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Thursday, March 13, 2014

40

Coming-Out Technology, Exiting the Girlfriend Zone, and the Lesbro Conundrum

Hey! I'm a 20-year-old bi lady finding myself in a bit of a dilemma. Since I was 13, I've had at least some interest in women as well as men, but really only embraced the bisexual label last summer, when I went abroad and met a bunch of really cool queer people who helped me come to terms with it. Since then, I've come out to my immediate family and some of my friends from home, who've all been really supportive.

Since I've come back to school, though, I've been pretty conflicted about coming out. My best friends here are my all-female singing group, with whom I've spent most of my time the past three years. Because I've only dated men so far in college, they all assume I'm straight, and I'm beginning to feel like I'm lying by omission every time the conversation turns to guys or dating. The problem is that we spend A LOT of what could be considered intimate time together, whether it's at school (late-night snuggle seshes) or on tour (sharing beds, changing in front of each other, etc.). I have nothing but platonic, sisterly feelings for all of the girls in the group, but I'm the only queer one, and I'm afraid that if and when I do come out, they'll feel uncomfortable around me.

At this point, staying closeted isn't an option; I'd really love to jump into my college's queer community and have some fun lady sexytimes, but I also know that my coming out is going to change the way that some of my friends see me, at least for a little while. I know I can't control their reactions, and maybe I'm just overblowing this, but do you have any suggestions about how to come out in a way that makes them (or at least me) a little more comfortable?

Skywriting? Singing telegram? Message in a bottle? Honestly, I keep waiting for science to get on this, but in our lifetimes there has been very little development in the field of coming-out technology. You're pretty much stuck with doing it the way our queer cave-person ancestors did: sitting down with your loved ones, pouring them a drink, and saying, “Guys, I'm super nervous about this, but I care about you and I need to be honest with you about the fact that I'm bisexual.” There's not really any way to make it more comfortable. You can do it by text or email or postcard if you feel like it will be easier to tell the truth if you don't have to look anyone in the face while you're doing it, but for me, the anxiety of “when will I hear back from them? What will they say?” would be much worse than simply putting everyone in the same room and getting it over with. For bonus points, anyone who would otherwise be tempted to say something douchey in the heat of the moment might be shamed into decency by the presence of other people.

Because you've been friends for so long, it's kind of too late to do the stealth coming-out maneuver, the one where you drop it into casual conversation and act surprised that they're surprised—you've been bi this whole time, how did they not know? In addition, it would be a bit dishonest, since you have been actively keeping it from them up until now. I'm not opposed to dissembling every now and again if it's necessary to avoid conflict with people who aren't that important to you but with whom you need to maintain diplomatic relations. With your good friends, however, honesty is the way to go. Deceiving people you care about will make you feel gross and ultimately undermine the relationship. Plus, lies clog your pores.

So sit your ladies down and tell them what's up—and let them know that this has no bearing on your friendship with them. You still love hanging out with them and you're never going to ditch them for your new queer friends or girlfriends (make sure this is a promise you keep), but you're also not about to start putting the moves on them. You're telling them this because they're important to you, because you're excited but also nervous about exploring this new facet of your life, and you want their support—and to be able to giggle with them over girls the way you've always done over guys.

After you've given your prepared speech and fielded questions, the challenge will be to lead by example. By that, I mean that if you act normal, your friends will probably act normal too. Just continue to behave the same way you ordinarily would—hugging, sharing beds on tour, and all. There is a long and joyful history of deep friendships between straight girls and lesbians, friendships that include hugging and playing with each other's hair and changing in front of each other and all the markers of profound, non-sexual intimacy you've enjoyed up til now; there's no reason disclosing your orientation should change that. So don't assume it will.

If your friends start acting weird around you—shying away from touch, not sharing as openly as they used to—it may be that they've absorbed some harmful and inaccurate ideas about bisexuality from the culture at large, and you'll need to either confront them about it or cut them loose. However, the very strong probability is that this won't happen and everything will go on the way it was, but with more honesty and talking about your girlfriends. Give your friends a chance to be cool with the truth of your heart/vagina, and I'm willing to bet they won't disappoint you. 

