Q: I am a 21 yr old female and I am having sexual thoughts about my best friend who is 41 and she’s also a female. She is married and has 2 kids my age. We’ve helped each other through a lot of tough times and I love her as a friend but now I’m feeling deeper thoughts. What should I do? Is this normal? She’s a very affectionate person so it’s normal for her to hug you or call u sugar and stuff like that. It’s hard to be around her because all I can think about is her and me together. Should I confront her or is there something I can do to stop thinking about her this way? Please help.

A: It sounds to me like you have a very deep affection for this person but that doesn’t necessarily have to mean attraction. She is much older than you and may play a role model position in your life in addition to being your friend. It can be quite normal to develop somewhat of a “crush” on someone so influential in our lives… it would be similar to when a client develops transference for their therapist (if you aren’t familiar with this concept it may be interesting to read about).

She is married and has children your age. I would lean toward not disclosing your deeper feelings at this time and see if you can work through them on your own. One thing that might help speed the process up is to find someone closer to your own age to date. If you become infatuated with someone else, it may help lessen the intensity of your feelings for her.

I can say looking back, that I had many crushes on people in my teens and twenties that never went anywhere and I never disclosed my feelings to that person. I can now say that I am glad I didn’t. Your feelings are not wrong or strange, but I would be careful how you handle them. Again, this is just my opinion but I hope it helps.