DAME’s Friendkeeper counsels a woman who was seduced, than jilted, by a friend; and encourages another to give her newly sober pal some breathing room.
My friend came on to me the other night and I didn’t exactly push her away. Which is to say, we ended up having a total makeout session. We didn’t sleep together, but we have been flirting for the past year. I feel like this has been coming for a long time. Yet the next day, she didn’t want to talk about it, except to say she never wanted it to happen again. And now I feel heartsick. We’re both single. I’m gay, she’s not, but this isn’t the first time she’s fooled around with a woman. Can we come back from this? I feel somehow responsible, even though I wasn’t the initiator. Was I supposed to have rebuffed her advances? If I did, I feel like I’d have hurt her feelings. I can’t stop thinking about this, not only worrying whether I was supposed to have done things differently, but also because I realize I have feelings for her. This is just…awful. Can this friendship be saved?
You did not do anything wrong and I don’t like the implication that because you’re gay, you’re the Captain of the Gay Ship. You are a person with feelings and she is a person with feelings. Clearly she has major ambivalence issues with her own self, and I’ve seen this happen before—somehow the straight person makes the gay person feel like they “did something.” Like, you know, put the gay wammer jammer on her. And then somehow the “interaction” shouldn’t have an affect on you because you were already gay, you know, big deal! You kissed another girl! No. That is not it. And I don’t know what she’s capable of, but you absolutely need to have a sit down about this and talk it through. Because there’s a big rainbow elephant in the room, and it’s impossible to move forward until you can move it out of your way.
That said, it happens with straight people, too. You are good friends with someone, you fool around with them, one of you (Harry) doesn’t want it and the other one (Sally) does and it can be extremely complicated. And it will take time and some discussion and thought and understanding to see if the friendship can be saved.
One of my best friends has recently become sober and gone into the program. I’m really proud of her. I’ve offered to go to Al-Anon meetings with her, and of course, not drink in her company and do sober activities. But she’s decided because we have had experience drinking together—not getting drunk together, necessarily—that I’m an enabler and that she can’t spend time with me. She only wants to spend time with her new sober friends. I understand that, though I’m hurt that she considers me an “enabler.” I’ve never been one of her drinking buddies. If anything, I’ve been her sobriety enabler. Is there anything I can do to convince her otherwise? She’s been in AA for three months now and she won’t see me. I miss the shit out of her. I feel like she sees me as her enemy. I don’t even drink that much. I’d be willing to stop all together if it meant spending time with her again and I’ve told her as much but I can’t seem to change her mind. Is this just a phase? Should I just be patient and wait for her to go through the steps?
I’m not an addiction expert by any stretch of the imagination—I mean, I do have this thing that if I buy a pack of gum I have to put the whole thing in my mouth at one time, so I had to stop buying gum, but I don’t really know the ins and outs of addiction/recovery. HOWEVER (you know not being an expert never stopped me from giving advice), I think that anything a recovering addict feels they need to do, what they are doing absolutely must be respected. And three months is just not that long of a time, and if something about your hanging out together makes your friend feel like drinking, then stay away and let her get through this. Further down the road, she may feel differently, but for now the best most supportive thing you could do is wish her peace.
Got a platonic problem of your own that could use the Friendkeeper’s advice? Fire away: [email protected]. No situation is too uncomfortable or too small and all details are kept confidential.
AN INDEPENDENT FREE PRESS HAS
NEVER BEEN MORE IMPORTANT.
Your financial support helps DAME continue to cover the critical policies, politics and social changes impacting woman and their allies.