guy to cross your path at the right time. Focus on that new love to come rather than on what didn't work out.

I also suggest you call the Trevor Project (a 24/7 confidential gay suicide & crisis prevention helpline(http://www.trevorproject.org) immediately at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR or 1-866-488-7386. I also recommend you consult with mental health experts such as a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist. It's also a good idea to attend a 12-step group such as CoDA (Co-Dependents Anonymous http://www.codependents.org) or Al-Anon (http://www.al-anon.alateen.org) for self-care, learning how to keep the focus on yourself.

All The Best, Angelo.