My best friend asked me out, and I said yes because I'd been toying with the idea for a while, but I think it was a mistake because I can't relax. I've never seen her in a sexual manner at all, so the thought of having sex with her just doesn't appeal to me, I mean I love making her laugh and I'm down to date and romance but I don't want to go further, so basically, I love being friends with her.

But she's so happy we're together, like if I'm at a 3 out of 10 she's at a 10/10, and I don't want to hurt her, but I honestly don't think I can move past being friends into being girlfriends? Like, I feel like I'm just going through the motions with her, she came over last night and we cuddled, and it was fine, but it didn't give me butterflies or make me feel any different, it felt like it would have if we'd cuddled two weeks ago. I don't know what to do, I'm so uncomfortable with the whole situation.

Plus, I'm terrified we're going to lose the friendship if this goes wrong, and I don't think I can see past that.

It doesn't sound to me like you're going to lose the friendship. It sounds like you've already lost it.

I'm so sorry to say this, because losing a beloved friend is very painful, but the girl you're dating doesn't see you as her best friend anymore. She sees you as a romantic partner. She has put you in the girlfriend zone. What she wants from you is different from what you want from her, and there is no way to continue this relationship that will satisfy you both. You say that you can't move past being friends, but I'm sorry to tell you that the damage is done. You stopped being friends and started being girlfriends. There's no way to undo that decision without breaking up with her, and, since it sounds like she's well on her way to being in love with you, breaking her heart at least a little bit.

And you do have to break up with her, as I think you've already figured out. You don't feel the same way about her that she does about you—you don't see her as a sexual or romantic prospect. She isn't in your girlfriend zone, so you need to come clean to her (and definitely stay away from her... uh... girlfriend zone). I know you don't want to hurt her, but lying to her about how you really feel and staying in a relationship based on wildly unequal affection is going to hurt her so much more in the long run. Even if you put on a good show, she'll always suspect that something is off, and that suspicion will wreak havoc on her self-esteem and emotional stability until whenever you finally have mercy and end things.

So do it now, before this has a chance to get any more painful for either of you. Be honest about your feelings—you love her as a friend, and you want her to be in your life forever, but you don't get that tingly feeling when you look at her, and you can't be her girlfriend. Forget about letting her down easy; this is going to be rough. Hopefully, though, you'll be salvaging the chance to be friends again in the future by ending things before she has the chance to fall for you harder than she already has. Let her know that you want to be friends, but that you're willing to give her whatever time she needs to recover from your breakup first—and if she seems to need a mourning period, respect it. Don't pressure her to behave as though nothing happened, and let her take the lead in deciding how soon and how often to get in touch. I'm really sorry for what you're going through, and I hope it doesn't take too long to get your bestie back.

I (a lady) have been with my boyfriend for over two years and we live together and things up to a point had generally been going great.

Then one day, we went to a party and happened to meet a gay lady there who shared some mutual friends with us. My boyfriend and said lady hit it off immediately due to their intensely similar musical tastes. After that night, this lady decided that she and my boyfriend should be best friends (I know this because she often said to him, “let’s be best friends!!”).

At first this was ok. I got along with the lady just fine and enjoyed her company. Soon it became clear though that she was really just interested in best friend status with my boyfriend. When the three of us hung out she would primarily speak and make eye contact with him. She often drunk dialed him when she was out and about. She bought him souvenirs when she went on trips.

My boyfriend seemed to think that because his new friend was a gay lady I should be totally cool with this because obviously nothing could or would happen. I tried to make it clear that this was less of a romance concern for me than a friendship concern. Before we met the lady, WE had been best friends. But I won’t lie—it didn’t help that she happened to be beautiful and funny and charming. Just because she’s gay doesn’t mean he is, right? And get this—later she told us that she had had a falling out with her former best (guy) friend because his new girlfriend wasn’t cool with the fact that she spent so much time with him and oh, also wanted him to be a sperm donor for her and her girlfriend.

