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Auntie SparkNotes: My Friend Won't Stop Coming On To Me

Auntie SparkNotes: My Friend Won't Stop Coming On To Me

Hey Auntie!

I have a friend. She's a sweet person and tries her best to be helpful, and we have known each other since last year. She is often down on herself, telling me and other friends that she is ugly, awkward, etc., so we try to build her up as best we can. The problem, though, is this: I'm getting more and more suspicious that she has a crush on me.

Auntie, I have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING against bi or lesbian people. I have LGBT friends and it has never interfered with a friendship before. I'm a theater kid, so sexuality is something I'm open about; I'm not offended by anyone else's preferences, but I, personally, am straighter than a Katniss Everdeen arrow, and the objective onlooker would also note that I am totally boy-crazy.

My friend has said before that she has no clear sexual preference, and this didn't bother me until she started being extremely... well… flirty. I realize I can't stop anyone from having a crush on me, but it's really hurting our friendship to the point where I don't even want to be around her, because her actions make me feel pressured and uncomfortable. She will always stand really close to me, and she grabs me from behind in these wild flying tackle hugs when I'm not expecting it, and she gives me purposefully sexual looks and poses and remarks — then laughs and passes it off as a joke to make me uncomfortable. Just the other night, I was at a sleepover, and the whole night she kept squishing my butt around with her feet, lying on top of me, and giving me the looks. There were other bi ladies and lesbians there, but I was genuinely scared. I even made sure she was asleep before I went to sleep, because I was just... I don't know what I thought, but I just didn't like the idea of her being awake and unsupervised and me being powerless. Once, when she came up behind me and started massaging my shoulders while moaning in my ear, I even told her: "Whoa, I don't swing that way. Not into ladies." All she did was massage harder and whisper, "I think you do." It makes me shudder just remembering it.

I just PLEASE want to know what to do about this. Do I even want to stay friends with her? And either way, how do I get the message across to her that I am decidedly not interested?

Aha! AHA, SPARKLER. Because that, my dear, is your first mistake: Your friend is no doubt aware that you're not interested in her, or in women in general.

The problem is, she's going to do what she's doing, and she doesn't give even the tiniest sliver of one damn about whether you like it or not.

And despite your having positioned this as an exotic, freaky, unrequited lesbian crush scenario, I don't think it's even as interesting as that. To Auntie's keen and ancient eyes, your friend is more likely just an ordinary sort of social terrorist: the kind who delights in poking people just to watch them squirm.

Not that that makes it okay, of course. But it does mean that you need to quit quivering with terror at the possibility of being molested in your sleep by a lustful lady lover—which, despite your best efforts, is actually coming off as extremely homophobic—and reframe your approach as the natural, unhappy reaction of a person whose boundaries are being repeatedly violated despite her obvious discomfort. It is her behavior, and the effect it's having on your friendship, that makes this a problem. Everything else, from your friend's nebulous sexual orientation to her possible romantic interest in you, is just window dressing.

The good news is, the first step toward making things better is already right there in your letter. It's the part where you say, "It's really hurting our friendship to the point where I don't even want to be around her, because her actions make me feel pressured and uncomfortable."

What you need to do now is say that to her. And furthermore, you need to say it instead of what you've been saying, which basically amounts to an extended shout of "No homo!", and which does nothing to address the actual root of the problem. After all, you wouldn't like this sort of unwanted attention if it were coming from a guy, right? And that's the point: not the fact that you aren't gay, but the fact that you aren't comfortable.

If this girl is your friend, she'll back off the moment it's clear to her that she's hurting your relationship. But if she doesn't back off… well, that tells you all you need to know about what sort of person she is: namely, one who enjoys the power trip of making other people ill at ease. And if that is the sort of person she is, then I'm guessing the answer to your other question—whether or not you even still want to be friends with her—will be a solid "No."

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Topics: Life, Advice
Tags: auntie sparknotes, flirting, friendship, boundaries, unwanted attention, strange behavior

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About the Author

Kat Rosenfield is a writer, illustrator, advice columnist, YA author, and enthusiastic licker of that plastic liner that comes inside a box of Cheez-Its. She loves zombies and cats. She hates zombie cats. Follow her on Twitter or Tumblr @katrosenfield.

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