Hi Anna, girl going to university in Brighton here, sent you a question few months back. Thanks for the advice, and as it was sound, I’m coming to you again for new advice on a different matter. Basically I’m best mates with this girl and have been for the past year. We have a very flirty friendship even though she is supposedly straight and she has a boyfriend (a boyfriend she knows she shouldn’t be with and isn’t happy with him but is afraid to leave him and be alone). And I say supposedly straight as whenever we are drunk together she admits that she doesn’t think she is 100 percent straight and that that’s changed since she met me. We joke all the time about how much easier it would be if she was gay and she says that she knows I would be the perfect girlfriend for her. Most of our friends and even her sister think something is going on between us because of how we are with each other. We tend to kiss when we are on nights out, and she always jokes about how she knows that I want her in that way and whenever she is drunk she likes to “tease” me just to see if she can turn me on by giving me lap dances and kissing my neck, etc. Although we haven’t done anything sexual she has said when drunk before that if she was single we would probably end up having sex.
My problem is that when it comes to the morning and the alcohol has worn off she seems to forget the things she has said to me. I don’t know if she genuinely forgets or pretends to forget. It’s never been awkward between us, we even joked that if we did have sex the next morning we would probably be just how we usually are with each other. My friends think that she may be bi and is confused and uses drink as an excuse to get away with that stuff and then when she is sober it’s different. She knows that if she was bi/gay and single that I would definitely ask her out on a date, I think she just likes to be liked though and maybe uses the fact she knows I have a crush on her to feel loved (She’s a very insecure person). Obviously the flirting and the kissing is confusing for me and I’m not sure what it all means, and she has even said if I were to get a girlfriend she would be jealous as in her words, “You’re mine.” I’m not sure if this is just a best friend jealousy or if there is more to it, or if she just likes knowing that she has most of my attention and time at the moment. Is she a head fuck and playing games with me or does she not even realize what she is doing? She says she is gonna miss me so much when I go to university but maybe that will be a good thing getting some time apart? Basically I’m just very confused and it’s like there are two versions of her the drunk one and the sober one, and I’m trying not to read too much into anything because that’s how I’ll end up hurt. What should I do?—G
Anna says: Well. The making out to “tease” you bit is worrisome. As is the convenient forgetting of the drunken kissing and lap dances. I don’t really buy it. As to why she’s doing it, any of your theories could be true—that she likes the attention, that she knows you like her and is using that to her advantage, that being drunk gives her permission to cheat on her boyfriend (and lezbihonest, it is cheating) without her having to cop to it or feel too guilty. I’m sure she does have some feelings for you, and attraction. Would I advise you to do anything beyond that with her? Probably not. ‘Cause as much as you like her, girl’s got issues. Not the biggest of issues, mind you. In fact they’re pretty common for questioning ladies in their twenties, but the chances that you’re the one who’s going to get hurt are the opposite of slim (rotund?). And right now, she’s got a lot of power over you. And I think she likes it that way.
Enjoy the drunken kissing, the flirtatious promises, and inappropriate touching, but safeguard your heart, my friend. And don’t let her become Your World. In other words, don’t let your intimate friendship stop you from finding a nice queer girl who will make out with you in the harsh, sober light of day. One that doesn’t have a boyfriend, preferably. She can be jealous all she wants if and when you do find a girlfriend, but that’s something she’ll have to deal with as your platonic friend. You are dealing with her boyfriend, after all. Think of your friendship as Relationship Lite. And if you find that you are starting to develop big feelings, or girlfriendliness toward her, then it’s probably best to take a step back and set some boundaries for yourself so you don’t end up getting the short end of the heartache stick (to bungle a metaphor). Hell, you could set some boundaries now if you feel like you’re already starting to slip into big crush territory. But I’m thinking you probably like the attention too. Who doesn’t want a free lap dance? So as long as you can tell yourself it’s just for fun, I think you’ll be OK. And I will say there is a small chance she might grow some eggs and drop the drunk pretenses of attraction, but she’s got a long way to go before that happens, and you shouldn’t wait around for her to drop her boyfriend and take a step out of the closet.
Have fun, but have fun with other girls too.
Best of luck.
illustration by Raquel Breternitz