I spoke to both of them about my discomfort as honestly as I could, but after nothing changed it eventually became too much for me. My boyfriend basically stopped communicating with her and the friendship fizzled. I still have feelings of guilt about this situation and when we do occasionally see her at things I feel incredibly awkward.

Am I crazy? Did I overreact? Should I be concerned that my boyfriend never totally saw where I was coming from?

If you're concerned about your boyfriend, I'm afraid you're gonna have to be concerned about me, too, because I don't totally see where you're coming from either. I can understand a certain amount of jealousy if your partner gets super absorbed in a new friend to the point of neglecting your relationship, but nothing you've said indicates that that was happening. You've described no actual reason for feeling threatened by their friendship—you don't mention him canceling plans with you to hang out with her or spending your rent money on a bromantic vacation for the two of them. Mostly, your complaint seems to be that he was friends with a girl, and she was pretty.

It's not unreasonable to expect to come first in your significant other's priorities, but it's unfair to expect to be his only priority. And I'm not down with the idea that his friendship with her should be subject to increased scrutiny because she's a hot chick. If he had a male friend who was more interested in talking to him than to you, would you ask him to curtail that relationship, or would you just find other, more entertaining things to do while they were hanging out? I suspect the latter, and the difference between that hypothetical scenario and your real one is that on some level you do see her as a romantic rival. The “just because she's gay doesn't mean he is” line makes me suspect that you don't fully trust your boyfriend with other women, which is an awful way to feel but which needs to be worked out between you and him, not his female friends.

People of any orientation, gender, and level of attractiveness can and do have platonic relationships that are fun and awesome and life-affirming and completely separate from their romantic partnerships. One of my best friends in the world is a straightish dude. One is a straightish lady. One is a bisexual lady. All of them are extremely gorgeous and funny and charming, and I have never slept with or tried to sleep with any of them, because that's not who we are to each other. Your boyfriend is a grown adult capable of differentiating between “woman with whom I am in a long-term cohabiting relationship; can bone” and “woman who is gay and in a long-term relationship with other, female person; cannot bone.” And if he isn't, again, that's something that needs to be worked out between the two of you.

It might be too late for your boyfriend to salvage his friendship with his former lesbro, but on the off chance that he makes another female friend in the future, I still think this is something you two should talk about. Be honest about where you're coming from. It's okay to feel jealous or insecure, but you need to be able to distinguish between reasonable and unreasonable insecurity and let your dude know some ways that he can reassure you when the unreasonable kind rears its head. And you need to understand that your discomfort with their friendship comes primarily from your own mind; she's been a little rude to you, sure, but she hasn't really done anything wrong.

In the course of any long-term relationship, it's to be expected that your partner will have the occasional friend who you don't particularly dig. Breathe through it. Let the time you spend apart inspire you to enjoy the time you spend together even more. Be nice to his lesbro even if her ways are strange to you. You're gonna want her around the next time you guys need to build an IKEA dresser.

How do you move on when your ex isn't ready to?

You just do it. It's as easy—and as horribly, profoundly difficult—as that. You let go of whatever sense of obligation is holding you back, and you step forward into the Great Whatever Comes Next.

You tell her (I'm assuming her, but feel free to substitute pronouns as appropriate) that you need some time to yourself, because neither of you can heal if you're still speaking to each other regularly, still scratching the wound every time it scabs over. Then, when she calls, you let it go to voice mail. You create a folder for her emails where you can put them, out of sight, until some future time when you're ready to read them. You go to restaurants and coffee shops in a different part of town, where you know you won't see her.

You remind yourself, over and over, as often as you need to hear it, that you did the right thing—that staying in a relationship that was not working would have hurt you both more in the long run. You remind yourself that leaving when it's time to leave is not a failure. You did not have a “failed relationship,” any more than a good book is a failure because it ends. Knowing when to let go is a painful kind of success, but you deserve credit for it all the same. You tell yourself this every day. You write it in your journal and, when you can't take the sound of your own voice in your head any more, you have a friend read it back to you and reassure you that it's true.

