Dear Anna, Hey, congrats on your big girl job! I have been reading your advice for such a long time, I knew I could turn to you in my time of need.
I have been out of a two year relationship for about four months now. I am finally hitting my stride again and feeling like myself, which is great. I recently got together with some acquaintances for trivia night, and I found myself having splendid conversation and an instant connection to one of the girls, whom I already knew was gay. (We shall call her Dana Fairbanks.) We hung out and I found out she is already in a relationship, with Tonya, which is OK—I can maintain a friendship with someone I am super attracted to, that’s why it’s called the lesbian bench (if don’t know what I am talking about, watch Pillow Talk on The Gay Women’s Channel on YouTube).
My issue is that after a month of hanging out and becoming very close with Dana, I have learned that she finds me attractive. I’m not one to cheat—I am like Alice (flirty all the time to everyone, all over very nice person), but I found out that Dana has cheated to end her relationships… but then she doesn’t date the person she was cheating with, so I have stopped my advances.
She is the Dana to my Alice, in every way (she even plays a pro sport, and I am a bisexual that is hilarious and everyone loves). I’m not sure what I should do with my Dana. I am strong-willed and am sure I won’t do anything, but then she is in front of me and I have to consciously tell myself to stop looking into her beautiful brown eyes. What should I do with this really strong connection? I know I can’t just let it go, but how long can we do the dance till I give in and knock on her door and tell her not to marry Tonya (she is not getting married, just staying with The L Word theme here). Do I just back off, or do we stop seeing each other at all? We’re never really alone together, but we haven’t “taken the power out of it” just yet. Please and Thank you in advance.—Alice from Florida
graphic by Raquel Breternitz
Anna says: Dear Alice, If you’re as strong-willed as you say you are, I don’t think you need to stop seeing this gal, especially if you’re rarely alone and/or drunk together. My concern for you lies more in the “she cheats to end relationships” part of your letter. That is a pattern that both baffles and alarms me (and should concern you, as well). I guess how much it should concern you involves how many times she’s done it—but basically more than once should raise a red flag. Also strange is that the person she cheats with seems to be merely a catalyst, a means to an end, and that is basically the role you’re occupying now. And then she moves on to the next Tonya (if you’d like to stay on theme).
This isn’t to doubt your connection, of course. I’m sure it’s as magical and intense as you say, but, well, I’m just gonna throw it out there that maybe she’s flirting with you and expressing her attraction because that’s what she does when she’s unhappy in a relationship. It’s difficult to say whether she’s got a big case of The Feels for you or if she’s just falling back on old habits.
The bold way to find out is to tell her how you feel, frankly and honestly. Be like, “Dana, I’d love to handcuff myself to you and eat whipped cream off your taut, muscle-y body, but not until you’re single.” If she reciprocates your feelings, then tell her to call you when she breaks up with Tonya. And then, unless you’re reeeeally good at benchwarming, take a big step back from this budding courtship, because once it’s all out there, it’s gonna make it that much harder NOT to act on it.
Long story short: If she leaves her girlfriend, great! That means she likes you more than just a relationship-ender. If she doesn’t, you’re still great and you can now focus your attentions on finding someone unattached to play tennis with (Lara, perhaps?).
Dear Anna, I’m in a really problematic situation. I’m gay but I haven’t told anyone yet. This would be no problem if there wasn’t Marcus, the son of a family friend. I just met him and he’s very nice and I like him, but he is very flirty. When we hung out, he was stroking my leg the whole time because “the material of my skirt was so soft” and if something is soft, he has to touch it. And he sat very close to me so our legs were touching. I felt very uncomfortable, but didn’t say anything.
My birthday is in a couple of days and I invited him but now I’m scared that this flirting will continue. I like him as a friend and my BFF told me that maybe it would become more than just friendship but it definitely WON’T. I don’t know what to do now because if I come out to him I think he will tell my parents and I don’t want them to know ‘cause I have no idea how they would react.
Please help me because I don’t know what to do and his flirting is really irritating and unpleasant.—A Desperate Lesbian
Anna says: Dear Desperate, That Marcus sure sounds like Creepstown, USA! Please tell him to stop touching you, no matter how “soft your skirt is.” Ugh. That isn’t even a plausible argument (unless you were wearing the coat of a baby lamb). You don’t have to come out to your parents to get rid of this guy. Just tell him you only see him as a friend. You don’t need to give him any further information than that, but if he keeps prying, then say “I’m not attracted to you.” I’ve found that usually shuts ‘em up.
And my dearest girl, I want you to know that you don’t have to tolerate any behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable! I know it’s hard to speak up (when I was your age, I let a lot of stupid people break my boundaries because I was too shy to say anything), but it’s honestly a good habit to get started on early. Move your leg away from his. Tell him his flirtatiousness makes you squicky and to please knock it off. He might be butt-hurt and defensive about it, but he’ll get the message and hopefully knock it off.
Good luck, Sugar Shoes. Keep practicing saying, “no.” You’re the owner of your life, and only you get to decide who touches your mf-ing skirt.