When Queer Eye for the Straight Guy hit the small screen in the summer of 2003, it was the opening salvo in the big unwritten book of Gay Revelations: yes, a dash of outside sensibility can radically change someone’s life for the better. And if the gay touch could improve a straight guy’s style game, might it not also help repair a straight relationship in distress?
Indeed, with a union in danger of hitting the skids, the normal “go-to” people for rescue tips, such as family or your closest girlfriends, might be just a little too close or yes, a little too straight to offer truly actionable advice.
Liza, 34, was a year into her marriage with a good-looking, dark-haired fellow she met while on vacation in Spain. Before she even got engaged, she had gotten some time-honored dating advice from her gay bestie, which he had gleaned from the dearly departed Prince.
“Pumpkin,” her gay bestie said, “the beautiful ones will hurt you every time.” After a perceived cheating scandal—and advice from her sister who urged her to aggressively confront her husband without delay—she got a different perspective over lattes.
Her gay friend told her that like it or not, all guys are hard-wired for a certain amount of rat-like behavior, so if she wanted to keep him, a conversation-over-confrontation approach may be a better remedy. Liza admitted her sister would never give such stark advice, but decided to give it a try. Six months later, their relationship renewed, she, her husband and her bestie went to Disneyland together, and the only drama was over whether they had parked illegally or not.
“Honey, we’re not your sisters. We’re your friends who happen to be equipped with the same anatomy as the men you get involved with,” declaresAntoine de Grant, a lifestyle expert and virtual travel adviser who has soothed the plights of many female friends in the throes of relationship woes. He literally has the biological upper hand to interpret what other men are thinking.
And here’s where it gets really interesting. Straight guys in the midst of marital muddles have been known to reach out to their gay buddies too.
“A few months before my friend Brian got engaged, he summoned me to lunch to tell me he was afraid of losing his girlfriend,” Antoine shares. “While he was ordering his chili dog, he received a text from another girl. ‘This one is driving me crazy!’ he said. ‘This one?’ I gasped.” Antoine instructed Brian to put down the menu AND his phone.
“I said, ‘Dude’ and gays don’t like to call other guys dude, but, oh, the things we do for our straight friends, ‘if you want to keep the one you really want, then you’re going to have to cut back on the extracurricular activities—starting now.’”
Two months later, Brian proposed to his girlfriend … and she accepted.(Nice to know that our gay besties are schooling their fellow man in how a good woman should be treated.)
A gay bestie won’t always be the remedy for a relationship on the rocks, but they definitely bring the goods when we need ours straightened out—and a little honesty.
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