You take your grief and your guilt and your desire to make things easier for her and you redirect them where they can do some good, because every kindness you offer her right now will only make her regret what she's lost more. You do good deeds for someone else, to soothe your heart and fill up your time so you don't call her. Do you have a friend who's struggling through grad school? Offer to come over and vacuum her house while she studies. A family member who just became a parent and is subsisting on potato chips while wearing the same sweatshirt nine days in a row? Drop by with some homemade stir-fry and volunteer to make a run to the laundromat, since you're in the neighborhood. Or, if no opportunities to help are evident in your personal life, volunteer to walk dogs for a pet shelter or read to kids at the library.

You work on rearranging your life to fill the space she used to occupy. If you lived together, you move out as soon as humanly possible, accepting if necessary any curtailment to your space and style of living. If you didn't, you remove traces of her from your home. Her favorite flavor of tea and brand of potato chips can be thrown out; photos and souvenirs and other things that remind you of her should be boxed up and given to a friend with a roomy garage for safekeeping. Tell her not to let you have the box back for at least six months, and then not until you ask. You remove the temptation to spend a lonely evening crying over pictures of the two of you together until you eventually drunk dial her.

You spend time with yourself. You go for long walks around your neighborhood, or in nature if there's any good nature near you. You pour yourself into your hobbies. You take up new hobbies. You try something you never would have tried when you were together, whether it's a sport or a craft or a really hot pepper. You turn your phone off and spend an evening reading a book. You indulge in moderation in your favorite vices, remembering that a little bit of the good shit is infinitely preferable to a lot of the cheap stuff. You explore your city and find places to go that you never even knew existed.

And, eventually, you meet new people. You make new friends, and reconnect with old ones who fell by the wayside during your relationship. You go to a club and dance with someone who's totally not your type. You kiss someone. You give someone your number. You allow yourself to be open to the possibility of loving someone else. When the guilt rises up, you acknowledge it politely and tell it that you can't talk right now, but it's welcome to leave a message. You live the life that's yours, not the version of it someone else wants from you. You realize, finally, that no one is ever really ready to move on; the secret is just to start moving.

 

Previously: The Pubic Issue, Non-Monosexuality 101, and The Cool Gay Auntie

Lindsay King-Miller is also on Twitter. Do you have a question for her?



40 Comments / Post A Comment

stonefruit

ahhh Plus, lies clog your pores. this was wonderful. Bring on the Clarisonic of truth, I say.

But, this: You live the life that's yours, not the version of it someone else wants from you. You realize, finally, that no one is ever really ready to move on; the secret is just to start moving. Wow, this was beautiful. Just, a perfect encapsulation of the whole experience.

nonvolleyball

@stonefruit AQC is so wise. I've probably read a hundred versions of How to Get Over a Breakup, but this still felt incredibly fresh & relevant (even if I'm in no way recently-broken-up).

Lily Rowan

That last answer really is the best.

CappaMug

LW#2 You said you're down to date and romance your former bff so I just want to say that it is totally possible to have romantic feelings for someone and still not want a sexual relationship with them! It is up to you and your former bff/girlfriend if you're both comfortable proceeding with that or if you ultimately decide you have only platonic feelings for her.

adorable-eggplant

@CappaMug Yes, there are several creative solutions that spring to mind.

Jaya

LW#3, I get where you're coming from mostly. It shouldn't matter that she's an attractive woman, but the bit about her not really acknowledging you when the three of you hung out sounded like something to be legitimately concerned about. Of course he's allowed to have his own friends, but they should probably recognize you exist when the three of you hang out.

Whenever this jealousy monster has bitten me, however reasonably or unreasonably, I find I just need reassurance. I definitely think if this comes up again to talk to your boyfriend, and make it about you, not about this other friend or him. Say what you need him to do to make you feel more comfortable, whether it's include you in a few more outings with this new friend, or maybe just give you a few extra hand squeezes when he's talking to them. Hopefully your boyfriend will understand that it comes out of some insecurity, and do his best to make you feel secure while still being able to explore new friendships.

adorable-eggplant

@Jaya Getting the cold shoulder in mutual hang-outs would set off alarm bells for me too. Jaya's advice about being upfront is really good (also, would I want someone who ignores me to help build a dresser? No, probably not) and it really can be as simple as asking for a few hand squeezes.

