The Hook Up: Languishing libidos and biphobic boyfriends

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There’s this girl, her name is Bi. Her last boyfriend, Cheater, cheated on her for months. Despite this, she had the hardest time getting over him. When she finally realized how awful he was, she met a new guy, Phobic. Phobic doesn’t know that Bi sometimes likes the ladies. He treats her really well, spoiling her, and being really understanding about all of the drama in her past. She’s never had a boyfriend treat her so well.

Then there’s Me. Me and Bi have been best friends for practically their whole lives. Last year Me admitted she had feelings for Bi. Bi returned them, but was scared and ran. It almost ruined their friendship. Me has worked really hard to get over her feelings, but she isn’t sure that Bi is over them. Me is also concerned about the new boyfriend’s homophobia. Phobic treats Bi well, but doesn’t know everything about her, so his affection is conditional. Me is also afraid to meet this guy, even though he doesn’t know she prefers the company of women.

Should she say something to Bi? If yes, then what should Me say? Did this make any sense at all? –Concerned Friend

Anna Says: Wow, you really went to town on those pseudonyms, Concerned Friend aka Me. I feel like I just read a question from Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster. Your pseudonyms definitely say a lot about your feelings concerning the men in your friend’s life—Phobic and Cheater, eh?—but let’s not dwell on it.

So you’re afraid to meet your sorta friend/sorta crush’s new boyfriend because you like ladies and he is supposedly homophobic. What’s the real question here? Are you concerned that he’s going to make snide comments about Amber Heard or otherwise cause a scene — reverse-glitter bomb you or something—or is it something else? Are you worried that meeting him will make you feel jealous?

In other words, what do you want to say to Bi—sorry, what do Me want to say? It kinda feels like those feelings you worked so hard to stuff down didn’t get stuffed all the way down, that they are in fact spilling out over the tops of your mittens and onto your keyboard. It seems like these feelings are affecting your other feelings toward your friend’s new boyfriend, hence the derision and pseudonymsults (that’s pseudonym insults, for those who prefer real worlds). Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure your concern is partly coming from a platonic, friendly place, but you seem to have a pretty big dose of The Feels for a rather benign situation, which is, what? Going to brunch with your friend and her bf? I wasn’t entirely sure about that part of your letter. Also, how do you know he’s homophobic if you’ve never met? Does he wear Duck F*ck Dynasty shirts or something?

Your friend should obviously come clean about her lady-lovin’ past, but it’s up to her when and how to reveal that to her new paramour. You can politely nudge her in that direction but that’s about all you can do. If your primary interest is maintaining your friendship with this gal, then you should meet her boyfriend, if for no other reason than it’s bound to happen eventually anyway, so why put off the inevitable? Try to keep an open mind—remember you did say several times that this guy treats your friend well. If you are legitimately concerned he’s going to make disparaging comments about lesbians, then now may be the time to whip out that “No one knows I’m a lesbian T-shirt” you bought at that women’s music festival but haven’t worn since. Be your big queer self, in other words. If the boyfriend is a dick to you for it, then you can dislike him in earnest and try to passively sabotage their relationship with underhanded comments and inappropriate flirtation. (Not really! She’ll figure it out on her own eventually).

In the meantime, don’t neglect your own heart, my friend. If, deep-down, you’ve still got some squishy feelings toward your friend, don’t passively ignore them and hope they’ll go away. Take some time apart from her, reinvest in yourself and your life goals, and try not to dwell too much on O.P.P. (other people’s problems). I know it’s hard not to, but you’re too awesome to make your friend’s dude choices your primary concern.

Now somebody bring Me a cookie (and by Me, I mean me).

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