I'd add that you (the LW) should be gentle with yourself about your feelings around this. Women get a lot of subtle/not so subtle messages (including in this response from QC) that they need to be more 'chill' and 'accepting' and less 'crazy' or 'petty' etc. But if you are in a relationship with someone and they doing things that make you uncomfortable that's not an OK state for a relationship. So, don't twist yourself into knots to be the girl who laughs it off when people hit on your boyfriend (or attempt to make inappropriately sudden 'deep' connections). It may be that you will want to be in a relationship with someone who has similar boundaries to yours (or who is able to be reassuring in the hand-squeezing way that Jaya mentions above): if that's what you want, don't make yourself settle for a situation/relationship were you are uncomfortable because everyone tells you that would be the 'cool' thing to do.

Slapfight

@adorable-eggplant Yeah, I get the feeling the LW is NOT crazy. It sounds to me like the new lady friend likes the power she can hold over dudes, gay or no. It's pretty damned rude to befriend a guy and ignore his lady. And the fact that she's done it before makes it seem like a pattern. Some people just like being the center of attention.

Jaya

@Slapfight I keep thinking too that QC is acting like the only type of intimacy is sexual intimacy. Yes, there's no risk of them having sex here, but watching your significant other become really emotionally intimate with someone who ignores you every time you're around can do a number on you too. And yeah, as adorable-eggplant said, in any relationship you have to understand each others boundaries and be willing to work with them, both ways.

Quinn A@twitter

@Jaya Sure, but the letter doesn't indicate that the boyfriend was really emotionally intimate with the other woman. It talks about them having similar interests and the three of them hanging out. Sounds pretty harmless to me! It doesn't talk about him drunk texting her, or hanging out with her alone and going on about how his girlfriend doesn't understand him, or whatever. He even stopped hanging out with her when his girlfriend said she was uncomfortable, even though he didn't understand why she was so upset. The letter paints him as a pretty good dude whose girlfriend doesn't trust him or the other lady - who is admittedly behaving in some sketchy ways, but seemingly less so than the letter writer herself.

paddlepickle

I think this is a little unduly harsh on LW3- the girl having had a falling out with a previous friend's girlfriend over asking him to be a sperm donor makes me think she might not be great at boundaries. If she asked someone to be a sperm donor in a way that wasn't respectful of that person having a girlfriend who also would have legitimate feelings about that request, it seems likely to me that she's acting disrespectfully towards the LW in passive aggressive ways and that's the real source of the crazy feelings, though there clearly is some garden-variety irrational jealousy mixed up in it as well.

adorable-eggplant

@paddlepickle Yuuuuuuuuuup. But it's like sand and a pearl. Small micro-aggressions + boundary pushing can be the grit that builds up a whole lot of insecurity, especially if no one is able to acknowledge/recognize the initial behaviors.

hotdog

@paddlepickle Yeah, I did not agree with the advice to LW3 one bit. The other girl sounded like kind of an asshole who'd had this problem before and lacks self-reflection. And trust, I have no jealousy problems-I just think this sounds off.

Quinn A@twitter

@hotdog I don't think the LW did herself any favours when she wrote this: "I tried to make it clear that this was less of a romance concern for me than a friendship concern. Before we met the lady, WE had been best friends. But I won’t lie—it didn’t help that she happened to be beautiful and funny and charming. Just because she’s gay doesn’t mean he is, right?" I mean, that raised enough red flags that it almost obscured all the red flags the lesbro was waving. Seriously possessive and immature and mistrustful. Maybe justifiably so, maybe not.

AQC can't teach the weird lesbro how to have good boundaries, because the weird lesbro didn't write in to AQC. The LW did. So AQC suggested that the LW communicate with her boyfriend and talked about how to navigate any future friendships that she was uncomfortable with. I'm not sure what else AQC could have done with this, based on what was actually in the letter and on which person wrote in requesting advice.

adorable-eggplant

@Quinn A@twitter But it comes with a side of completely unfounded judgement: "And you need to understand that your discomfort with their friendship comes primarily from your own mind; she's been a little rude to you, sure, but she hasn't really done anything wrong." Does QC know that? Has QC observed their interactions? And why is it OK to be rude to someone's significant other and then expect to be bff's? If someone said something rude to my SO I would cut them out of my life so fast their head would spin. I mean, I care about this person, why would I tolerate someone being unkind to them?

(tl;dr communicating part of the advice is good though, just not the judgement, imho)

ETA: I agree though that the "WE" are best friends bit does feel a bit off, but that's because I've never really been into the 'date your best friend' model of dating, but that's up to the couple themselves to decide.

paddlepickle

@Quinn A@twitter I hear that, but I feel like AQC made it sound like it was ALL in the LW's head and the girl had done nothing wrong: she actually says 'she's been a little rude to you, sure, but she hasn't really done anything wrong.'Ignoring your friend's partner when you're all hanging out is more than a little rude-- I feel like this girl definitely has some jealousy issues, but being told it's all in her head when it probably isn't is not going to help anything.

adorable-eggplant

@paddlepickle Yes! Exactly what I was trying to get at. It's not helpful to dismiss her concerns offhandedly, because it can be really head twisting to have a bad sense about something (say weird boundaries or being cold-shouldered) and then to be told it's all in your head.

Quinn A@twitter

@adorable-eggplant @paddlepickle Yeah, fair enough, I suppose. I mean, I do see your point, but I also think it's pretty normal for my fiancee's friends to "primarily speak and make eye contact with" her instead of with me and to text her rather than texting me - they're her friends! And I do the same thing with my friends and their perfectly lovely partners. My oldest friend's husband is great, but I didn't share an apartment with him for two years, and he doesn't play Scrabble, and he doesn't share my taste in books. So I mostly talk to her when we all hang out, and I don't feel like that's inappropriate. I would be awfully confused and hurt if he felt the need to run me off because he believed that behaviour meant I wanted to cheat on my partner with his straight wife.
So yeah, your point is valid, but I'm not entirely sure the letter supports it. Maybe if the LW had more than 300 words to describe what was going on, I'd be wholeheartedly on your side.

adorable-eggplant

@Quinn A@twitter Oh totally, I agree that friendships don't have to be 50/50. I mean me and my bestie have been friends for 10+ years, so anyone she dates is going to be at a disadvantage friendship-wise (in relation to me) even if I do enjoy their company because we won't have the same history. However, I think it's really important for a couple to navigate that imbalance together: for me, if the other person is 99% my partner's friend, they still have to be able to be 1% nice to me in social situations. Someone who was consistently unable to even bother to engage with me would seriously hurt my feelings, and I'd be concerned if I had a partner who maintained friendships with people who hurt my feelings (reciprocally, ditto). I mean, my partner has friends who I've never met (because they live on the other side of the country for example) who he regularly chats with, and although I have never met them, they'll still put both our names on a postcard if they send one (we live together) over or ask after me/tell him to pass on congratulations if I've had good news. Those small gestures make a really big difference.

It's not even a matter of cheating, honestly. It's about being recognized as an important part of his life, just like he's an important part of mine. It's like the inverse (reciprocal?) version of Wannabe by the Spice Girls.

adorable-eggplant

@paddlepickle Mostly unrelated, but I had this Fiona Apple lyric in my head for my whole bicycle ride home: "'He said, "It's all in your head." And I said, "so's everything," but he didn't get it."

So clearly 90s music is how I process everything.

ETA: Since the editing window closed on my other comment, I just want to make it clear that I mean I will be better friends with my bestie than I will be with her partner, not that she will be closer to me than she will be to her partner because I will have seniority, because that is just the kind of emotional possessiveness (which is another kind of intimacy from sexual) that I was suggesting was harmful to relationships/could be a wedge. I'm going to assume that we'll be analogous/equally close, but fundamentally incomparable, which is how I feel about her in relationship to my partner. Apples and oranges who thankfully get along like peas in a pod.

lunaesque

@Quinn A@twitter , to me the LW doesn't sound "seriously possessive and immature and mistrustful," more like "human." I'm not sure her letter supports anything to do with your oldest friend's husband running you off because you talk to her more than him. The two instances could not be more unrelated.

idrathernot

@adorable-eggplant That Fiona Apple lyric is EVERYTHING. Also, I've loved every refutation you've written on this comment thread.

paddlepickle

@Quinn A@twitter Yeah, I think it's hard to really know what's happening exactly-- but to me, it's perfectly fine to be closer to one person and talk mostly to them, but if you meet their partner you should at least make a friendly effort to get to know them, and include them in conversations when it makes sense to do so. The 'eye contact' bit of the sentence makes it sound like the girl is actively leaving her out of the conversation when she's sitting right there, which is real rude.

jengetsaround

@paddlepickle I had a friend in the same situation as this LW and so maybe I'm comparing it too much to this experience. But this girl, who was straight but didn't seem to have any sexual interest, kept pushing the girlfriend's buttons with comments like: "you're his girlfriend, but we're, like, best friends". She would hang out with him when she wasn't around and then brag about it in group settings. It drove her nuts, but no one else seemed to notice, so she felt especially crazy.

I agree that how one reacts to this is key, because you can lose a lot of cred that moment you insist on your boyfriend ending a friendship because you're insecure, but you can't dismiss that this chick is clearly manipulative, having done it once already (admitting it seemed like weird foreshadowing, too), and can't be completely absolved.

harebell

@paddlepickle
I agree. Some people want all the attention and use their sexuality to get it, even if they don't actually want to start an affair with the person in question, just the attention, and even if it's destructive to people around them. Heterosexual women, in particular, I think, can be vulnerable to being treated as "just a girlfriend" by other men or women who have a connection with their boyfriend -- different gradations of not in the know, an appendage, etc etc.

When we were dating my husband had a female friend like that -- she liked to whisper things about her sexual escapades in his ear in front of me but just to him, and hug him in a really full-body way, and avoid eye-contact with me. She liked to play with the boundary of what was okay without (she thought) crossing it - she had this idea of being a parisian "bohemian." And he and I are pretty laid-back, we both enjoy having our friends of all genders and are both pretty independent about it, but eventually she crossed the line for us when she invited him to a party but theatrically "forgot" to invite me, and later on criticized me to him in my absence in a way that he felt was not right (he spared me the details). That's the point at which he stopped speaking to her. Jealousy does exist, but so do people like this, and at least a tinge of that seems to be happening in LW3's case.

megmurray

@paddlepickle I think the weird thing for me was that the two of them had met the woman at the same time. So, it's not like she and the boyfriend had this huge history beforehand. She met them both, announced she would be the guy's best friend and then tried to cut the lady out of the equation -- as someone else said below, that sounds like a "Toxic Trouble-making Lady" to me.

lunaesque

Re:LW # 3, Oooh, a gorgeous gay lady who announced she wanted to be Best Friends with my guy after the very first time she met him, largely ignored me when the three of us got together, drunk dialed him, and sent him souvenirs when she went away on trips? Oh, and lost her Last Best Guy Friend because she wanted him to be s sperm donor over the objections of Last Best Guy Friend's lady? This sounds like a Toxic Trouble-making Lady to me.Somebody who uses her gayness as an excuse to run all roughshod over the normal boundaries of relationships. I don't think your imagination is running wild here.

I think if this was a GUY acting like this, you would also be wondering if he was coming on to your man (announcing they should be best friends after one meeting? Ignoring you? Drunk dialing him? Souvenirs?) This lady is over the top, and not in a good way.

Maybe you didn't try hard enough to talk everything out with your guy, but I can't tell that from your letter.You say, " I spoke to both of them about my discomfort as honestly as I could, but after nothing changed it eventually became too much for me." So, it sounds like you DID try to talk things out.

I personally think you have to do what you have to do to protect your primary relationship, and the right thing to do was for your guy to COOL IT. I don't see that you did anything wrong here. (P.S. My "deleted by user" post was due to misspellings, sigh, so forgive my spelling errors.)

jengetsaround

@lunaesque I'm with you LW#3! If not giving a fuck won't work, then what you did should be the next best thing. Guilt-free, girl!

hedgehogerie

@lunaesque EX.ACT.LY. Um....this girl sounds unstable, tbh. I fully agree with some of QC's notions about girlfriends not being their boyfriend's only priority etc, but let's get real here: it sounds like LW3 has legitimate concerns after feeling ignored by a lady who sounds like a narcissist. LW3, you did a great job with being honest and communicating openly with the two of them.

antilamentation

@lunaesque Yeah. If I'm with a friend and their partner, I will say "hi" to the partner, ask how they are and so on. I'll include them if for no other reason than they're important to my friend and their well being matters to my friend. I care about my friend so why wouldn't I want to get on decently with their partner and be interested in how they are too?

If we take out the partner angle (for clarity), the same thing is still true for people who are otherwise important to my friends. When I meet a friend's parents for instance, I'm polite to them. I talk with them. I certainly don't ignore them. I may not relate to them in the same way that I relate to my friend, but I do make an effort to relate to them in some way, and to get along at least minimally because that's part of being a good friend: being decent towards the people who matter to my friend.

It's a basic friendship fail, even before we get to the weird reveal about asking former-best-friend to donate sperm in such a way that former-best-friend's girlfriend was left horrified by the situation. Why would you do that to a friend?! I mean you must have had some idea that their partner will also have an opinion and needs and feelings in that situation, right? So wouldn't you be working doubly hard - if anything - to get to know her, let her get to know you, and to see how you all feel about each other, before making such a huge request? If you'd done that, you might know it wasn't right to ask, or even if you asked, you might have done it in a way that showed you'd understand if the answer was "no", and that might have saved that friendship. If she was treating former-best-friend's partner anything like LW, I don't see how she was doing any groundwork in her friendship to support making such a huge request of the couple. It smacks of blind self-interest trumping the empathy needed for a good friendship, let alone a BEST friendship.

Good friends understand that their friends exist in a web of relationships that are also important to the well being of those friends, and they work with that in the friendship. A best friend - of all people - should be making even more of an effort to get along with their best friend's significant people. The whole thing speaks to me of bad friendship and weird boundaries, and I think LW and her partner are well out of that one.

Slapfight

I needed the response to LW4 today. Thank you.

the ghostrider

"it's kind of too late to do the stealth coming-out maneuver, the one where you drop it into casual conversation and act surprised that they're surprised—you've been bi this whole time, how did they not know?"

I totally did that to all my friends, even friends I had known for more than 8 years. I just didn't know another way at the time, although it is kind of dishonest. It's easier than having an actual conversation. Everybody was fine with it by the way.

279th District Court

Another potential problem with the stealth maneuver (which I admit I indulge in) is the hilarious delayed reaction. I reconnected with some friends I had lost touch with and dropped it in, then two weeks later, it came up in conversation naturally (I forget the reason) and they were like, "Um, yeah, are we allowed to talk about that? Because...we didn't know what to do with that when you first dropped it in there. Were you gay back when we knew you before and we somehow missed it?"

So they kind of called me on the "What? It's not a big deal!" angle.

james123

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Akaella Mics@facebook

If we take out the partner angle (for clarity), the same thing is still true for people who are otherwise important to my friends. When I meet a friend's parents for instance, I'm polite to them. I talk with them. I certainly don't ignore them. I may not relate to them in the same way that I relate to my friend, but I do make an effort to relate to them in some way, and to get along at least minimally because that's part of being a good friend: being decent towards the people who matter to my friend. kekurangan kelebihan

Sandra Diamond@facebook

i am hear to give testimony of how i got back my husband, we got married for more than 9 years and have gotten two kids. thing were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treat me and the kids. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted traditional spell hospital for the return of my husband to me, he told me that my husband have been taken by another woman, that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, they casted the spell and after 1 week my husband called me and he told me that i should forgive him, he started to apologize on phone and said that he still live me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that he traditional spell hospital casted on him that make him comeback to me today,me and my family are now happy again today. thank you traditional spell hospital for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. i want you my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact traditionalspellhospital@gmail.com. and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay.

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